October 11th was my father's birthday. He would have celebrated his 88th year. Instead, we Celebrated him by honoring the memories of the love and life we shared, and by missing this wonderful, generous man who filled the great hole in our lives, to overflowing....
"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go!" - Rumi
Seeing the feather beneath my feet, once again directly in my path, I am filled with a mixture of joy and the familiar pang of ache in my heart. So close, so real, yet not here in the usual way.
Those of us who are familiar - recognize that it comes in waves- this wanting to shout, or run, then hide, move too fast away, and finally, for little glimmers of time, settling, accepting, even surrendering to its embrace...our companion, new or longstanding, "our grief".
I've never understood how the world can keep on ticking, keep on pushing around me, as if no one or no thing has changed. As if the grief that consumes me is somehow not obvious, that the implosion of my heart cannot be seen, that the confusion and loss of my familiar perception is not significant - other than to me!
During our Grief as a Spiritual Teacher class, I heard a new concept from Dr Patty. It is a mantra of explanation for my experience - as I thrash in grief's torrid wave or float, spent, in my sea of tears.
"Grief will ask us to create a new Norm"
Grief, as an energy, has a Life of it's own. It is fluid and solid, dark and enlightening, obvious and invisible. It moves in waves or pounces unexpectedly. Cunningly it approaches, slowly rising to the surface. Or just as effectively, it instantly smothers my heart, without warning -tightly wrapping it's chains of fear and restriction.
Ignored and repressed, it festers, and oozes out in the most disturbing ways. And then out of my control, it is feared, even revered, threatening and powerful. I've discovered grief, like most wounds, benefits from attention to help it dissipate and heal.
Grief; a shapeshifter, can also be a gift. It reminds me to slow down, to be present - to be compassionate and loving. It creates an infinite space for my forgiveness..... it is a new way, a new relationship; one that stays with me, patiently waiting for me to notice, to acknowledge and engage.
Grief offers me a new Life process. It allows me to feel, to deal, and ultimately, to learn to heal and grow!
...an excerpt from
The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo
"I've learned that grief can be a slow ache that never seems to stop rising, yet as we grieve, those we love mysteriously become more and more a part of who we are. In this way, grief is yet another song the heart must sing to open the gate of all there is."