Honouring the grief

it’s time to say hello to your goodbye….

In Terry Pratchett’s book, I Shall Wear Midnight he wrote these lines…
“ ‘Can you take away this grief?’
‘I’m sorry,’ she replied. ‘Everyone asks me. And I would not do so even if I knew how. It belongs to you. Only time and tears take away grief; that is what they are for.”

Art – Banksy

It’s not about taking away the grief, it’s about feeling it.

It’s about expanding the container we hold it in… we think the grief gets smaller over time, but in truth we get bigger, more able, more matured, more grown… but we become these things due to our relationship to it… to the grief, to the feeling. And the more we nurture that feeling, the more we nurture ourselves, the stronger we become.

There is no strength in denial.
There is no overcoming that which is repressed.
These is no joy without sadness…

And I’ve been asked me to help other hold these feelings, to release them… but it’s not about releasing the feeling it’s about releasing the denial of these feelings… about feeling them completely and letting them move through in their own way… Often people think they can just forget about that thing, that person, that relationship… pretend it never happened… and yet, in truth, these things play a large and important role in our life, they are the experiences that make us who we are… and to try and deny these feelings is simply inviting that thing to come back to our life in a new way… at a different time, reminding and encouraging us to let these feelings flow again and again until we surrender to it.

Yet we do our best to hang on tight, and grit our teeth and hold it back… to stop the overwhelming sadness, and at the same time missing all of the joy.

You see, the way we deal with the ending of relationship, in whatever way they end, is something that we learn from. We experience grief and loss because we need to. We learn how to handle it, we learn what we need to from the relationship, and then we move forward – Holding what was in our hearts, and then dreaming a new, more beautiful world into existence… by taking a deep breath and breathing fresh life into something more beautiful because of the learned experiences we’ve had…
…and to take the memory away, even if it were possible, or even deny it ever was simply encourages that to happen all over again. So, if we accept that when we experience the pain of the end of a relationship, if the relationship wasn’t right, it helps us avoid making the same mistakes again. And inversely, if the relationship was a good one, it’s reminds us how much we loved and how much we cared… and our depth of grief becomes a marker of that depth of love… and in both cases we can see grief as part of a learning process.

It’s neither good or bad, it’s a feeling, a perception, a necessary evolution of the heart…
Yet when the grief is denied, it often shows up in strange places… maybe the end of a job, reminds us of an argument we had with an old partner, or the death of a beloved pet makes us cry for a grandparent… one leading us back to the other, reminding us of the tears we haven’t yet cried, that still need to be shed.

But we’ve never been shown to grieve, in so many areas of our life we are unprepared for the pain of these lessons.

Unprepared for the heart-rending ache that comes when grief asks to be felt and to be honoured.

Our grief is necessary.
Your grief is welcome.
“What is grief, if not love persevering?” The Vision, ‘Wandavision’

And yes, grieving is a thing we have to do alone, and yet we have to be held by a village, held vigil to, held in circle, held by clan and community.

We’ve lost our way in holding our pain, we lost our elders long ago, and lost our way in feeling how we feel.  Instead, we are encouraged to expect that life is great and everything’s going to be perfect. And life is in the majority.

Yet there’s always a rhyme and a reason, a retrospective that puts things into perspective. And that doesn’t take away the times it’s painful, and it hurts, and becomes too much. Sometimes it’s just a bit shit and not fun and yet when it is like this we can manage, we can still prevail. We’ll survive and come out the other side stronger.

And as Hemingway wrote…”The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”

We have to break.

We have to learn the hard lesson in those painful moments so filled with love… and the only thing we can truly do is breakdown and cry. To crack, to let the light in…

Those are the places we learn, and grow, and evolve.

There are lessons to learn, experiences to have, endure and hold.

These are the place where our hearts learn to grow, mature, and bloom.

And the pain doesn’t last for always, it is just a blink of an eye, and yet when we’re in it, it feels like eternity. Like we’ve been swallowed whole… with no reprieve, now pause, no rest bite. Doing our best just to hold tight.

But this to will pass. It’ll will have its day, if you let it, and the sun will rise again tomorrow… so let it set, so it can rise…
Relationships will break, people will move on, job, ideas, careers, things we’ve owned…everything has a season, everything has a time, a beginning, an end… and now is time to say good bye.

And the way we handle these challenges is what marks us out as people… shows us we are present, that they are present with us…present with our hurting parts.

So let whatever was, move through…and it’s not about letting go, it’s about letting you grow…

Letting it come forward, letting you step inward.

Letting you know it’s ok to feel, it’s ok to heal.

Letting everything be, just as it is, just as it was.

So you can get on with just being you

By Nathan Simmonds

By Nathan Simmonds

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