How to grieve

‘Grieve. So you can be free to feel something else.’ – Nayyirah Waheed.

These words have often resonated deeply, with my next thought being: ‘But how?’

Grief became a focus for me, four years ago, during training (in leadership & expressive arts). In a group ritual I tapped into an unresolved sense of loss & pain. As it turns out, I hadn’t received the permission I needed in order to process through it. After all, this relationship had ended but no one had died, so what did ‘grief’ have to do with it?

Invisible loss, acknowledges that where-ever there has been strained familial relationships, any endings (in career, friendships, love), change, new directions, lost opportunities, missed connections, loss of people who have impacted us even if we never met them, diagnoses, or any imagined futures that have fallen down mid-flight (future families)… there is valid and real grief there that we have the right to grieve.

It can come and go in waves: sadness building up gradually over days and weeks with the seemingly unnoticed reminders… until there is enough safety, space, energy, rest-time… and then it can rise to the surface all at once, requiring release.

Release calls on bravery, and honest presence. Remembering that we are bigger than our biggest feelings, and even the biggest feelings are just feelings and they will pass. Can the emotion be sat with, named, allowed to literally move us & our bodies?

It’s worth acknowledging that the places, groups, things, relationships, priorities in all areas of life can be effected by loss. It has been described as suddenly needing to down-size our whole lives to a very small room, and needing to answer the questions quickly (while the brain is in a dazed-shock): what, of all of life’s things, until this moment, can stay and what must go?

The pondering remains; grief as a precious reminder of all the love I have been privileged to feel so deeply, rather than something to be fixed, changed, or hurried through…

All time favourite resources:

Dee Tang on her beautiful daughter Kawa Leaf

Mary Hoang speaking on ‘Darkness is Golden’

EFT/Tapping with Brad Yates on loss

Liminal spaces with Lalah Delia (transitions)

– next on reading list: Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales

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