Finding The Gold Within Grief
The Goodness Of Grief
When I was 5 years old, my father left, never to return. That was my first visit with grief. There were no grief counselors, nor was there anyone validating my sorrows, which manifested in tantrums of unparalleled proportions.
We have come a long way since then, but I’m afraid we still shelter ourselves
from the pain and anguish that is part of the process.
To be sure, there are many books written on grief, and how to move through it. The experts have acknowledged 5-7 stages, elaborating on each one. I have read and re read them. I am not here to dispute their findings .
What I do want to shed light on is first, how unresolved grief will echo through one’s life, begging to be heard.
And secondly, how important it is to simply be present with grief, whether you are the grieving one, or the well intentioned friend of such.
As I grew up, I went through all the stages of grief, regarding my father. In fact, I went through them over and over again. And then he actually died.
First reaction: indifference- why should I care, it’s been over thirty years without correspondence of any kind
Second reaction: anger - how dare he get to leave this planet without me giving him a piece of my mind
Third reaction: deep sorrow and fear- I won’t be anyone’s little girl anymore
you can imagine how shocked I was with this last one. But there, in the recesses of my heart and mind, lay bare, the memories of how safe and loved I felt in his arms. All the more reason, why his abandonment crushed me.
I wanted to forgive him, if only to free myself from this unwanted burden. But where to begin? Begin at the beginning, with a simple acknowledgment of it.
The years went by, and I would bury two brothers and my mother. With each one, grief reared its head, screaming like mad, from a depth that was unfamiliar.
Then my husband passed away suddenly. And this time grief grabbed me like a Raggedy Ann doll, sometimes raking me over hot coals, while other times dangling me over the edge of a cliff. I just wanted to die. I begged to die.
The stages of grief began their journey again. But this time was different.
In addition to anger, depression, denial and so on, there were moments of extreme knowingness, and messages that I can only say, I am certain came directly from my Tom, and of course God. All this, I have written for another story, suffice it to say, I was open, and the veil was lifted.
Time passed on, and then one day, while meditating, I felt my heart crush beneath my chest in pain, tears poured forth in a wave, and I surrendered into its weight. Then, I heard, or experienced, a message “It’s no longer me who you are grieving for.”
And without any further warning, I felt the presence of my father. It was if my husband had brought forth and summoned the spirit of my father to resolve this once and for all.
I was stricken in disbelief and gratitude, sorrow, and forgiveness all at once.
This, as you can imagine, was a lot to process, yet, it was undeniably real. And when my tears, subsided, a sense of freedom, like a cool breeze had washed my insides.
I believe, beyond a shadow of doubt, that, that experience has erased my childhood wound, giving voice to the darkened sorrows of yesterday.
And I am most grateful to those who didn’t try to cheer me up or urge me to get over it, but simply allowed me the space to see it through.