This is an exploration of grief. Not just my grief, but also the universality of grief. I write to find solace amidst the words and I write because I don’t know what else to do.
I am not in any way special or unique in experiencing this profoundly confronting human emotion nor is this the first time I have experienced the depths of it but it is the first time in my life I have stopped running from it and invited it in as the guest in residence that it is. I never let myself meet it in the same way before.
I have been visited by grief many times in my life and the truth of it is I dismissed it as something I should hurry up to distance myself from. I would make the experience of grief wrong and fraught with self-judgment and loathing. I would judge myself as weak and even unspiritual for being caught in the grips of it. I would shame myself for the anger and melancholy that I would slip into like a person drowning, silently slipping under the surface of the water.
I never allowed myself to look it in the face, never knew its lines and shapes. I would just pray and pray and pray for it to leave as the unwanted guest it was in my soul.
And yet everyone is touched by grief; not only touched but crushed, smashed, broken, transformed, rearranged by grief. It is one of the emotions in the plethora of human emotions that wakes us, shakes us and brings us to our knees.
Grief has asked me to reevaluate, mostly everything. What’s that saying? “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Grief challenges the validity of that hypothesis. It opens up the windows of your home and it starts throwing everything out. Furniture, mementos, experiences, assumptions, value systems, beliefs, faiths; the lot all ends up scattered on the front lawn with an empty room demanding you to just-sit-down-in-it and be.
Grief wants to smash things. It is full of anger and rage at the fragility and unfairness that life is all about. Like a vandal on a train, it wants to slash the seats and spray-can obscenities of disillusionment all over the pretty things, the nice and neat and convenient things. It wants to pour petrol all over the fucking house and light the match. Maybe this will stop the pain. Let it all burn to the ground.
Grief unorganises all your grand plans and pokes holes in the seemingly ridiculousness of many of them.
Grief makes meaningful things meaningless. It clears the deck. It does not assume anything is true any longer. What you thought you knew is no longer, no longer available to you any more. It takes things away and does not replace them with anything.
Grief will turn off your brain. Grief is what zombies are made of. There is only unbearable pain in your heart and the desire to want to peel your skin off to just get away. But it chases you down like a stalker. In the supermarket, at the public swimming pool, in the middle of the night and looking down at your aching skin, you cannot see the hives of it, invisible to the eye.
Grief makes bedfellows with guilt and confusion and it turns the whole house upside down. It just comes and goes as it pleases, shamelessly disrupting and gatecrashing your day. I have seen grief as a punk squatting in my house that you cannot evict.
Grief separates and isolates. It sticks you in the attic or the basement and locks the door. Grief invites desolate moments of aloneness, even in the midst of friends and family, a membrane around you that feels so impenetrable. People touch you and you cannot feel them. People talk to you and you cannot hear them. You cannot even pick the lock.
Grief has your heart recoil tightly behind motes and great walls of armouring and then has it smashed into tiny shards, as the Greeks would do with plates at times of loss.
Grief also hangs your heart out on the back porch for the scavenger birds to peck it clean. It lets the sea breeze in with salt water that stings.
Grief leaves heirlooms on the mantle piece of your soul. Altars of nostalgia laden with dripping candles of light and warmth to see by, to pray by. Precious connection enshrined in the movement of your body mixing ache and bliss; forgotten and unforgettable; life, death, rebirth; composted sweetness of dear honouring that is carried within your bones for what has been before and that which still remains.
Grief is also a silent stillness, a witness. It is an eye in the storm, there to remind us all, underpinning and enhancing all that is dear. It is the information of great philosophies and silent retreats wrapped in each heart. It is the essence of things. Grief reveals, as it pulls back the curtain on all that is separate and alone, cold and scared, that we are all connected through time and space and that the love and life-force that emanates from us, that runs through us, that penetrates and activates us, that makes our limbs move and our heart beat blood, is eternal.
Grief is the result of all that loving and all that investing our hearts into people, ourselves included; our dreams, desires, longings.
GRIEF IS LOVE . GRIEF IS LOVE . GRIEF IS LOVE .
~ Lotus Indigo Shakti Kruse
In devotional practice to the first 2 principals taught to me by my Beautiful Beloved Robert Rabbin
and dedicated to all of him that lives on through eternity and my beating heart.