Updated: Oct 27, 2020
It is all too often that I have heard people say things like, "Why can't I just move on, why is it taking me so long to get over this?" These questions are completely understandable, of course we long to speed up our grieving process and feel better, however despite what society often tells us, grieving is about finding new ways to hold on.
When we have lost someone that we love, or maybe a relationship has ended, our friends and family often tell us all the things that might help us move on and let go when in actuality our heart is telling us to hold on.
“Hold dearly to that love, the moments, and all that you learned from your relationships, however complicated. For there is no grief, no pain, without great care, without love.”
When we are grieving a loss, a change, or an ending of any sort, we can question all that we know about our relationships, ourselves, and even mistrust our own heart. And although we may face much pain or even judgement in a world that promotes a lifestyle of being busy and always moving, I encourage you to go slow. Hold dearly to that love, the moments, and all that you learned from your relationships, however complicated. For there is no grief, no pain, without great care, without love. It is time now to find a new relationship with this person, with yourself, and with your understanding of this new world. It is time now to find ways of keeping your relationship alive.
Longing Without Judgement
“A drop of longing says as much about the human spirit as
a grand gesture of love or defiance”.
-Allan Wade, 2006
One of the most natural human responses to adversity is longing, our hearts will long and ache for what once was, for the world to just pause, for our hearts to stop hurting. Often we judge ourselves of this natural and important response to change. We judge our longing and maybe even label it as weakness or unhelpful, when really it is our heart reaching out for comfort. And although painful, there is comfort in longing, if we listen, as it reminds of all that we know in our hearts, of all that we shared, all that we learned, all that we are. If we can honour and nurture that longing it can quiet our doubts and remind us that we know just what need. To find new ways to feel close to the people that we love.
In my own life, poetry has helped me find a language for my heart, and I will share one here with you, in the hope that it will remind you that no matter what you are feeling, no matter how long your process may take, that everything you are feeling is just as it is meant to be, and you will find a home for that tenderness.
Your grief for what you’ve lost holds a mirror up To where you’ve been bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look and instead,
Here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes And opens and closes.
If it were always a fist Or always stretched open, You would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small Contracting and expanding— The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated As bird wings.