The Heartbreak of Grief
When someone is upset; hurting; grieving, what happens in you? Can you bear to watch? And if the person is there with you, can you sit with them and be in that space with them?
Too often grief is not borne and will sit in the body, the family, in the community/society without being expressed.
It will then turn up like an echo again and again, in different parts of our life. In the hurt a dear friend is suffering. In the grief of a mother over her murdered son on the other side of the world seen on tv. In the grief of love unspoken over a passed parent.
If we have not been with our own grief, these instances will pick the scab off our own grief. And to stop the wound from opening we will try to stop the grief from happening. We might too quickly want to console our friend by crowding them, making suggestions or philosophising. We might disconnect from the grieving mother on tv by turning our head away or IE normalising it for ‘that part of the world’ or ‘for that culture’.
Or we hold on to all the reasons why we didn’t speak our love to our parent before they died.
Grief is a fearsome thing. It is a sign of the fierce love and pain we are vulnerable to and capable of as human beings in loving and being connected to others.
It is knowing that that connection can be broken, that we might decide (consciously or unconsciously) to form a habit of protective disconnecting. The knowledge of our grief might feel too big to actually allow ourselves to experience. It feels like it might be bigger than us and disruptive to our smooth routine life. Allowing grief might actually force the acknowledgement of the sometimes irretrievability of our loss.
To grieve is to choose to allow oneself to be heart-broken. Also realising that there might not be anything to do, think or say to ‘make it better’. It is something to be borne; wordlessly and thoughtlessly, in the body in its shaking and weeping.
So much… can you love; so much can you cherish a love-connection, that it nearly breaks you when it goes.