The Purpose of Grief
When things change; When something is lost or dies; When you are heartbroken, sad, and lonely, pining for the past, longing for what you miss; When the hopes and dreams you have set your heart on look like they won’t happen; Or when you need to get cozy and quiet to get in touch with your heart, to mend your wounds and care for yourself . . .
Grief and Sadness slow you down and bring a soft energy that allows you to look deep inside and feel what is most important; to know what you need to be complete and full; to move forward to getting it; to be able to adapt, change, and flow; to constantly renew and grow. Grief ultimately opens your consciousness to love and reverence for all things that come and go.
Impermanence: Change Is the Only Constant
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, about 5,000,000 cells throughout your body will die, while new ones are being born. After you die, other lives will be created and destroyed. Coming and going is the continuous, unavoidable nature of this universe. Yet the urge of any individual life is to be permanent and survive. We seek safety and stability in the known and unchanging, therefore we cling to what was. Grief is the gift we are given to make peace with this conflict between what is and what we want.
Adjusting to Change and Gaining from Loss
Your ability to let go of what was, adapt to change and move forward is a vital life skill. To love fully and then let go when it’s time; to accept the vulnerability of an open heart; to find completeness when that which awakened your heart departs… these are the bittersweet lessons life demands. Thankfully, we have Sadness and Grief to teach us. How to listen to these feelings to and find love within loss?
There is a natural process to work WITH the wise, natural energies of Grief. It starts with an attention-getting pain that focuses you on what was lost; in this way, Sadness reveals what is important to you. Realizing the effect on YOU and what you gained from the object of your loss allow you to continue to enjoy the gifts it brought you. You can’t keep people and things, but you can live with the permanent imprints they leave on your heart.
Specialness of All Things – Not Just One
When you identify and relate to the underlying impact an object has on your experience, those feelings are available to you in countless other things. A flower has beauty, fragility, freshness; it might also bring you Hope or Love. These qualities are not just held in that one flower, but in all flowers, in all things if you are open to feeling them.
With the loss of a close loved one, you may think that all love and joy are gone with them. It’s true that you’ll never have those exact experiences again, but effective grieving will leave you grateful for and enriched by the person. You will be able to enjoy the same level of happiness that the person helped you rise to, while going on to find new and different- and possibly even better-ways to experience joy.
Next week I’ll invite to to try this out in a guided meditation. Please ponder these things, then we’ll “Get to the Heart of Grief.”