Today I watched a man grieving in the cemetery near our home. He was drinking a beer, swirling around in screams while the liquid fell out of the bottle as he stomped over the grass. He was crying. I stopped for a few seconds across from him at the stop sign, struggling with going to talk with him, or just giving him his space. The scene looked like something from a movie and I felt it. Whoever he was screaming and pleading to was absolute loss and grief.
And so I did….I left him in his private moment as the rain began to fall slowly over the mountains. I felt the break happening for me as well.
Grief does that to us. It is inexplicable. Its pain cuts through the depth of the soul. It has no limit, no expiration date that shakes us up and relieves the pain. We are turned around, upside down, through an inexplicable sense of shame, guilt and other emotions. We regret what we did not do or did do. We place those we loved on some pedestal, that at times, is pretty irrational as well. But, grieving the loss of a loved one is freaking hard. And, it comes in waves: one minute you are okay and the next your world feels unrecognizable.
The man over the tombstone reminded me of that wave. He reminded me that it never really goes away. Loss is a riptide that at times causes a wave that clears everything in its path. We move through the grief. We surf the deep waters of emotions wondering if we survive the heartbreak. We move into other paths of life. It doesn’t go away. We don’t get over it. We evolve and learn from it but the loss can still sneak up at any given moment.
In order to love you must risk it all and grief is a component of its circumstances because where there is love there is loss. Sorrow is a recycling sentiment that appears over and over in different events. It’s okay to let the emotions visit. It’s okay to sit with the memories of the things we no longer have, the loved ones who have passed on, the things that will never be. What is not okay is to get stuck in those moments and live in that time. There will be days that the pain is so much that you feel death clawing at you. You might want to go scream at the ground in a cemetery as well. Then other days you will be filled with the sweetness of gratitude for having had those moments in your life. No matter what anyone says grief never vanishes. It just masks itself into something new and you recognize it the minute you experience the tug in your heart.
Do yourself a favor and don’t close up to love. Don’t shut yourself off from the world because you deserve to live through love again. It will never be like those that you experienced. It will have different lessons, perspectives and joy. Loss does something to make us believe that we will never live that way again.
Grief doesn’t just change you, it reveals the innermost part of your spirit. We’ve come here momentarily to love, learn and experience life. In the sadness of grief comes the ability to rejoice and celebrate life to the fullest. So often we are consumed by mourning the death that we forget what lived in that person. We focus on the missing rather than the stories of joy. Truth is that each soul who leaves us has always left a little part of themselves behind through memories. And it’s from that other place that they start to reach out through dreams, songs, signs and synchronicity. Rejoice in the stories of the past. Allow for grief to show you how much you loved. It’s okay to feel that mystifying sorrow. This is how you know that your love transcends through time and space. This is how you know that your loved one will help you find love again.
If you find yourself at a loss today…please honor the moment. Send love to your missing parts. Be gentle with the memories. They won’t go away. To me, death is a door that ends one existence and opens up into another. There is the before death and the after death. And life is changed forever.