The Gifts of Loss and Grief
I recently experienced the losses of two significant people in my life. I have felt grief’s burden, but also the new light it allows in, if I don’t try to deny or avoid it. Grief is very grounding in that it helps one sort out what really matters in life. It also teaches us about detachment and letting go. The fear I hold around loss and grief, I have found to be far worse than the actual loss.
With loss, a door closes. What I knew to be certain vanishes. Every conscious moment seems to have a painful intensity to it. Paradoxically, however, through the sadness comes clarity. Petty complaints and negativity all slip away.
Loss is a time to realize our essence. I believe our true essence is ultimately to grow. Loss encourages us to become aware of the quality of our lives, and so, we notice, not only if we are growing, but are we growing in ways our soul intended.
With the intense sadness and grief that seems ever constant, I notice a door is opening. It beckons me to learn to live with less certainty, more gratitude, and with deep intention. With the ‘genuine mind of sadness,’ which Trungpa Rinpoche frequently refers to, comes an enduring astuteness.
Like the light and shadows that dance amongst the trees in the forest, loss, if we accept it, brings awakening. My thoughts and feelings come and go, the scent of summer giving way to autumn, allowing myself the awareness I feel broken, all of these are uniquely valuable and contribute to my healing. In so doing, I am filled with grace, while all along I feared I would be overwhelmed with emptiness.