The voice of grief | a personal soulography journey

Do we ever get good at grief? I seriously wonder this as the years have begun to add more and more losses to ache for in my life. I think: "If only I was better at this. If only there was a smoother and easier way to move through this choppy, rough, uncertain, painful, want-to-resist, bargain and negotiate, angry, exhausting, emotionally intense experience." Even anticipating the arrival of grief does nothing to ease it. No matter what we do grief apparently needs to be accepted, even entertained as an honored guest, and allowed to stay as long as it needs to. Yet I don't think as a culture we have a very big capacity for grief. I mean, who really wants to feel that dark abyss of pain? I don't.

Grief is a shade changer. It dulls the colors of life and wipes a few things out for a while - a short time or a long time. It reduces our capacity to engage in life and the world feels smaller as we reflexively withdraw to tend to the wound left by the loss. More questions arise than I have answers for: if life were to retain its brightness in grief, would we neglect the wound? Maybe grief is protective? Maybe the process is healing, despite how awful it feels, and not just an unpleasant side effect of loss?? Maybe life will give me the answers as time goes by.

I wonder if the cumulative grief experiences are helpful in a way. We recognize the familiar, though unwelcome feelings. The: "ah, this is the part when I feel like I will stay stuck in the black hole of my aching heart forever and all of life has no color anymore", which you recognize because you've been there before, but eventually came out of it, so likely you can do it again, and know now the worst won't last forever, despite your fear it will. The part where you bargain; for more time, ways to ease the ache, for new terms - I did all these, and I've done this before, so in a sense my previous grief is my present day tour guide.

Maybe grief is required learning in the curriculum of life. You can't get through without it, try as you might (addiction, distraction/escapism). I do think surrender is an important factor, and trust - that we won't be swept out to sea to never return. That this is a natural process to not be buried for later (or never). That it is part of healing, and may in fact be the path of healing from loss. Or the actual lived experience of healing. The journey the heart must take to remember it's wholeness. It requires so much courage and is unique to each of us. We can share our grief, but never walk another's grief path, and it feels so lonely at times. But in sharing we find more courage to purposefully walk our own road.

The keys are courage, willingness and an open heart. An open heart despite the pain that wants to wall it up and protect itself. When it's walled up healing slows or stops. Thought there is a time to tuck it away it safe, it can't stay that way forever without creating more pain. Be with the grief and continually ask  "what does my heart need right now?" And listen. And breath. Do not question your heart - listen and give it what it needs.

It seems grief is a companion that joins us on the road of life from time to time. And you can't walk life without its company for some part of the journey. I made the space for my heart to express its grief through a visual voice| Soulography ™ journey this week, and here is what it had to say:

Transition, loss... it's sad and there maybe few that understand, but embrace those few people 
and see the beauty in it too. Look for the beauty.

Right now your focus is nearsighted, you see the rough ugly wound. 

But the time will come when you can see further again, to the beauty and space beyond. 
You can still see the wound but it will no longer be your main focus.

Let it flow, flow down and through you, like a waterfall just falls, surrender.

Grief etches into you, becomes part of your story, your work of art, the art in your life
that helps create who you are.

In this season of transition there is still beauty blooming to be seen

And fruits will be there to harvest ~ there are gifts to enjoy along the way

once again the pain is obscuring your view of beyond, your view is
more narrow and near sighted right now

But this is temporary and will not forever be there, know the beauty is still there

The loss will become part of the fabric and texture of your life, not as noticeable and won't affect you as much, though never forgotten either. You will always remember, but it will fade.

Newness and vibrancy will burst forth again. There will be much to celebrate in life.

New life always come forth! It is the way of things. 

This is what my heart, my grief, wanted me to know. Some of it doesn't come as a surprise, but that's the way of it. We often already know what we need to know. We just need a way of accessing it that hits home more deeply than what seems like just random thoughts in our mind. When the wisdom within is accessed through a creative intuitive process it gives us a deeper understanding and faith of our knowings. 

When I asked myself: what do I need right now? It was compassion, gentleness, space, less on my plate. So I've given myself exactly that. Because that's what is needed for healing. 


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