We all experience grief, it’s a universal emotion that is a result of loss. Grief can result from any loss really. We have all grieved the loss of a loved one, and my practice continues to help me through the very sudden loss of my son a few months ago. We also grieve the loss of a beloved pet, a job, a marriage, the loss of security or any number of other losses.
Oftentimes, we don’t allow ourselves to grieve properly, thinking we must be strong, or protecting ourselves from pain. But really, we’re just putting it off. As my sweet friend Michelle told me, you must experience the grief, you have to walk through it, there’s just no way around it.
We all experience grief differently. In my grief, I have felt numbness and depression, I have questioned my faith, felt a loss of my identity, felt alone and overwhelmed and was just plain irritable. At times I felt like falling asleep and never waking up. While I don’t think I’ll ever be through grieving, I am able to cope and I am happy most of the time, although admittedly, as I prepare this article, tears roll down my cheeks. Sometimes, something simple sets me off – a song, a place we visited together, making pancakes, a silly joke we shared, or nothing even remotely related to my son – and I’m back at step one for a day. These are the times I feel very … fragile. But, those times are becoming fewer and I credit my return to some sense of normalcy to the overwhelming support from my community of friends and to my meditation practice.
You experience your grief as only you do. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s right or wrong, how long it should last or what you should feel.
Grief is a complicated topic about which much has been written, which speaks to its universality. There are many books available on grief and you might find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone, that what you feel is a normal part of life. I was gifted the book On Grief & Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. & David Kessler, and it helped me tremendously. If you find you need help coping with your grief, it’s important to know that help is available. Ask your doctor to refer you to a mental health professional that can help you through this time.
I created this audio meditation to help those coping with grief. I hope you find comfort in the words I share. Surround yourself with a caring, loving community, be kind to yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help, and experience grief knowing that it is your time to heal.