On Grief

Sometimes I wish there was a tide table for grief. How about you? This time of year—the holidays—sometimes brings forward old grief in fresh ways. The family death, the relationship loss, the perception of lack we experience in one way or another. We thought we moved through the grief but here it is again.

Or maybe there is brand, spankin’ new grief paying us a visit too.

I’ve always found grief to be like the ocean—full of abundant mystery. Our only real way to navigate its watery layers is to surrender to it. Floating is an act of letting go; fighting the current usually causes us to succumb to its force. Steeling or numbing ourselves to better tread choppy waters also means an exhausted body and mouthfuls of salty water.

The ocean is actually one of my favorite places to breathe. No matter the tide, the weather, or season, it knows itself. No matter what, the ocean trusts itself in the order of things. This truth is forever my teacher.

As the tide hold many forms, so too does our grief. But we must remember that grief is only a visitor; a guest. Loss is its traveling companion. Allow it in, listen, learn, but know both grief and loss don’t mean to stay. They are guests passing through to teach us something. They will depart when we have learned the wisdom they hold for us.

What have you learned about grief lately?