the gift of grief

This Unlit Light - well of grief - image by Smith Eliot


Seven months since she spun out of her solar orbit and left my life.  Well, appeared to leave my life.

What a cruel lie it is to believe that those we love have gone; what an ignorant denial of Life’s infinity of guises and disguises; what a limiting perspective on the vastness of Life’s Play.

She is missed, yes.  But I find that if I simply allow ‘missingness’ to be its unadorned energetic self and ignore the siren-call of memory’s stories, she is there, in that movement of energy.  Missingness holds the blessing of mutual gratitude – a two-way appreciation of love known and cherished.

Who would want to miss such a blessing?  Who would want to “move on from it”?  Who would want to heal it, transform it, transmute or transcend it?

Who would want to deny the gift of grief’s solidarity, the diamond sharp sorrow shared with the mother whose child disappeared a decade ago at the school bus stop, the father whose son has just been shot dead practicing maneuvers for a dubious war in a distant land, the lover whose beloved has passed away before she was ready?

Grief is a great gift.  I love the way it keeps my heart soft.  I love the way I see it in your eyes, in the eyes of all ‘I’s walking this Earth.  It is a hallmark of the unclouded Light of human-being-ness.

Please don’t tell me to get over it.

The Well of Grief

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief

turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.

~ David Whyte

Where Many Rivers Meet
©2007 Many Rivers Press

This post was inspired by an email exchange with Vicki Woodyard shortly after my mother’s death and the beginning of this blog.  Thank you dear Vicki.

Image by Smith Eliot

4 thoughts on “the gift of grief

  1. “diamond sharp sorrow”…beautiful and painful…grief can assist us in maintaining connection to our loved ones…it is a gift…so long as we see it as a part of the wholeness of our being…their being…so long as it supports us buoyantly and does not drown us…it is gift when we hold it…but dangerous when it chokes us. I think you must understand this…or you would not have been able to even see the blessing, the gift that grief can be.

    peace unto you,

    • Thank you dear Laura, for stopping by and taking the time to write this beautiful comment. There was a time of drowning. It was when I was still struggling to accept the ‘what-is’ and kept groping for solutions. That opened out, eventually, into a bigger, vaster life, a life without borders. I am grateful for all of it – the drowning and the choking, as well as the accepting and the absorbing. Love to you, Louisa

  2. Pingback: grief is a shower of grace | this unlit light

  3. Pingback: the joy of dying | this unlit light

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