Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated… It is truly an emotion that rises from the soul.
– Francis Weller
Last week I began writing about my healing journey since losing my mom, then a pregnancy.
I am discovering it was easier to share with you the experience of the pain rather than the beauty of grief.
I want to tell you about the gifts that come from the wild, untamed, soul force of grief. But it feels wrong. It feels sacreligous.
I am re-learning how there are two sides to all experiences. Behind the dark is light. And even behind light is dark.
It still feels wrong to speak of beauty in grief. To exclaim the wondrous joys and gifts that blossom from healing. I want to say, but I would trade any of it to have my mom back or my pregnancy back. (And I would.)
And yet I can’t get them back. Instead I am left to make sense of a journey that twisted and turned through through dark corners and expansive fields with sunshine.
I am still walking the journey and the parts with light are very recent memories on this journey. I am not prepared to draw full conclusions or to tell you even where this road will lead.
But I can share this: that beautiful and incredible things happened when I faced my deepest pain and my most vulnerable self.
When my small ego mind admitted it could not do it all, that it was not capable of finding the path out of pain, nor solving the problems of grief (as though there is a solution!), that it was, dare I say, FAILING in its job to fix, to be a hero, to stand alone like a mountain—that was the turning point.
I found out that none of us are alone in our suffering. That instead of being pinpointed, picked up and punished by the universe, we are simply experiencing the very human pain of being alive on earth.
I found that healing can happen unexpectedly and rapidly when there is community and connection. That by standing in a sacred place among community transformed me. That the simple act of singing with a group of fifty, sixty, seventy and yes, eighty-year-olds, and looking out week after week and always seeing yellow butterflies, that this too healed me.
How long-buried gifts of writing, art, and music were not forever condemned to the attic of my life. That they were not merely childish passions that led down short stumpy paths only to be long forgotten. No, they were secret lockets waiting to be opened.
I have opened them and I have delighted in them.
I cannot wait to decipher the many mysteries that remain. I have no idea where my creative urges will lead me but I know I will continue to be humbled by what can happen when you surrender to your heart.
Thank you also to you, dear readers, for supporting and encouraging me. You are part of the community and connection that has brought me to where I am now, and for that I am forever grateful.
Grief undermines the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and the sanctioned behaviours of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life force… It is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated… It is truly an emotion that rises from the soul.
– Francis Weller