Navigating Through Grief

We are experiencing so much loss and grief during these times. Everywhere I turn around, including in sessions with clients, there is an underlining theme: Grief.

No matter what anyone says about grief…it is inexplicable. The pain cuts through the depth of the soul. Grief has no time limit, no expiration date, that shakes us up and relieves the pain. Loss is a riptide that causes a wave clearing everything in its path. We surf the deep waters of emotions wondering if we survive the heartbreak.

In order to love you must risk it all. Grief is a component of its circumstances because where there is love there may also be loss. Sorrow is a recycling sentiment that appears over and over in different events. It’s okay to let the emotions visit. I am always reminded of Rumi’s poem, The Guest House.

It’s okay to sit with the memories of the things we lose, 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. Other days you will be filled with the sweetness of gratitude for having had those moments in your life. 

We celebrate life in joy and in grief. We can also feel the losses of vitality, our children, jobs, and experiences. We get to choose gratitude for those experiences.

But when it comes to the loss of a loved one (or even the ending of a relationship) no matter what anyone says, grief doesn’t just vanish. It 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 also feel the loss of how it felt to be with that person. We focus on the missing rather than the stories of joy. The truth is that each soul who leaves us has always left a little part of themselves behind through memories. 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.

I love you,

Millie

The Mystery of Sorrow

Our dear friend, Jef, lost his mother to cancer today.  Even though he has helped others with grief and loss, Jef personally had not lost a close family member.  I cannot imagine what he must be feeling right now.  I sent him a message this morning and his gentle words returned, “Oh Millie, deepest thank you for your love.  Please write something today about how the mystery of sorrow is mixed together with the secrets of surrounding joy.  I will need to read it from your pondering sweet heart.  Love in big ways.  Your Jef”

After I composed my tears I felt a sense of gratitude for his mother finally letting go.  She hung tightly to this world.  Her body deteriorating, her pain evident, and I believe she just wanted permission to finally be set free.  The agony of what’s to come for the dying is one I will never comprehend.  It is a personal one.  I have spoken to people who work for Hospice and have been told that the dying usually wait for when they are alone to pass on.  Their souls need this privacy.

I have no wisdom when it comes to loss.  No matter what I write or say the loss of those we love is inexplicable.  We can be prepared for it but when the moment arrives it is as if the logical mind and the heart go separate ways.  I felt it with my mother five years ago.  I saw her tiny body embraced in a bed, peacefully lying as if she was asleep.  I was comforted with the knowing that she was finally free of the pain and discomfort and mostly of the fears.  She feared death.  Days before she died she asked me what I thought would happen to her.  I held her hand and told her that she would finally be at peace.  I assured her that she would feel so much love.  I expressed my beliefs about the afterlife.  The entire time of our conversation she looked at me with her glossy eyes and smiled.  My dear mother wanted permission to die.  In those moments of my assurance she received the message that we would be okay without her here.  It is always hard to comprehend what the dying think of their legacy.  They fear so much in so many levels.  It isn’t just the worrying of what can happen after the spirit leaves the body but for some the closure of the loved ones left behind.   “How will they make it without me?”

Grief does not change you.  It reveals the innermost part of your spirit.  To watch a loved one diminish and suffer is hell here on earth.  There is no relief in that.  The comfort is finally breathing and understanding that we are not immortal.  We came here momentarily to love, learn and experience life.   In the sadness of loss comes the joy of celebrating a life fully lived.  So often we mourn the death instead of rejoicing the life and what that soul offered us in our journey.

I have never stopped having a mother, a father, grandparents and so many who have passed.  They are still with me in memories, stories, and choices I make.  We don’t stop having these loved ones because their bodies aren’t here.  They evolve into another plane of existence which lives in our hearts.  But, no matter what way we prepare for loss it is still a lonely heart ache.  No two people will feel the same.  My sisters miss their mother in different ways.  I miss her for her strength and tenacity.  I miss friends who have passed for their love and laughter.  The hardest part of grieving is the finality.  I still miss my mother’s phone calls on my birthday, holidays and special events.  She was always the first to call me.  And so on days like that I light a candle in front of her picture that’s sits on my desk.  I say a prayer of gratitude and allow the light of divinity to guide me during those sad moments.

I have no words for Jef that can mend this moment.  I have little wisdom when it comes to the grieving heart.  What I do have is the “knowing” that those who pass leave a little part of themselves behind.  They begin to show us that they are at peace through a favorite song, a lovely poem, a sign from the universe, and in the comforting realm of dreams.  Celebrate the life lived.  Explore the mystery of sorrow and allow those moments to pass.  Honor the legacy with grace, compassion and faith.  Rejoice in the stories of the past.  And, in the moments of solitude and despair reach into your heart and know you are never alone.

 

You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” – Anne Lamott