Grief and Renewal at Solstice

This winter more than ever, Solstice teaches us that no end is ever final.

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Sunrise on Solstice brings restitution. After a loss, the renewal we most need is the restitution of meaning. We want to believe that life has purpose, that our suffering can bring some greater good.

We cannot find a glib or simple meaning from the losses of this fall. When we try to do so, from whatever political or religious framework, we simply fall into stereotypes that relieve our immediate distress but cannot truly heal. I believe we would do better to simply rest with the pain, the grief, the distress of not being able to make sense of it all.

And when the sun rises, when the light returns, let it kindle in us the sense of wonder and mystery that can arise from the deepest pain. Grief can be an opening. The shattering of structures can also open space for something new to be built.

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May the Solstice bring us renewal of hope, renewed fire and passion and commitment and courage. May it remind us that, again and again, at the time of greatest darkness, light is reborn.

Note: My mother, Dr. Bertha Simos, was a psychotherapist who specialized in loss and grief. Her book, A Time to Grieve (Family Service America), is a classic in the field. I owe her most of whatever wisdom I might have about grief.

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