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The Ritual of Grief

It seems to me that there is a collective grieving process going on in the world right now. I'm in it and a lot (if not all) of my loved ones are in it. Most people who actively seek healing or consciousness or to be truly seen and valued often do so at the expense of their current situations or comforts...Sometimes we walk away from things or people that no longer serve us, and other times those things are taken from us. Both can be equally painful, and that pain needs to be acknowledged and processed. It's important to know that while shedding the skin of our past allows us to wholly walk into our future, the transition can often be painful and scary. That experience is appropriate and okay. It is necessary. Often, your pain becomes your medicine//it is what heals you.

I read a beautiful article about grief today. It touched on the need for ritual and ceremony in our grieving, and how our (patriarchal) culture doesn't provide any guidance in that regard. We try to rush through it, or even skip over it completely. "We all grieve differently" is how our culture flippantly approaches grief, as if rolling its eyes at the many wounded hearts on the floor. The simultaneous creation of space and vacuum, allowing everything and nothing at the same time. And while on the outside that may be true - we have constructed many different walls and facades to protect us, and we distract ourselves with different activities, addictions and stories - the internal experience of grief is shared.

Allowing the time to feel the depth of grief is important. Not trying to qualify your feelings but rather, just letting them be, is powerful and gentle and needed. Recognizing that sometimes the purpose of one day is simply to get to the next day, because that next day might be better the last is maybe one of grief's most poignant (and frustrating) lessons. Allowing yourself stillness, sobs and sadness instead of busying yourself, holding back your tears and not holding space for what is happening in your life and heart is what allows you to actually move through it, stop crying and start feeling better.

Anyway, what I liked most about the article was this:

"...there is a sweetness stowed inside the heavy walls of grief. Grief allows us to memorialize the moments that profoundly changed us - it works through the richness of experience. Grief has the ability to conjure great swells of triumph, exhalation and glee. It allows us to consider the vastness of the events that shape our existence and pay homage to the wonderful people who guided us through our own darkness. Grief connects us to humility and demonstrates that nothing in life is permanent. It forces us to reevaluate the outdated perspectives that hamper our emergence into new and uncharted territory. Grief fosters self reflection and often leads to change of heart. We miss the things we have lost, but excitement grows as we evolve into a better version of ourselves...ALL OF THE SMALL LOSSES WE ENCOUNTER HELP US TO GAIN MOMENTUM IN OUR SEARCH FOR MEANING. There is joy in grief, the kind of joy that helps us to remember who we are by incorporating the wisdom of generations that came before. It is our responsibility to ritualize our past (and the people who filled it) with our own ceremonies." (Dr. Carder Stout)

As I evolve, my work evolves with me.


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