When you or a loved one breathes their last, they don't go anywhere because Spirit or Consciousness is not subject to time and space. Conscious is everything and non-thing. Remember time and space are only relevant to the mind and body which you no longer are and never were anyway. They were merely vessels of our Spirit (I) being Soul (Am), to know and experience yourself in the physical.
Your incarnating consciousness (subconscious) when it fell into matter or was birthed into the physical, was curtailed by an egoic mindset therefore you became blind to the Spiritual realm. After death you are not depending on your level of consciousness, one is slightly awake to fully. Either way you are spirit, and you know you are Spirit. You are what you were before birth and what you will be again after death. Therefore, it is not with your eyes of flesh that you behold your new or remembered reality but as your inner "I" or your presence/existence/consciousness that is formless.
Your Inner I, when married to your Inner Am is your true vision. In other words, your conscious mind when merged with the subconscious is the vessel which is filled by the Holy Ghost aka Intuition, aligning the I am of Spirit to align with the I am of mind When I am that I am merges as One, all identification with a personal self is lost giving way to an impersonal identification that is basically experienced as life living itself in and as the Now.
You do not think or believe you exist, nor is it a particular feeling that you attribute to existing. No, you know you exist. Knowing is not thinking, nor is it feeling. Knowing is a different experience altogether and is experienced through the Inner I of being Now.
While in this form your true Self aka Conscious Awareness is constricted, restricted, and confined to the physical realm as thought/mind, unless you underwent Self-Realization in this incarnation or a lifetime preceding it. Therefore, when you have no further use of your mind/body you will do the opposite of constricting and expand in 'Conscious' Awareness to the degree your Soul is able too; to the degree your consciousness is able to expand depending on your evolutionary level of 'Awareness'. Or put another way, depending on how far your Soul has evolved in the totality of all Being. If you are at the end of your evolutionary cycle, then one can, if they so wish, merge in and as Undifferentiated Awareness, which is the one Soul. The one Soul being the body of Spirit. All of us are on, or at different levels of awareness in the process of the snake eating its own tail. We each rise and fall within our own season.
As in life, our consciousness in the afterlife, is drawn to whatever realm attracts and resonates with it the most. There are many realms beyond the physical-mental and mental-spiritual realms of being between here and the totality of Being. We are each of us, all on the wheel of Life somewhere as the wheel of fortunate turns heralding a new season for each one of us. You Soul will be attracted to the realm that most resonates with its level of consciousness.
How we accept our physical and mental death is completely reliant on how aware we are of being Soul/Spirit. For the realized, it's a non-event. It is basically taking off your clothes and being naked. For the new Soul it can be a more arduous process, however, rest assured that love is always present within the transition. Always in all ways. Love is Consciousness being itself. It cannot be any different.
Understand then your loved ones have gone nowhere. They have just expanded, as conscious (spirit) awareness (soul) into a realm that you, as an egoic mind cannot comprehend or be aware of at this point. They have woken up and are no longer in a shared dream with you. The Soul on passing will have little to no knowledge of this shared dream we are in as it is illusion. No more than you remember your dream on waking while in the physical. There are some Souls however that have learned to lucid dream and can be here in a lighter unseen vessel to help and guide us on these mental and physical planes of existence.
Some evolved Souls are that like the bird from its vantage point, that is aware of the fish swimming in the oceans, while the fish is not aware of the bird. That which is above always has more awareness than that which is below. Moreover, a part of you exists in and of every realm, so though you are not conscious of them, more often than not, they are of you. They are the wind, the trees, the ground upon which you tread. Your true Self, besides existing in this realm, is also in the realm they are now conscious of, so though you are desperately missing them, take comfort in the fact that they are not missing you. There is no need for them too for you in truth are still with them. They are more awake while you still deeply asleep.
It would be prudent then wouldn't it to get to know our true Self, which is also ultimately the true Self of all our loved ones. When the final hour for the body comes, we do not have to feel the pain and heartbreak of separation. If we Self Realized and rendered the veil of thought redundant, we will be able to see beyond the confines of human vision, into other dimensions of existence that see with the 'Inner I' as opposed to the eyes flesh. I promise you, every loved one you have ever said goodbye too will one day say hello again, when it's your turn to wake from this dream. Or before if you wake in this dream. If you too become a lucid dreamer.
~ Tracy Pierce