20 months ago I lost my eldest son. Wow! An extraordinary healing process called ‘Grief’. It’s not about moving on, it’s about living without him. An intense experience that cannot be pacified by all the compassion and counsel in the world. (Although I don’t know where or what would have become of me had it not been for a handful of amazing friends, my younger son, a very special Hospice counselor, loving Hospice group, the Guides, self compassion, self care, ongoing patience)
It’s not about getting over, through, or giving up feeling sad; it begins with shock, trauma, loss and profound sadness. 20 months ago I lost my eldest son 21 years of age. It’s my opinion that people who loose a child (unlike loosing a parent or sibling) do not get ‘back to normal’. It is a peak experience in life, a child dies… there is no getting over what is now broken, gone. Grief sinks in, the reality of death is ever present and there is no closure.
The healing process of grief is an opportunity for transformation; a whole new awareness of reality, self, beloved, people, world. Death unseats conditioning, normalcy, beliefs, illusions of control like non other.
Pain, you bet. What to do? 20 months and being with all the flavors and emotions; emptiness, numbness, paralysis, change, effort (major), sadness even despair. These are very painful states.
The healing process of grief seems to be about a ‘crevice’ (my sons word) an opening for transformation of self to emerge. In the alchemy of grief, there is the inescapable reality of death – what to do? Well one option is to grow, evolve into a larger self that can accept death, not as punishment, rather as a part of the cycle of life. While the moments of each and every day and night are painful, a wider perspective comes into view. A new larger self stretches to accept death, life and death is a mystery.
Living each day fully, in the present moment, awe for the mysteries of existence, awe for all things that are born and die. I heard someone say; “we don’t choose grief, it chooses us”. We do have a choice in how we deal with grief. 20 months of letting it be. Letting grief unfold, not staying in charge, simply going with the ebb and flow.
The healing process of grief is really about choosing to expand through that ‘crevice’ into an enlarged sense of self. Normal is very far away and grief can be a process of birth into growing conscious awareness of being present in and of the mystery.
Shabbos, Friday the 24th December 2010