Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

I have been in conversation lately with friends who are grieving losses of all kinds. Some are with beloved humans who have passed or have left the relationship and others adored animals; one a mama goat named Goatita. The essence is the same even as the form is different. We have agreed that it is an unpredictable ride with anger, sadness, resolution, despair, frustration, determination, healing, numbness, unexpected joys, blessings, the willingness and ability to reach out and let others reach in. With much of it comes self revelation. There are loss layers that exist as well, with one over top of others. Sometimes loss comes fast and furious without an opportunity to catch our breath, before the next wave hits. It is then that we might need to gulp air as best we can and then prepare to dive deep under it, rather than allowing it to knock us flat. If that does happen (and it just might), we have a choice. We can drown or we can swim to the surface. Reaching back for the hands that reach down to pull us up as we cough and sputter.

I have been on both sides of the rescue equation; mostly as the lifeguard (That was one my jobs in my young adulthood) who throws in the life preserver. Rare have been the times when I have acknowledged that I was drowning, let alone allow someone else to fish me out. I have faced the deaths of my husband, both parents, grandmothers, friends and other extended family.  Four legged companions have crossed the Rainbow Bridge as well. I have bid farewell to lovers and friends.

Each time, I have felt raw, aching, longing and then folded the feelings in as if I was mixing cake batter. The grief was mixed with love, with sadness, with gratitude. Sometimes, I rushed to ice the cake, not always waiting for it to bake; wanting it to look pretty. It would then collapse in on itself and get all mushy. I would want to hide it all the more, since it didn’t appear presentable. And the cycle continued, I would steel myself against potential loss as I held back getting involved with people, since I reasoned that they too would disappear. Sometimes they did. Sometimes they remained. Unpredictably. In an attempt to protect my heart, I weakened it. Hearts are both fragile and resilient. I am proof positive of that; after surviving a heart attack, I am certain that shutting down emotionally was a contributing factor in the collapse of an artery.

I have shared the words, “Everyone we know and love will one day die or leave us or we will die or leave them.  Everyone is on loan to us, so appreciate them now” Sometimes they feel like floppy platitudes that don’t stand solid.  Sometimes they aren’t much comfort. They are, however Truth with a capital T.

Wishing all of us deep healing.

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