Like many of you, I have been reflecting this past week on the 500,000 Americans who died of the COVID this past year. And for every death, there are countless grievers living with the loss of a spouse, family member, friend, neighbor, or community member. Even if we don’t know someone personally, we can feel the sorrow of the times we are in.
Grief is a universal and natural response to losing something or someone that we love. It is a sign of our humanity to care so deeply that we become undone by it, enraged by it, frozen from it, thawed by it, and perhaps transformed by it. When we lose something that we love it really is our grief that allows our hearts to stay open to that love. One of my teachers Shauna Janz says….
“Our grief doesn’t need our healing, our healing needs our grief.” Shauna Janz
While we instinctively know how to eat when we are born, we are not born knowing how to grieve. We have to learn it, see it, feel it, and sense it to know how to express and metabolize in healthy mature ways.
We learn this skill of grieving from our families, our communities, and our culture.
How we are met or not met in our expressions of grief is unique to each person and therefore, we all have different capacities for grief and grieving.
Consider the skillful or unskillful ways that you learned about grief as a young child?
What were the messages that we received about grief whether consciously or unconsciously?
Was it something that you saw or felt, or were encouraged to express? If so, who showed you this?
Maybe a parent, community member, or through a spiritual or cultural practice you grew up with? Or maybe it was something that wasn’t accessible for you.
Curious to explore more?
I welcome you to join us on March 18th for Embodying Grief through Song with friend and community singer Sarina Partridge as we explore embodiment, grief, and song.