Alchemists have an active imagination. Webster may define alchemy as the power to transform something in a mysterious way, but I think grief really tests that description. In medieval times, alchemy embodied the transformative art of turning lead into gold. Those who practiced it, considered it a metaphor for the inner process of changing consciousness. Sounds complicated, right? Actually, alchemy is a perfect description of grief.
Some say grief is about being strong but anyone who’s been there might have a little something to say about that. When loss breaks you completely open, it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other let alone flex your emotional muscles. If our minds are working at all, we worry that if we surrender fully into the grief spiral, we’ll hurtle, like good old Alice in Wonderland, into darkness we might never return from. But we’d be wrong. It’s hard to imagine that all the tears, anger and exhaustion won’t drown us. Instead, they do what they were meant to do — help to heal us.
Our bodies are pretty great life guides. They know when to rest and when to cry, even when our minds are complete mush. Tears, even the ugly cry kind, are a cleansing release, a vehicle for healing. I didn’t say ‘cure’, by the way. Grief doesn’t come with that. But thank goodness, our body has built-in release triggers that trip the healing process we need to open the door to whatever is next.
“We live on; we don’t move on”.
There’s no shortcut through grief. Bummer. We move through the process in our own time and pace. Luckily, along the way, we might uncover our heart’s true capacity to feel and to love.
There’s no ‘normal’ in grief. You move when you move. Period. Continue reading