To Grieve with Grace and Growth

To Grieve with Grace and Growth

When we go through any loss, we grieve. We grieve the loss of a relationship, the loss of a job or profession, the loss of body parts, the loss of who we used to be, and most of all we grieve for the loss of loved ones, whether a relative, spouse, partner or friend. Equally important to some is the profound grief at the loss of a beloved pet.

The loss is real, the feelings are, too. To stuff the feelings doesn’t work, sooner or later they spill out.

Many wonderful books have been written about grieving, analyzing the stages of grief (denial, anger and so on). Seeking professional help, grief groups, counsel, energy healing are all marvelous tools to assist the person grieving.

In my own life, and in observing others, I had to learn that there are wonderful ways to put the loss in perspective, and come to a deeper understanding of each loss and how the experience, if I allowed it, could grace my life with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for life. I learned to let go of a pattern of taking today and everything in it for granted. I am much more compassionate, kinder, appreciative than ever before. And I bow before my teachers: my half sister and half brother, my grandmother, my mother and father, my uncle and aunt, my second cousin, my classmates, teachers and dearest friends on both sides of both oceans. As well as my beloved pets (some of you may remember Amma, our beloved standard poodle), those harbingers of unconditional love.

In celebrating them, in honoring them, I live life more richly, with gratitude for what they showed me, taught me. I make choices that are even a tad bit wiser.

I learned to acknowledge and let go of grieving all I did not do for, or with them, while they were alive. I forgave myself for taking them for granted, and vowed never to take anyone or anything for granted ever again.

And most of all, I learned to see what staying alive would have meant for them. In all those examples, living longer would have been extremely challenging, filled with lots of severe health challenges, and increasing deterioration and frailty, and all the ups and downs of aging with immense suffering. The thought of my mother undergoing even more pain than she already had with her Ovarian cancer, or my wise and immensely loving grandmother to be robbed of her prized independence, or my dearest friend

Lizzie, to continue trying another regimen to stop the spreading cancer and even an amputation or two. From THEIR PERSPECTIVE, they were spared further suffering, further indignities, further loss of independence. I can only be grateful for that!

I even see now that much of my grief was actually quite selfish, it was all about me, not about what they were enduring, what they had to do in order to stay alive as long as they did.

And if I miss someone, say my beloved mother, it is not the mother who lay suffering that I miss, but the vibrant, delightful, funny, wise and most of all healthy mother I knew. I do not miss witnessing her suffering and feeling helpless to assist her.

It is in their memory, these beloved human beings and pets, that I made a series of videos about healing from grief. Perhaps one or more will resonate with you. May you find the grace and the growth that your loved ones are gifting you with.

Breath of the Wind, a song written and performed by Jim McCarty, in honor of his wife Lizzie

1 Reply

  1. James says:

    Beautiful words Anne- totally understood

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