Welcoming Grief

This time of year always sends me back to the Land of Loss to unpack my deepest grief, lest I forget.

Every year from Thanksgiving through the winter solstice I honor my own loss, my own heart, my own way to collapse and to rise.

I ask my grief how it is and what it needs. I see how much room it is taking up in my heart and my body, and I ask the rest of me if we can all make it feel a little more welcome, give it a little more room.

Love is the kindest of all. She gives grief a big hug and clears a space right next to her for it to settle in.

Patience follows grief like a shadow, never leaving its side even when it takes to a dark room for days.

Joy meets grief like a puppy meets a new friend, curious and bright-eyed. Undeterred by grief’s disinterest, joy snuggles up next to it contentedly, sure they will be friends one day.

Sadness shares her blanket with grief, and together they huddle but somehow can’t shake the lonely chill of loss.

Hope casts a line to grief but for a long time there is no pull on the other end. Until one day there is the faintest tug. Hope wonders if she imagined it until, yes, there it is again.

All of me digs deep, from my bones to my brain. And although we’ve only been working as a team for the last nine years or so, we pull through this beautifully, even if not gracefully.

Each time I visit this Land of Loss it’s different. Sometimes I see old friends tending their gardens of grief and sometimes I see newcomers wandering the streets wondering how they got here. Whether our paths cross on my way in or your way out, I hope we will pause in our tracks, dust off the hearts on our sleeves and look each other in the eye, human to human, so that for a moment you and I will know we’re in this together.

Even though our lives and our losses may be worlds apart, we’re in this together.

Published on The Huffington Post

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