The Gift of Grief
Grief brings out an onslaught of emotions ranging from depression to rage. One of the toughest parts of grief is that we all walk the road alone. Even when family, friends, and a community of loved ones gather around us to share in that sorrow, each of us has our own unique relationship with the process. Grief is a gift in remembering love in a deep and meaningful way. Grief is a gift none of us want to unpack, but a gift we all have in common.
Once your heart knows grief, it becomes a part of who you are. From turbulent times to spiritual moments of clarity, grief offers us a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.
Grief is so powerful that we often feel we need permission to open up about how we feel. Grief, in all its forms, helps connect us and when shared is a powerful tool for healing.
Whether you are in the heat of grief or mourning the loss of someone lost long ago, we need each other to share in this breath. And we need to have open conversations about other types of grief as well. Grief from a divorce, or loss of a job. Grief from letting go of a long-held dream or parting ways with a dear friend. Grief comes in many forms, and it’s more than losing someone to death.
More than losing a loved one
On the rare occasion that grief is discussed openly in our society, our minds automatically turn toward death and dying. But grief runs much deeper than that.
Grief is one of those words that encompasses a sea of experiences. Attempting to describe it is futile. Grief, like love, has to be felt to be understood.
- The grief of a pet stings differently than the grief of losing your mother.
- The grief from leaving a relationship feels different than the grief of never finding one.
- The grief of letting part of your identity go sits differently than the grief one feels from war.
We all face grief. It is the risk of love. It runs deeper than death and it is not dependent on where we come from, or our age, gender, sex, religion or choices we’ve made (both good and bad), our finances, our dream, or our faith.
Loss and the grief that comes with it are universal.
Grief is the pain we feel on some random Thursday at 3pm in the middle of a lecture. It is the whisper of a memory that catches us without armor on a Tuesday morning drive to work. Grief is the complicated emotions you have around the shattered relationship you thought you so neatly cleaned up 15 years ago. Grief is an unexpected earthquake that wakes you at 4am as your entire life feels like it’s crashing down around you.
Grief is love that hasn’t been allowed to be expressed.
Grief is a gift
Grief is a form of transition. Without warning or invitation grief comes into our lives. Like love, grief comes without a timeline and without rules. Grief teaches us compassion for other humans in a way that nothing else can. Grief reminds us that the time spent with those we love is important and fleeting. Grief connects us to each other and is a messy gift that we all share.
If we can learn to open up about our grief then we can begin to heal from our grief. Our society treats grief as though it is a dirty little secret that no one should talk about. Yet it is something we all feel. The more you can be open and vulnerable in the story of your grief, the more others will feel safe and connected to you.
Grief is a part of who we are. It is a gift that unites us. We shy away from grief because it reflects our own pain and sadness; things we don’t want to feel. Much like love, when you grieve you are exposed to feeling hurt.
Grief is one of the unbreakable bridges that connect us to other human beings. It sheds light on the darkness and reminds us that we are all the same.
Learning to see your grief as a gift can transform you into a more compassionate human. Someone who understands that people and experiences and cultures might be different, but we are all victims of circumstance and that there is nothing more true about love than the grief it brings.
An Invitation for grief
I invite you to step into your grief and begin to heal yourself and the world around you. Allow it to take you deeper into understanding the web of human connection. Become a witness to your grief and allow others to find solace in your vulnerability. Inside of you is the courage and strength to find meaning in your pain. Find freedom from your fight against grief and allow the waves to take you into surrender and trust. Allow your life to grow beyond the garden of grief within you and learn to share those blossoming flowers with the world around you.
It isn’t going to be easy work, but the rewards are worth it.
Find your breath again, and let it move deep within your spirit. Bringing life to your body, and purpose to your world. Peace is inside of you now. No matter what stage of grief you are in, feel it. All of it. Allow it space to be felt and be seen because the transformation is what connects us to our humanity and brings us closer to the light.
Breathing Thru Grief. Sunday, December 4th, 2:30-4. St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Renton WA. -Grief as a Gift- All are welcome.