I won’t beat around the bush. It is love. Love is the one thing that really helps ease grief.
The thing is, people who are grieving don’t want to wait for answers. We can’t wait. We feel like if we wait for one more second – for insights, for “processing” (grrrr), for growth, for 20/20 hindsight – we will literally die….of grief.
Grief doesn’t really care if the someone or something you lost is dead, dying or still alive and well and now occupying space in a place separate and apart from your space. Grief is just grief. And for some reason, it takes awhile to work its way through your system – or at least it does if your grief is anything like my grief.
I don’t think I will ever understand grief with my mind. My mind says, “Hey, there’s an easy way to fix this. Just fall in love with someone else. Just go volunteer to help someone less fortunate (this is a fun one – my mind can then productively occupy itself for hours trying to visualize another soul who could possibly be more clueless, hard-up, at the end of her rope, and thus less fortunate, than I am). Just live and be happy – that is what they (the dearly departed) would want you to do.”
My mind is all about resolving the grief by fixing the problem (whatever is causing the grief).
My heart, meanwhile, opts for exactly the opposite approach. It wades right on in to the grief, swimming around inside, checking all those feelings out from every angle with the handy help of a snorkel mask and a pair of flippers.
My spirit, of course, is way beyond all the drama of the grief process. It knows I am not my body, my mind, my emotions, this persona I am temporarily wearing who goes by the name of “me” who has just lost this someone or this something and is thus presently neck-deep in suffering.
And my body? My body just wants to eat. Or sleep. Or pee. Or sit on the couch with a glass of wine and watch Netflix….yet again.
Not a one of us – body, mind, heart, spirit – is on the same page about how to cope with the experience of grieving. The moment grief arises, we scatter like sand, each off to its own little corner to troubleshoot and/or wallow all alone.
Yet the one thing we all reliably respond to, that brings us all out of our corners and back together again, is love.
Love jolts my mind out of its colorless, emotionless problem-solution mindset and gives it new wonders to marvel at.
Love lures my heart out of its deep muddy emotional pool, because of course there is nothing a heart craves more than love.
Love reconnects my spirit with the rest of me so I can regain important perspectives such as the prospect that – sooner or perhaps later – a day may come when I wake up and am not completely overcome with grief anymore.
Love feels very good to my body and entices it up off the couch or out of the bed or away from the frig and out into the sun to soak up Vitamin D and participate in the world again.
Love can show up in so many forms. Many days for me, love is the sound of my no-longer-sleepy parrot, Pearl, calling to me from under his cage covers because he wants to get up already. Love is the sight of my young tortoise, Malti, so eager and trusting as I lift her up out of her habitat for her daily warm bath.
Love is the hug of a dear friend or family member. It is a sweet card or email or care package when I least expected one. It is reading a book or watching a film that feels – truly – like it was made just for me.
Most of all, as I blogged about while waving goodbye to 2018, love is gratitude. Recently I realized that whenever I feel grateful for anything or anyone in my life – even whatever or whomever I am grieving about – what I am really feeling is love.
The love doesn’t erase the grief. It doesn’t really lessen it, even. But it makes me stronger and braver, which is what I need to keep grieving until my grieving is done.
Today’s Takeaway: What helps ease your grief when you think you just can’t take another step?