The Healing Power of Grief!
Updated: February 1, 2015
Dearest beautiful you,
I’m feeling vulnerable right now. In the cycles of time each anniversary of an important event I, like you, get a chance to revisit and remember how things were, and how we change when we do the necessary work, how we don’t if we keep the resentments and old stories alive. Perhaps you might know what I mean in this letter to you when I ask if you’ve ever let grief break your heart open so you could be more than before?
Today my vulnerability has awakened by a new cycle of grief. It would be my mom’s 87th birthday and also coming in the next couple weeks the anniversaries of both my parents’ deaths. To break my heart open even further, it’s also because this past week we also said our last good bye to my father’s best friend Nick.
I wasn’t expecting to feel so much about it since I hadn’t kept in touch much these last few years. But his death was like the end of an era, the last string that kept our parents tied to my sister and I here in an earthly way. I don’t quite know how to explain this but it brought me back to a deeper grief than ever before. Years of conscious healing, accountability, refusing to see myself as a victim, understanding and forgiveness have prepared me finally to let myself feel it.
Our society doesn’t allow us to own our grief and process it in a healthy way. For our culture it’s an inconvenient time that has an implied shelf life. You have so long “to get over it”, then back to work. Integration of grief as a rite of passage isn’t every spoken about openly. It largely remains unprocessed in our modern cells showing up as disease and other symptoms of repression.
When my parents died (back to back some 25 years ago) I admit I wanted to escape the grief, shielding myself with anger and resentments. I ran as fast as I could forward, only looking back to experience what I allowed, refusing to let the past define me, determined to leave it behind and create my own life.
I grieved as best but as little as I could and only now have I been able to accept that I won’t drown in pain if I open my heart to grief. I get it though- I am only able to receive this today because of something that has set me free. I don’t have to run anymore.
This kind of grief is offered up as a gift, as a sacred thing that can heal and make us whole again. This kind of grief is about grace and forgiveness. It is humility, honesty, and all the messiness of humanity waiting to be accepted and integrated. My Uncle Nick’s passing opened a door long waiting for me to step through.
They were an incredible foursome- my parents and this vibrant couple, Nick and his elegant wife Chounette, sharing a history of war, loss, emigration, new beginnings, children, rich intellectual pursuits and great prosperity. Their companionship spanned continents and lives well lived. Most meaningfully, he and his wife were the only active friends to my parents after my father lost the family fortune. They stayed steady as they watched my parent’s lives deteriorate into sadness, poverty and illness. Uncle Nick and Aunty Choupie gave my parents love, friendship, dignity and certainty as they arrived every Sunday without fail to continue a weekly tradition of friendship that spanned 50 years.
Their kindness and compassion and refusal to show pity were the greatest gift to my family. Every Sunday we saw the proud man return through my Dad’s eyes if even for just a few moments.
When I remember them I am able to see my parents through new eyes -Eyes I did not have when they were alive. Uncle Nick’s passing reminds me of how much meaning threads through the fabric of life.
Human beings are complex creatures, and our lives are never black and white no matter that we get locked in patterns of thinking and trapped in seeing things in 2D.
My mother and myself had a turbulent relationship at best. While she was alive I didn’t have the capacity to see her multifaceted presence. I found a letter she wrote me when she knew she was dying. In it she reminded me simply about how no mother is given an instruction manual. All mothers do the best they can. Her only wish for me was to be all that I was meant to be, and to have the courage to do what she couldn’t.
I can tell you that over the years I have immersed myself in the healing power of forgiveness and I have an extraordinary relationship with her beautiful spirit today. I have no regrets. Yet today I am in awe of how grief can come round again and break the heart wide open. I am more of myself today because of it. My heart is bigger than it was yesterday as a result.
When I say I love you to their spirits. We are all more.
Have a beautiful reflective week! Let me know how you are.
UNIVERSAL ENERGIES VLOG