Grief as a Teaching

Grief deepens you. It allows you to explore the perimeters of your soul. Grief is the only gateway to certain levels of consciousness, and it is a hard taskmaster. Through grief you can explore every aspect of your dark side – anger, pain, abandonment, terror, loneliness; and these are aspects of the sacred wound that in our daily lives we usually try to ignore. Grief forces you to look at those parts of yourself that are not yet healed. If you can look at grief as a teaching, you will grow. The pain of grief is not the only teacher in this life, but if looked at properly, with awareness and an open heart, it is one of the greatest teachers of all. The seeds of wisdom and enlightenment are planted within the wounds of grief. What is lost can only come back to us again in higher ways.

– Lynn V. Andrews, The Power Deck

My experience of grief is changing. In the last ten days, the intensity has shifted. While my eyes fill with tears daily, occasionally they do not spill over. Grief continues to appear – sometimes I find myself annoyed, grumpy, impatient; at other times its weight is heavy on my chest. The waves still come and with them the wracking sobs that wash me clean but it seems that, for the moment, they are not as frequent.

I have mixed feelings about this. I recognize the human – the societal – tendency to rush the process, to distract myself with the busyness of life – reading blogs, returning emails, exercising, cooking, washing dishes. Important in one sense and yet the beauty of grief is its permission to let them go if there is mourning to be done. There is still mourning to be done. I crave time for inward-focused work, for my soul’s journey, for the teachings that I am being offered. It’s easy to want to rejoin the world and in some ways it feels good but I refuse to let the days slip by the way they used to – in a blur of doing what was in front of me instead of what my heart cried out for. As the pain loosens its grip on my heart I can feel the tug of denial, of old habits, of taking the easy way out. I have promised myself that I will stay conscious through this process.

I want to explore the perimeters of my soul. I want to heal the parts of me that have ached for years, for decades. I don’t need to know what the wounds are but I do need to fill them with compassion and love so that they may heal. I realize this is the work of a lifetime and because I am human, grief will come again. I want to honor this loss, I want to honor my son. Though his heart no longer beats, I want the gifts he has showered me with to last a lifetime.

I feel the fear of getting it wrong and I remember to ask, What would compassion say  here? What would love do?

The answer is always a version of the same refrain. Stay open. Stay aware. Trust the process.

Today my inner-knowing-me added, Ask for help. Speak your truth. Trust yourself.

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0 Responses to Grief as a Teaching

  1. Jessica says:

    If only everyone could think “What would compassion say here” the world would be a better place! I wish that I was better at thinking that before speaking/acting more regularly. Thinking of you…

  2. Grief is a most trustworthy compassion and always moves in the direction of healing.

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