Grief is something I have been thinking a lot about recently. My own especially, but grief in general. Certainly I know for me, it seems that more and more I sense that it feels like it permeates me and my every day life. I’ve turned this over and examined it, wondering why it walks with me like a shadow in my life.
As with many things, help with our questions seem to come at unusual times. This kind of synchronicity can be quite welcome and hopefully informative. In this case a book has come to me to show me around some of my grief feelings. Some are obvious (even to me) and some may be more subtle.
In a culture that is filled with so much violence, how could any reasonable, loving human being not be filled with grief? Every day to be bombarded with death of people, our environment, animals, the oceans? It’s almost, at times, too much for me to bear. I find myself crying during the news and holding these things in my heart.
Then there are my own personal losses: some are obvious like my divorces, deaths of friends and family/pets. But there’s also the odd one that alludes– my adoption: what happened during my first 18 months with my birth mother? What trauma was caused by the rendering of that relationship and what grief do I hold there?
There are loss of friendships, homes, jobs–many things that make us grieve. How well do we grieve in this society? For me it feels like I’ve always held onto a low level sadness. So now as the world implodes, I feel affected greatly.
But grief is a natural part of life. If you live, you will die–if you love, you will suffer loss. There is a cycle to grief, so it must be honored for what it is and not hold onto like a pit. The pit must be planted, watered and tended so it may grow into a strong new plant.
I’m learning. It’s hard to see joy amidst all the sorrow. It’s hard to let go of the sadness when we keep getting hit by more every day. Some days I’m simply not sure I can. But with help–other people–whomever and wherever they are can help us to overcome this grief we may feel. Family, friends, fellow bloggers, maybe even a stranger will remind us what makes us human and what connects us all. And grief rituals are vital.
So as the world continues to produce grief in us all, or when you experience your own personal grief, remember to honor it, embrace it, feel it because isn’t that what really makes us compassionate human beings in the end?
To live fully as a human we will never escape this thing we call grief, so shake hands with it and maybe we can all find a way to eventually understand that it’s the passionate energy that powers the exposed belly of the soul.