Like the Cold And Sparse Beauty Of Winter, there is beauty in grief and loss.
Through covid, many have grieved the loss of physical closeness with friends, The simple luxury of sitting in a coffee shop or browsing through the supermarket disappeared. Like me, some of you have lost people incredibly dear to you. Some, have lost livelihood. Collectively, we suddenly have come face to face with loss and non-negotiable change.
How is there beauty in grief and loss?
Grief and loss make it hard for us to immediately absorb everything that has happened. Often, we are a bit like deer in headlights. We behave in unexpected ways or shutting down entirely. Like a cold, cold winter, when loss is so deep it can freeze us.
Freezing, or shutting down, has a bad reputation.
Actually, freeze reminds me of the moment when ice arrives for the first time in the winter. Those who live with that reality know you need to take a moment of pause to re-calibrate walking and driving. Business as usual stops with ice!
There is beauty in grief and loss but it can be hard to see.
Our loss and grief are real. The world we live in we never be the same. When we experience loss and freeze, the world can feel dangerous. Yet, this is life. Loss and grief are a price we pay for the immense beauty of love. It is only because of our love, our joy and the preciousness of what we have lost they we are in such shock. In our cold, the beauty of life is with us.
And, it’s true you don’t want freeze to go on indefinitely. But, Freeze has allowed me to take a moment and regroup.
There is Beauty in our vulnerability
Anyone who has lived in cold climates knows that ice keeps the reality of our vulnerability very much alive. It makes us come alive in our attention and feeling so we don’t hurt ourselves navigating it. Like ice, grief makes us very aware of how vulnerable we are. As with ice, we have to approach our grief consciously, with all of our attention so it doesn’t engulf us or take us away from the warmth of our lives.
Doing so can make us strangely fully alive. But we have to feel. Entering into that cold freeze consciously leads to feeling. And usually, after a loss, we don’t like what we feel.
Our body asks to be the place where we turn our attention. It is where we feel the freeze of shock and the melting into fierce and unexpected emotions. It is the place we feel our pain but also the place where we can feel redemption.By that I mean we can reclaim the ground of being anchored in the thing that is certain. In this moment we have this experienced, living body.
Living in our body is the source of our resilience.
How do you nurture yourself especially, right now, physically? Can you use blankets and pillows, smells of fresh pine, and music to tell your body there is pleasure here? Is it possible to walk and offer your body grounding? What about offering your body a bath for warmth? The comfort we give our bodies melts the hardness and shock we develop in these conditions.
Grief takes the wind out of our sails like nothing else. When my son passed away suddenly in July 2020, I knew I was at a fork in the road. I could either collapse into bitterness and unending suffering and lose myself completely OR I could find richness in the shadows.
Now I am helping others come to an experience of grief and loss that keeps the heart open and keeps life in the body. Find out more about one on one sessions (in person in Easthampton, MA) or world-wide over zoom. Or join a 7 week group.. You can also find some help through my Healing from Grief and Loss YouTube playlist or my Grief and Loss resource page
If you or someone you love needs help with this, please reach out!