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January 6, 2022

Journeying with Grief

Grief was something I never understood until I felt loss, I assumed it was only linked with the loss of a loved one. There are so many layers to the process and experience. When my grandfather passed away, the huge bundle of emotions came in huge waves, it was hard for me to rationalise or even comprehend that someone I loved was no longer here on this earth. I don’t think anything prepares us in life to lose those we love, death is a reality we shall all face and grief reminds one of the temporary nature of existence.

The loss of someone you love has one experiencing emotions on all ends of the spectrum, you soon come to realise the feelings are not something you want to let go of because the grief you feel is the love you wish to give but can no longer be received. Life is simultaneously empty and so full at the same time, how can one continue to live without that which one thought would be permanent.

In a recent interview, Andrew Garfield stated “Grief is all the unexpressed love”, a statement which deeply resonated with me. The loss has left me yearning to be reunited with the one I love. It has left me remembering the beauty of their life. But in facing the grief I am also reminded of the mortality of life, how temporary the nature of existence is.

Looking back at 2021, I would say it is the year I was introduced to grief. Before this, I had assumed grief was an experience that you eventually move on from, so I could never really empathise or understand how others who had experienced loss felt. But the humility of facing grief has taught me there is no graduation from it, it is lifelong. One learns to grow with it, to become companions with it, because facing the deep sorrows leaves me wondering am I ready for death? Am I living each day presently and truthfully?

Being introduced to grief through losing a loved one has shown me grief is not just linked with death, but in the process of shedding different parts of oneself. Our old coping mechanisms, ideas of self and parts of the self that have never known love. I am realising it is a lifelong journey to embark on, it will be heavy, and it will be hard at times. There is facing the sorrows in solitude, but having our grief witnessed is where our hearts healing can begin. There is no end to this journey.

Life is precious, we have, and all will experience some form of grief. So, in facing these sorrows I hope we can do so with compassion, for the self and those around us. Collectively let us begin witnessing our sorrows and the sorrows of others.  There is more to face and experience with grief, and as Francis Weller states let us take an apprenticeship with grief to truly feel alive and experience life.

This is the journey so far, with much more to come.

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