Change is the only constant. It is not a very stable, graspable ground with room for negotiation. We are here in this life, along for the ride.
Grief, a bittersweet mixture of sorrow and longing, is our human response to loss in all its forms; death of a loved one, first holidays without them, the ending of relationships, major life milestones, transitions, major shifts in identities or lifestyles, natural disasters, grieving things that never came to pass, menopause, spiritual awakenings, midlife crisis…the list goes on and on.
Our culture doesn’t provide space in which we can understand and traverse the landscape of grief in a way that brings us deeper into a relationship with the heart of life itself.
When grief is allowed the space to be worked through consciously, she provides a well-spring of freshness for a new life.
Grief can be overwhelming, scary and confusing to process. When in the thick of it, it’s pretty much impossible to feel there may be any benefit.
We are taught it may arrive in phases, but courting grief is much more nuanced than that. She arrives very much like us, with different flavors, mysteries, wisdom and teachings.
Grief arrives to visit us in those moments of life we cannot escape from. In the empty space that was once occupied with something that was important to you. Suddenly there is a void that brings up so many emotions. Natural emotions.
Grief is love.
You do not grieve what you do not love. In fact, the greater the love, the deeper the grief. It is a sign of a loving heart. You have allowed yourself to be connected, opened your heart and danced with life. You let life in. This grief is a final act of loving. It is an expression of love of your wild heart.
You mourn the loss of the relationship, that third thing that was cultivated between you and the other. That third space where so much emerged, where the memories live, the smells and laughter and music move through, the triggers, patterns and emotions.
If you didn’t feel, if you didn’t love, if you didn’t grieve, could you be happy?
Grief holds hands with gratitude and joy.
Grief puts things into a deeper perspective and wakes you up, make you look around and take stock. What gratitude wasn’t expressed? What can be expressed now? What needs to change? What has become more important to you?
These lessons flow through with time, in the beginning it may be a simple gratitude for what was, mixed with the flow of grief and regrets, but in this flow you find the forgiveness, kindness and the tenderness that inevitably will show up with your tender heart given the space and gentle, patient care.
You have lost a part of yourself too.
You were attached and parts of you were brought forward that were unique and special and this has been lost too. Now, in that space you again stand alone to reclaim all the bits and pieces of yourself now scattered or chorded that you hadn’t realized.
Grief is initiation.
The process of initiation is something that our culture greatly lacks. It is a source of suffering because there is an emotional void around how to address emotions such as grief, which are a part of initiation; a conscious letting go of the old and the past to make space for a new aspect of self in a new life. Soul medicine.
You have landed in an in-between, a time when what was is no longer and the new life hasn’t yet been born. This is an important and necessary part of the human growth process, vital to your happiness and aliveness.
The in-between is a space that offers some breathing room to review the past, see what was working, what wasn’t, to metabolize and release what is ready to grow, to grieve and clear the soul veins so you can plant seeds for the new with seeds grown in compassion, grace and love.
Grief is aliveness.
You grieve because you are alive, human and love. This is a sacred honor, to feel for what has passed. There are no platitudes to make it sexy, but that’s okay because grief is relieved and soothed more by truth than affirmations anyway. You then honor your connection to life, to others, to your heart and yourself.
It is birth and death. Longing and sorrow, coiling around each other like two snakes inhaling and exhaling life into each other.
It is the heart remaining open in the face of all that is. It is love.