In the last few months I have worked my way through grief of my own — both fresh grief at the loss of Cooper, and delayed grief from years past. I have also been fortunate to sit with people I care deeply about as they grapple with their own.
It doesn’t matter whether the thing we grieve is the loss of a person, a pet, a hope, an experience, or a piece of ourselves. It doesn’t matter whether the loss is due to death, divorce, a failed process, an uncompassionate act against us, health, or just change.
Grief suuuuuucks <period>. It squeezes the bottom of your heart like it wants to force you into the fetal position and then, like, stand over you, foot atop your body in an assholeish statement of conquest.
I tried to find a pic for that but I couldn’t.
It is such a strong feeling. And it’s such a strong thread in the human experience.
From my experience and from learning my loved ones’ experiences, the one thing I know with certainty is that grief is going to knock on our door again.
Because that’s human.
That’s why I’ve been wanting to learn how to deal with it more gently. Not delay it. Not replace it with aggression or wrecklessness. Not minimize it or feel like it should be hidden. Not work out too much or get too intoxicated or work around the clock instead. These tactics — mine and yours — aren’t gentle.
And I like gentle, soft, pretty, cuddly things. Like puppies and kittens and oversized sweaters and blankets.
I’ve personally been using the Daily Calm app for several months — not just for the processing of difficult emotions but also because there’s some really great, inspiring, uplifting content there, too.
Earlier this month I listened to the grief meditation over and over. It put the experience of grief in the context of the experience of love. And I found great peace in that.
So I wanted to share some of the quotes from that particular meditation, both so I can come back here to easily find them and because maybe they’ll give you a boost, too.
Sitting with Grief — Daily Calm App:
“To live a life means witnessing beginnings and endings in each moment.”
“Every kind of grief that exists starts with loving something, or someone, or some place. So grief is really a signal that we loved, or were loved greatly.”
“Time is the only remedy for the telltale heart, whether it’s broken or lost. Time may not erase our pain, but it will soften it.”
“We learn that those who we lose remain with us, because that’s what love does. It stays.”
Photo: Sweet Cooper Girl laying on me one year ago. RIP Coopey.