The Arc of Grief
Grief makes us small. It comes in and shrinks our heart and soul because otherwise the work of holding ourself together would be too hard. Grief pulls us into ourself until there’s as little surface space as possible. That’s a good thing because it feels that our skin is gone and raw nerve endings are all over.
Grief humbles us. We find that who we think we are is just a piece of the whole, far more complicated picture.
Our ego diminishes and our humanity expands. We find connections to those we would never have imagined we had anything in common. We find solace in rituals we may never have valued before. And grief shifts our relationship to time. With loss we realize that we truly aren’t here forever and, at least for a little while, prioritize what matters most.
In this way grief makes us more alive, more present, and more heartfelt because the veil of invulnerability that we so often dress ourselves in is torn from us.
I imagine the healing from grief as a slow expansion back to the size we were and then bigger still as compassion grows us larger and larger, and who are, on the other side, is not the same person we are now.
So while I do not welcome grief I bow to its will without struggle. I know that it is stronger than I. I know that it will have it’s way with me. I trust that grief will pass in its own time to be replaced once again by peace and joy.
This one is for you, Mom. Rest in Peace.