A friend gave me a gift of moon flower plants. They are twining their way up my garden fence. Have you seen their frosty glow by the light of the full moon? Something about them, maybe their propensity for communing with the moonlight or the purity and sweet scent of their white blossoms, connects right into the place of my grief.
Believe me, I am sick and tired of grief. It sticks like worn out bubble gum on my soul. But losses keep coming and the grief continues to rise and fall, and rise again. The list of “normal” grief experiences shared by a grief counselor is long, but it seems like I have rolled through most of them. Grieving during the winter months felt heavy. I was sluggish and dull, forgetful and unfocused. Sadness clung to me and a few periods of depression caught me by surprise.
As Summer Solstice approaches my energy is high. In stark contrast to winter’s grief I am feeling present, wide-awake and fully alive. It seems odd to be simultaneously grieving and experiencing a surge of vitality. This season the grief is sporadic and disguised as pangs of remembering after forgetting, pointless irritation, and still crying. There is a big part of me that wants to relish the sensations of aliveness and try yet again to shun the sorrow.
Making friends with grief has been a vital part of my journey this past 6 months. The loss of my dear mother, followed by my father-in-law, in combination with other personal losses and a prevailing sorrow for the state of our country, has taken me to places I had not yet visited. Learning to respond to waves of grief feels like an arduous yet necessary task. I can only avoid it for so long before it demands my attention; the harder I try to brush it aside the louder and more disruptive the demands.
I have learned that sooner or later I must stop, allow my attention to rest fully on the place inside my body where the hurt lies, and listen to the voice of the pain. When tears come, I remind myself of their sacredness. Some say that our tears of grief at the loss of a loved one are a necessary part of the journey of their soul. So I cry my tears. I fill the sacred basin of my woes. And I take it out to the garden fence and offer it as a gift to the moon flowers.
This post was written by Lucinda Sohn