My good friend said I should write about grief. I said ‘maybe next month’. As the ‘next month’ came and I began writing I realized this would be an ongoing narrative. I share the beginning with you . . .
We, as humans, seem to make our natural processes feel unnatural. Many times, grief is something people do not want to hear about, talk about or be in the experience of. Yet, grief is a genuine experience of our humanness, a natural process of our life. We all have an innate capacity to grieve. In my capacity to grieve, I am discovering much:
Grief is messy and challenges you to be with the most intimate, frightening, all-consuming parts of yourself. It dares you to be with yourself in your natural process. The rawness exposes your underbelly, and feels as if you are wearing your skin inside out. All words, all actions come at you in an unprotected way. In that space of vulnerability, undefended, a new aliveness arises within every single experience. Feelings and sensations are heightened and the intensity allows you to be with yourself, with life, in a richer more intimate way. Possibly everything is being stripped away so that new skin, less protecting and confining, can find a place around you, leading you to more wholehearted living.
Grief is often frightening as it takes a hold of you and seemingly will not let go. It takes you to places within your experience of life that most of us would not venture on our own, being at the same time beautiful, tumultuous, exhausting, and connecting. Though seemingly frightening and ambiguous, grief is safe as it is your own individual experience of the circle of life, of impermanence.
Grief allows you to see the beauty in life, the pain of life, to know love and joy in a profound, inclusive way. In that space of love and loss, there is nothing anyone can say to ‘make it better’, nor should there be. We so often want to remove ourselves and others from the tangible experience life is giving us. Grief asks us to stay and be in life’s fullness, to know its grandeur, as well as the depths of the valley. We, as humans, possess this extraordinary potential, to stay and feel, to live and die. We hold within us the possibility to be fully within the circle of life, in the moment, with truth.
There are many opportunities in life to grieve – the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, a way of being. All life is shifting and changing and gives us occasion to be with this sacred, beautiful process. I invite you today to begin to open to your grief and all it offers. I invite you to step in to the fullness of your human expression. I invite you to dare. (April 2015)