Beauty lies in the honest and raw moments.
For two years now, life has been a blur. Nothing in focus or crystal clear.
What to do now?
Where to go?
The next right step?
There is no way (ever) to sterilize death. It’s painful, and it’s brutal. Hard doesn’t seem adequate after a loss like this. There’s no other way to say it.
I’m a Pisces, a baby of the sixties; peace and love are born into me––it’s part of my DNA. I’m a believer, a dreamer, and a seeker of light. It’s who I am. And I knew undoubtedly that gifts and blessings would eventually appear if I only looked for them. Beautifully and profoundly, I knew that God had been preparing me for this moment my whole life. I thought a lot about it: the books, the courses, the writing, the mentors, and the teachers over the years. I have been learning self-love and self-acceptance for as long as I can remember.
What had it all been for?
Almost immediately, as the aftermath and ripples were still being felt, I began to recognize that those gifts were everywhere––in abundance. My heart was still bleeding, and I was tending to it in the only way I knew how––through community, conversation, and connection with others. A new park to find solace, new relationships built on a solid foundation, and the opportunity to grow, learn, teach, and advocate.
I was finding gifts everywhere. And now…
I’m finding meaning and turning my pain into purpose. Intuition guiding me, God embracing me.
It doesn’t mean that my grief is “over” or that I no longer feel pain. It only means that my grief is changing. I am not suffering. I am not allowing the past to control me or my thoughts. It means I’m living more fully by being present WITH my grief. Co-existing.
I know how much suffering exists around us. So many are grieving. If you are in the midst of pain, in acute grief, or feeling lost and not knowing what to do, I hope you will find comfort in knowing that indeed, the pain and suffering will change.
And…hope opens us to the possibility, and to eventually find faith.
Hope looks forward. FAITH KNOWS.
Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. That someday will happen in your timeframe—no one else’s. Your pain is yours. Grief demands to be seen and witnessed, and it will deal with you if you’re not dealing with it. Feel your feelings. Remember: you can’t heal what you don’t feel. No sugar-coating, no “bright-siding,” no spiritual bypassing. It doesn’t help.
To the friends who have someone grieving… what can you do? Be a witness. Make some tea or some coffee, and prepare yourself to be uncomfortable if silence is out of your comfort zone.
Listen. Just listen.
Speak ONLY if it improves upon the silence.
Do not offer words of advice (it’s not necessary); do NOT start a sentence with “at least”; it’s minimizing the pain.
Just show up.
Make a meal. Wash some dishes. Sweep/mop the floor. Do they have small kids that need tending? Help with homework? They may decline. But do offer. They will never forget how you made them feel.
Grief is one thing that is very individual and unique to each of us. We all do it differently. There’s no right or wrong way—no matter what you’ve thought, been told, or perhaps harshly judged in the past. And until you’re in it for yourself, you cannot know it. There’s no comparison in grief.
Losing my dad was not like losing Joe. Both painful. Both incredibly different.
Looking back, I can see now that the only time I ever remember being completely relaxed while wintering in Florida was in January of 2021 when I was there for my first winter without Joe. Grieving him. He would always be so frustrated with me because I felt a sense of guilt for taking that time off. He never did. He was more like Lucca Pizza in Eat, Pray, Love—he didn’t need to “earn” a break to “deserve” one. But it wasn’t in my nature to drop everything and “do nothing.” I would always have to talk myself into doing nothing.
That January was different. I wish I would’ve recognized it then, but I didn’t. I just realize it now, in hindsight. (And I wish I could’ve relaxed when I was there with Joe, more than I did.) No do-overs, only do-betters.
Give yourself a break. If not now, in your time of grief, then when?
I wish more than anything that we were kinder to ourselves and others. That we would show up more than we do—in love and compassion for one another, and that time didn’t seem so fleeting. We don’t have any more of it now than we ever did…it’s how we CHOOSE to spend it.
And above all else, I wish we would recognize that life is short. We say it all the time, but do we truly understand that it is? Please don’t wait for the crisis to happen. We’re all dying. Every day we are ALL one day closer to death. That’s not depressing…that’s enlightening! This a reminder to LIVE NOW!
Why wait for that last breath to be taken to feel regret for not spending more time together?
To your healing and to mine.
xo, and peace.
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I just want the pain to stop… (video)
Suicide is not a selfish act. It’s a desperate act.
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