"We live and we die, but we are made of sterner stuff. The carbon atoms in our fingernails, the calcium in our bones, the iron atoms in our blood -- all the countless trillions of atoms of which we are made -- are ancient objects. They existed before us, before the Earth itself, in fact. And after each of us dies, they will depart from our bodies and do other things. Forever."
- Keith Heyer Meldahl, Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail
Physical bodies are of this earth; you learned about their components in school. Somehow death does not seem as grounded. Your loss is forcing you to face what you think happened to the essence or the spirit of your loved one. This experience is actually compelling you to look at not only your religious or cultural beliefs, but what you personally believe now that you've experienced loss. This process is as much spiritual as it is emotional.