It’s amazing how drawn we are to fleeting things. We view sunsets and shooting stars, fireworks and a turn of seasons with wonder and reverence, yet often struggle ourselves with all the impermanence built into being human.
On one of our daily walks this week, my girls and I found ourselves pausing under a beautiful tree, full of crimson, orange and yellow shades, watching the leaves quietly let go of their branches. I was struck by the way they quivered, an almost imperceptible shake as though singled out by a mysterious breeze, before falling peacefully to the ground below. It made me feel as though nature itself, in its most pure, perfected cycles, may feel momentarily fearful of change; that perhaps it, too, grieves the loss of one life, as it leads to another.
The concept of grief has come up quite often in my coaching sessions this year. Through my work with clients I have found a new perspective on this energy. Mostly: when someone passes, there is an “acceptable” period for grief. Services and ceremonies act as a way to say, witness this; it’s real, and hard, and hurts. There is an undefined public permission slip to move through complex feelings without shame, or judgement, as it is necessary to affirm a loss in order to begin to move through it, no matter how long that next process takes.
But physical loss in this sense is not the only space where grief yearns to be processed. And I believe we are doing ourselves a disservice, especially now, by not acknowledging this truth.
This year has been, and continues to be, nothing like we imagined. Nothing. My family, for example, had visions of sweet friendship and familial reunions upon moving back to our original home town. We pictured weekly hang outs, kiddo playdates, long weekend trips and local adventures, settling into a rhythm with loved ones we’d longed to live near again. We planned for travel galore with our baby girl. And while we have managed to patch together a bedraggled collection of connections here and there locally, it is nowhere near what we had so deeply looked forward to. My husband misses his family, who do not live closeby. I yearn for our daughter to share her life with all those we love, but have not seen for months.
So this is where I find myself most days: Grieving with dignity over the loss of a life we planned for. Trusting it is safe for me to let go, landing in the space of the unknown, instead. To tremble, even, before releasing my desires of “how I thought it would be…”
Dear one - It is necessary to affirm your losses in order to begin to move through them, no matter how “small” you may fear they are, or how long that process takes. It is OK to grieve this year in its layers of messy. Grieve the stalling of a career trajectory. Grieve a transition to motherhood looking more isolated than any mama should have to bear. Grieve a child’s lack of important social education within a standard classroom environment. Grieve a holiday without festivities or traditions, celebrations or visits with loved ones. Grieve the desire for connection and partnership, while dwelling in necessary solitude. Grieve for the suffering of our collective communities - in health, business, marriage, family, culture.
Grieve. Tremble. We are a part of nature in its most pure, perfected cycles. The loss of this life will ultimately lead to another. Our wheels will make a full turn.
With love and support,