Last Monday I sat in a circle with a bereaved family. They grieved the death of their dear loved one: brother, son, uncle, brother-in-law.
For me, sitting in a family circle means simply being present. There is nothing I can say to ease their pain.
Yet being present to their sadness helps them feel seen, heard, and understood. In this circle of trust, we begin to share stories and memories. These bring tears, many smiles, and much laughter.
I think a beginning step in our grief healing is to explore our relationship with what is gone – this person, or job, or place, or dream. That’s what these shared stories and memories do. They highlight how we were in relationship to the departed person or thing. How we felt in this relationship. Old or young. Confident, little, or belittled.
I am reminded that…
Grief brings up the deepest parts of ourselves calling for attention.
Loss brings emotional pain. Recovery depends on paying attention to our emotions. We prolong our grief journey when our attention shifts from emotions to analyzing and intellectualizing the story or situation.
Wherever your attention goes,
that person, place, or thing grows.
So where is your attention today?
• Is there a place in your body that’s calling for attention?
• Is it on an emotion or thought that’s looping around and around?
• Is it something that you wish would have been different in your relationship with a person who’s no longer in your life?
• Is it on a local, national, or international situation?
Dear friends, simply pause.
Breathe in. (Deep inhale.)
Breathe out. (Cleansing exhale.)
Ask, “Do you have a message for me?” or “What is mine to do?”
and after listening…
- Write a letter of healing to yourself, or someone else, or to someone you’ll never even know.
- Appreciate shared love, laughter, and joy. Or, turn to the first person, place, or thing you see and smile.
Wherever your attention goes, that person, place, or thing grows.
Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,