Honor your Grief
“Grief permeates life and grieving can take many forms, but grief can never be outrun or simply thought away, transcended or meditated into nonexistence.” - Martín Prechtel
Honor your grief.
Invite it in; ask it what it needs.
Grief is wild, untamed ~ and deserves space to be heard, felt, cared for. It can also be deep, limitless. Cultivate a safe space where you can freely express your emotions. Honor what you hold within.
So much love to everyone experiencing grief right now – spoken about or not.
How do we invite our grief inside, when it’s an emotion that threatens to overwhelm us and sweep us under? I recently picked up the book ‘The Smell of Rain on Dust’ by Martín Prechtel which begins with the chapter, “Grief is a Shameless Dancer” listing a few pages of bullet points on what grief is/is not. “Necessary grief when shunned or unattended can easily hide for years, even generations, in the skeletal structure of the family collective psyche.”
Grief is a strange beast who I have met on odd occasions. My first brush with real loss and grief was at a young age, when my older cousin passed quite unexpectedly and suddenly. She was the only female cousin on my father’s side, and much older (a half-cousin really), but I admired her and looked up to her; I still have a doll she gave me. I never knew how she died until I was much older, but I carry with me the poem my great uncle sent at the time: “With every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.” It’s a mantra I’ve carried with me throughout my life, noticing beauty in each passing joy while still honoring the loss and grief itself, when it appears.
A note that Prechtel makes on grief stands out to me. Grief is the loss we experience when what or whom we love dies or disappears. It is not when we lose what we think we deserve or what we wanted. It is the loss of a very real thing or person who leaves our existence.
Notice where you carry grief in your body; feel into it and ask what it needs to be honored.
Yesterday was a significant day for my partner, the anniversary of a very difficult day when his father passed (he was only 16 at the time of losing his dad, so I never met my future father-in-law). I can feel the grief radiating out from my partner when he speaks of this loss, and I can feel it creep upon him at this time of year annually.
I myself hold a form of grief for all he has lost and for never being able to know my father-in-law, but it is not the same as the grief he carries, nor the same as the grief I carry for the loss of our Nanna last Christmas, in the midst of a pandemic when we were unable to travel for her funeral. Most recently, the loss of my tiny second cousin who was no more than 11, to child leukemia.
As my partner says, "Grief is a dark mistress." She lives with you for the rest of eternity once you have lost a loved one, you must meet her in all her darkness and learn to illuminate her light (much as we do in shadow work). While the loss and grief will never fully disappear, it becomes part of us and our identity.
Honor this, and anything you need. Sending so much love to anyone living with grief, in some form or other.