A few months/years/pandemic days ago, I talked about what was coming: grief.
In all of its horror and all of its beauty.
And as my social media fills with folks getting vaccines, my local area having fewer active cases of COVID, it seems that the time of ‘after’ is on its way.
I can feel it. I felt it after I got the first shot. (#TeamModerna)
The ache. The expanding balloon of tears unshed because I was thinking of other things: hand washing, how to get more masks, wondering if I should have more than one mask on.
All of the grief of loss, losing physical connection with my beloved. The loss of celebrations. The loss of awfulness being witnessed.
The inability to just weep in someone’s arms.
There is grief coming. It is already on its way.
But there is magick here too.
What Grief Tries to Tell Us
I’ve been fortunate to have known deep, horrible grief before now. Stay with me here. It is awful, at least in my experience. It is the tears that keep coming, the angry fits about small things, the disconnecting from those who don’t seem to listen or understand.
It’s the frustration that came when I expressed my feelings, only to have them minimized or de-centered because grief is not held well. Or well enough.
We try. I’ve watched myself know so much better. And yet, I did and will likely continue to do the things that end up hurting instead of helping.
I will likely still do the ‘Oh just let me know what you need,’ knowing full well a person deep in grief doesn’t know what they need. They just need something to help with the sudden loneliness. The sudden screaming at the sky. The ache that travels back and forth between bones and heart.
Grief is not in a time container, nor is it ever healed. It is soothed. It contains memories. It closes over and is less sensitive, but the scab falls off, leaving a scar. No manner of love or time washes it clean or away.
It becomes a part of the everyday. The unrelated moments and movements.
It is the reddened, darkened place of love risked and love removed from the physical plane.
Setting a Space for Feeling It (Maybe Not all at Once)
The more I push grief away, the more it builds. The more it finds ‘fun’ ways to remind me that it’s there. Knocking. Pushing. Stretching.
I argue. I isolate. I think the whole world doesn’t understand. And it builds because it’s not the kind thing to tell others they aren’t helpful.
But they can’t be. They can’t bring back what is lost. At least, not in the way it was.
I have an altar to grief. It contains pictures of people I have lost. It holds a small goddess figure someone gave me. It has my vaccine sticker. It has a large chunk of amethyst. It holds a nail file that my mom had in her purse the day she died. And a lipstick she hadn’t opened yet.
It holds a place for grief to be. A place I can visit when I feel so far away.
So I can go to this place, feel what I must feel because it will have no other way.
I return to this space. Weep. Laugh. Let my losses know how my live continues. How my appreciation for life grows.
Because there is no way to know when something ends.
There is only knowing that it always will.
The Intention You Set and Live
There are many who say grief is a problem. Or something to be fixed.
Instead, I offer this moment, these moments that are coming, are opportunities to listen. To hold this fragile feeling gently. Quietly. As only you know how to hold it.
What might you do with this knowing? What might you reveal in this newfound space?
Perhaps this is a doorway to softening.
Perhaps this is a portal to knowing your resilience.
Perhaps this is a call to help, to support, to honor what has been lost.
To showing up differently.
To letting the sad friend cry on your shoulder.
To seeing the magick that is still there. Was always there. Was waiting at the place of life and death.
To bringing yourself to the water’s edge and cleansing your skin.
To coming to the place where you ask your ancestors to give you their secrets.
Because they’ve been there.
But you are alive. Breathing. Feeling. Knowing the exquisite ache.
How will you live now, knowing what you know?