Transitions with Grief -
“Grief is the price we pay for love”
The year after my father passed away, I wrote a blog chronicling the movement through the grief process. I wanted to give a voice to something that people did not often talk about openly. It helped me connect with people and it helped them connect with the pain that they felt so alone in. Connecting with emotion, both positive and challenging, is a human need.
I write this today in honour of anyone who has lost a parent, a loved one, a spouse, a child… anyone who has touched the human emotions of grief, pain and longing… all humans
While we cannot always relate to each others struggles and traumas, if we layer it down to the raw emotion, we can all connect to each other's pain by connecting to the feelings we all know - grief, loss, longing. Together, we can help each other move through it.
Feeling alone in an emotion, or as Brené Brown says feeling “terminally unique” in your struggles, hardens the fall and the pain. It also increases inner criticism because you feel like something is “wrong with you” for feeling these things. Knowing that we all go through challenge and pain at different times, but we all know these feelings helps to draw on a whole community of people who can relate and lift you up! This is one of the reasons that group work and community has been of extreme importance in my Naturopathic Practice.
On March 23, 2019, it will be 4 years since my father passed away. Long Pause… deep breath. Just wow.
When I really slow down to think and feel that, I know exactly where the pain sits and where to connect. Deep heart pain, tightness, stinging and gnawing in my stomach. It’s really deep in my body and if I sit long enough, it comes up to my throat and makes it tighten. This is my grief. The grief is right there and has been present for a long time now. It is still as painful, but not as scary because I know it well.
After 4 years, I feel I am able to connect with my Dad more when I need him. We all have different beliefs about what happens after death and no one will ever know for sure, but I personally believe in mediums. I have had many experiences that would blow your mind! Feel free to email me anytime to talk about it!! Because of these experiences, and as time passes, I find I am able to think about my dad and really feel him inside me.
In this month though, all the pain rises up; all the trauma in the last few months of my dad’s life, all the panic and fear and confusion. The last month especially; watching death happen and watching an amazing strong body deteriorate into a spirit was an experience that I will never forget. I do not think of it that often in my day to day life. I think of my dad in his health and essence, but during this month, my body memory starts to remember.
It is hard and it is important. It is important for me in this point in my career to make people more comfortable with painful emotions. I struggle with this daily (most people do in some way or another) and I see this as a common theme in humanity and in the way we raise our children.
But we have to change the message.
Painful emotions are just as important and necessary as happy, positive emotions. Pain is where we can grow and transform into different and better versions of ourselves. Allowing people the opportunity to FEEL their pain vs trying to fix it is a true gift we can give each other. Most people, especially men, just want to FIX, but by fixing, we take away the process of feeling and working through things.
Next time your kids/partner/self experience a “tantrum”, high levels of frustration or disappointment, try to notice the discomfort before jumping to problem solving or fixing. See what happens. I invite you to try this and let me know!
I hope that if this all resonates with you, that you know you are not alone.
Know that together we rise by connecting in pain and in joy. Know that.