To make peace with grief is when you say yes to it, and dive into it, headlong, yearning for the learning it will bring, says Felicity Warner. Here she explains how (if you allow it to) the experience can change your life, allowing it to break you open and let you love yourself more deeply and fearlessly. To love the you that grieves with all your heart and soul.
In life when what we love leave us, it hurts. It’s not wrong, it’s not a sign of weakness, it is being wonderfully, deliciously human, with deep personal connections. Our grief honours these connections – however it shows up!
What picture comes to mind when you think of the word ‘grief’?
For me, it was a wan-faced ghost of a person, sitting, sad, alone in a room, with heart aching, empty and numb. The reality is that when we feel grief it is a very alive place! It is full of feelings that move and dance, one moment sadness, next heaviness, then a release, a feeling of joy and freedom, then back to sadness.
Your grief is unique. So give it permission to be there. Feel its contours, how it is for you RIGHT NOW!
If it helps, imagine your loved one having many tiny golden threads of connection to you. Some link into your energy system, so you feel them; some will have influenced your thoughts; some will be spiritual, deep connections; and some will be physical, where and how they shared the same space with you.
You know the feeling, the first time you see something that is intimately connected with a loved one after they die, maybe their slippers by the bed. And there is a tremendous ‘charge’ attached to meeting those objects for the first time, but after that the charge is gone. Well these ‘charges’ are like tiny energetic explosions, releasing those connections little by little. And it’s important to recognise these connections as they release. It can feel heavy, uncomfortable, painful and difficult at times, but it is a time of great learning and opportunity for you.
In my experience you don’t lose the heart connection, but the physical and energetic connections dissolve and that is what feels difficult.
Honour every one of these feelings as they visit you – they bring you gifts in their movement through you and in their parting. Honour grief’s dark days and sadness, its heartache and tension and holding. Cradle it tenderly in bed if you don’t feel like moving, or let it dance wildly and shout at the moon in anger. There is nothing tame about death. It shatters every illusion, moves every still place to expression and stares you right in the face. It dares you to be real. Let your grief take you to this place.
About the author
Felicity Warner is founder of the Soul Midwife movement, supporting people to die a good death. She trains companions to the dying who help ease those journeying and their loved ones through the contractions of death. Her Soul Midwives come from all walks of life and offer love, comfort and support, whenever and however it is needed. She is also the author of The Soul Midwives’ Handbook (Hay House)