Alone and Together
Grief and all of its manifestations are part of the human design. Grief is very important and has the capability to uplift us, change us, and yes, unite us. When you go through your own individual grief process and when you come to the point where you can move on easefully in your life, you may not recognize that you are an inspiration to others in their own lives. This has been my experience, and I’d like you to know that your inner journey has an effect on others in your community. In my work, I provided bereavement support to newly widowed spouses. I would be uplifted by their courage. I would be intrigued by their search for meaning. I would be inspired by their ability to just put one foot in front of the other and live their lives.
The aloneness of grief makes grief hard. Even if you are in the same family, each of you will grieve differently. You are alone because you are unique. Yet, at the same time, you are not alone because we are all together.
Many years ago, after my mother died, I wasn’t sure how I would make it. I remember driving down the street and noticing people in their cars and walking on the sidewalks. Many of them looked like they were of the age that probably their mothers had died, but they were driving along, walking along, and participating in life. If they could do it, I would, too. I had no idea who they were, but they inspired me to turn the corner and move through life with a little more cheerfulness and lightheartedness.
None of those people knew I was watching them and noticing them. In that very alone moment for me, we were all together. May it be so for you!
(page 189, Harnessing the Power of Grief)
Finding Rhythm, Creating Rhythm in Grief
Why is it that the sun rising every day and setting every night is so beautiful to behold? Why is it that the moon's predictable phases inspire us? Why is it that the repetitious waves on the shore calm us? Rhythm.
These predictable rhythms are repetitious but not boring. Mohandas Gandhi said, "Monotony is the law of Nature. Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises. The monotony of necessary occupation is exhilarating and life giving (Duncan, R., ed., Gandhi, Selected Writings, 2005, p. 246)."
Some would say that rhythm is life. Rocking, being held next to the heart comforts a baby.
When you go to work, you are following a schedule. This can bring you comfort, even if you think your job is not the greatest.
When you are in a state of upheaval, the dependable rhythms of life are disrupted. Your habitual way of living and habits of the heart have changed. Phone calls, visits, special shared events, the electronic buzz of emails and texts - these are a few of the dependable rhythms of relationships that change when a death occurs.
Appreciate the rhythms in your life and begin to create new ones - maybe a daily walk, getting up at the same time each day, eating at the same time for meals.