Grief isn't an event. It's a transformation.

 

I am coming out of a season of grief. At first it was hard to even give myself permission to grieve because my loss was not a “tragic” one-- no terminal illness, no midnight car accident. Just the loss of my community and my sense of home due to a long distance move. Just. Tell that to my grief. Tell that to the longing in my attachment.

Now that the initial raw pain is past, I can hold my grief apart from me, set it on a shelf under some light, spin it around, take a look at it. The place it made inside of me is no longer raw, but the depth and width remains. It still sometimes pulses with longing if examined closely. This well inside can never be filled. And I don’t want it to be. Grief cannot be “gotten over” or “put behind me.” It isn’t an event. It’s a transformation.

As life would have it, another long distance move is looming near. More grieving sure to come. It seems to be a return home. We’re going back to where we came from from, back to our extended families and friends and the soil that formed us. But it’s not a simple homecoming. For I am not the same me who left. The popsicle can’t slide back into its mould once it has begun to melt. I am not broken, even though I have a few scars. I am just changed. I am still me. But I am also being made new with every step of this journey.

 

This is the spiritual path, isn’t it? Birth, death, resurrection. When something new comes into our paths, we change. In the transitions there can and will be death, if we’re lucky. Death to parts within us that are no longer necessary. Renewal. I am being remade into a new me again, lighter yet sturdier, I hope.


 
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