It seems as if the more experienced I get traveling this grief journey, the more I learn from others along the way.
Actually, it isn’t appropriate to speak of “traveling the grief journey” any longer.
Now I am simply living the life I’ve been given to live and a significant part of that has been to grow into the sorrow we have known. The “grief journey” has been to learn how to allow this disintegrating and destabilizing experience that breaks the spirit and the heart to be felt and voiced, how to absorb it all into the whole of our lives without denying any part of it. But, when we speak of grief as a journey, we imply that it has a beginning and an end, a starting point and a moment of arrival. Perhaps it does have a distinct starting point. Who can forget the moment when life suddenly changes forever and shakes our very foundation with such violence? But, a moment of arrival? Not exactly. Instead, there is a moment of awareness that while we would never choose what has happened, it is ours to embrace, to learn from and to hold tenderly in the center of our being.
I think of the rest of my life as living within the current of what is beautiful , sometimes difficult, always loving and true . . . much as a river flows between its banks, flowing over and around the obstacles in its path. If I can stay within these boundaries and avoid overflowing into what seems fair or what I insist must happen, then the center of my being remains calm.
So, the other evening in our support group circle, when one participant requested that we spend some time re-telling our stories, because she wanted to hear how they have changed, I thought, “How wise is that ?”
There comes a time when re-telling the story reveals a deeper truth and one we need to hear ourselves express. In re-telling the story, we grow more aware of the current of peace available to us.