~ awake in this moment, at home in the world ~

How To Grieve

November 9, 2016
Turn off the television. Turn off the phone. Close the door.
Find a safe spot near the earth, and settle in.
Smother yourself in blankets, if you like, and surrender to gravity's embrace.
Let yourself feel everything. Let go. Let anything happen.
Just let it wash over you, through you, again and again.

Close your eyes. Let the tears quietly flow.
Let yourself be stunned, scared, shaken to the core.
Let everything fall apart until it feels like there is nothing left.
Let the truth of the moment settle in just as slowly as it needs.
All the while, keep breathing, and be gentle with yourself.

You may feel like the world will surely end, but it won't.
You may feel like you're not strong enough, but you are.
You may fear that life will never shine again, but it will.
Your steady heart and the faithful earth will carry you.
Life will flow again.

Return to your deepest loves - wherever, whoever, whatever - they may be.
Find your tribe, your loved ones, and hold each other tight.
Gather together if you can. Send soothing words of love back and forth if you can't.
Grieve together. Comfort one another.
Remind yourselves that you are not alone.

Hold your children close, and tell them that everything will be okay.
Gather up your favorite poems and seek refuge in their sparkling, hopeful truths.
Immerse yourself in music, with sounds that give voice to your sorrow.
Surround yourself with beauty, which soon enough will restore your vision.
(A little chocolate here might help.)

Return to your own beautiful heart. Have faith.
Practice lovingkindness, for yourself and for the world.
Start with small, sweet loves that light your life,
and let that warmth rekindle your heart's deeper fire.
Practice more lovingkindness, and then even more.

Rest there. Breathe.
Let feelings of tenderness and care wrap themselves around you
and guide you all the way back to the source of the values you hold most dear.
Trust that a more brilliant love will flow again, in good time and in good measure.
Remember that kindness, compassion and fearless love will heal the world.

When you're ready, when you've emptied completely, go bigger than yourself.
Go outside and sit among the leaves and grass.
Look up. Watch the birds, and the passing clouds.
Widen your focus more, and then even a little more.
Let the wide world comfort you.

If you can, shed your too-small skin for a while, and dissolve in the vast sky.
Stay here until any sense of self or other, us or them, friend or enemy dissolves.
Stay here until you remember that everything is going to be okay.
Stay here for a long, long time, until you feel enlivened and made whole.
(Feel free to return to the beginning, any time this feels like too much.)

Sometime soon - or maybe later - you will feel ready to return to the world.
And when you do, you will rise up stronger, brighter, more whole.
Your deep sorrow will have stripped away all that is inessential,
and will have left behind a stronger, steadier light.
You will be wiser and softer, and even kinder still.

You will have learned that it is possible to be devastated and then made whole again.
You will have been returned to your deepest values and clearest truths.
You will know how deeply the world needs your wisdom and your light.
You will have learned how to heal, how to grow, how to save your own life,
and perhaps, in some small way to help save the greater world.

You will plant your feet fully into the earth.
You will stand tall.
You will, of course, "go high," no matter what.
You will lean toward the light.
And you will shine again, in radiance and love, in service to all.