one more time…an opportunity to grieve

A good friend of mine said, “You are married to sorrow.” And I looked at him and said, “I am not married to sorrow. I just choose not to look away.”

And I think there is deep beauty in not averting our gaze.

No matter how hard it is, no matter how heartbreaking it can be. It is about presence. It is about bearing witness.

I used to think bearing witness was a passive act. I don’t believe that anymore. I think that when we are present, when we bear witness, when we do not divert our gaze, something is revealed—the very marrow of life. We change. A transformation occurs. Our consciousness shifts.

—Terry Tempest Williams

These extraordinary times are exposing many deeply held fears, while we are ALL grieving the loss of something(s). For far too long, we have looked away from what we feel when we have an experience that makes us uncomfortable. We have lived too fast, and counted on others to do what we might have done – for ourselves or others.

Grief is very much a part of what we are living in these days.

We are losing loved ones or friends.

We are losing a familiar way of life.

We are losing jobs, access to social experiences outside of our homes.

Maybe we are at home with children – of any age.

I could go on with an exhaustive list of what is lost, changing or already gone at this point. You know what you are losing or have lost.

Until and unless we slow down to see and feel our individual losses, we will not be present with the feelings that others in our space may have. We will not really listen with empathy. Whether you are sharing your living space with children or other adults, all are feeling something as we continue to collectively walk down very foggy and uncertain paths; and walking is what we are called to do now. Walk, not run.

I’ve been listening to Brene Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us. Today she interviewed David Kessler, and expert on grief and protege of the late Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Among the many wonderful and comforting words in their discussion was this quote by David:

“The worst loss is always your loss.”

He offered this in the context of a discussion about comparing your loss to someone else’s loss. There is also deep wisdom in that statement that connects us to ourselves – one more time. If we do not acknowledge what we are losing – and go into the feelings of those losses, we will (1) not authentically be present for our loved ones as they navigate their feelings of loss; and (2) the essential energy for healing and being a part of creating the new future which is out of reach at this moment, will not be available to us.

I’ve written about grief here a few times. If you wish to dive in for more perspective on what you may be grieving – or if you’re not sure you’re grieving – feel free to search on “grief” in this site. I’ve written about grief frequently. It permeates our very existence and holds our greater opportunities for healing and seeing and feeling more clearly, the light within us  – our guide into a new future that we have an opportunity to create.

Finally, here is a link to an 8 minute video narrated by M. Scott Peck – whom some of you may know as the author of The Road Less Traveled. I used to share this video with the teams of executives that I worked with years ago, at the end of our multiple weeks of work together. My VHS copy was used so often and then in storage for three years. It didn’t survive. When I found it online, I was delighted. The Rabbi’s Gift, is a parable that I hope you will find useful.

I send my best wishes to all of you, dear readers. May you be well.

Namaste.

 

14 thoughts on “one more time…an opportunity to grieve

  • The virus outbreak may try to holdback our lives but it can never holdback our thoughts. Sending loads of positive vibes to you my friend. We’ll overcome this nightmare, together. Thank you for sharing such an emotional post! According to your convenience please do read some of my writings would love to know what you think about them. 🙏🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I look forward to reading some of your posts as well. For many of us, writing is what we offer as we walk this path together. I appreciate the positive vibes and send you the same. 🙏 Be well.

      Liked by 2 people

  • I was having a conversation about grief and loss and all that we’re going through now with a friend today, and that might also be reflected in what I posted a little while ago. We’re on the same page, I think. I’ve had a few “fall aparts” (as I call them). Good cries. Good conversations.

    Thank you for this post, and for the reminder about others experiencing grief. It was a lesson learned today. I forget, sometimes, that others are not always the steady rocks they present to the world, and that they, too, are experiencing anxiety and grief. Stay safe and well. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Robin, thank you for this. We all feel and respond…or react…differently in to,es of great stress. It’s good to feel, including the “fall apart” moments. This is our acknowledgment of our vulnerability…and is where the roots of our courage for moving forward are deeply embedded. Brené Brown reminds us of this in all of her writings. As we see, feel and heal our own fears, we can be present to others as they are experiencing theirs.

      I enjoyed your post as well. We are often on the same page, my friend. Be well, dear Robin. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve desperately looked for our national leadership now to inspire everyone on our country to respectfully grieve our human losses from this disease. Since our “ice cold” President and his cronies have been incapable of doing so, Simply, I cannot be “bought off” by this administration with their $1200.00 stimulus bribe. Instead I’ve turned to my India vacation photos. as well as music and meditation to evoke such compassion in my soul. Thanks for the reminders.

    Liked by 2 people

    • James, I learned long ago that compassion and kindness are not in the repertoire of our nation’s highest leaders. I therefore no longer expect anything different than what I see. It’s a sad situation for our country, that indeed this is what we have. We are not the only country with this kind of person at the top. Ours is to take responsibility for what we may have done (or not done) to contribute to creating what we are living at this time at the highest level of our country’s democracy. This is the only way we will be successful in changing it. In the meantime, we have the opportunity to care for ourselves; to rest, reconnect, renew and be ready, and to offer our prayers, love and positive energies to those who are giving their all – sometimes even their lives – to take care of others. Take very good care of you. I’m happy that you have wonderful photos (and thank you for sharing them with us, and music and meditation. Such wonderful contribution to the whole…that we can make when we engage what makes our hearts feel good!

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  • In soccer – as in life – there are no timeouts. Any adjustment must be made in the flow of the game. Now, in life, we’ve been given that timeout. Not just to adjust, but to process – the grief, the sorrow, the hope for what we’d love someday and what we can do today for that. Beautiful post, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Eli. You’re so right about the moment to process, reflect and grieve…so that we may bring forth our best and in so doing help others do to the same. The world will not be the same after all of this…and it’s time for change.

      Liked by 1 person

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