Seeking Solace: On the Shores of Grief
“My mom would want me to keep going.”
—Lia Guerin (HEART GUIDE, daughter)
While writing HEART GUIDE, I spent three years interviewing people about the grief and healing process involved with the death of loved ones. I talked to people from various faith traditions (along with individuals who hold no particular religious beliefs). I spoke to people who have lost children, parents (biological and non-biological), life partners, spouses, siblings, grandparents, and lovers.
For the next year, I will be dedicating this blog to the gifts these brave souls courageously offered by opening their hearts and their lives — not just to me but also to each of us.
Sharing our experiences of loss can make a tremendous difference in this world. In community, we can learn to gently cradle intense sorrow, and we can begin to show one another more tenderness, kindness, and compassion. We may also discover ways in which we can better support friends and family members who are hurting.
When we find ourselves on the unfamiliar shores of loss — with the path forward uncertain and the interior landscape gutted — it’s okay to simply be in that space for a while: giving ourselves permission to breathe, to cry, to laugh, or to scream. We can spend however much time we need there, perhaps finding solace beneath the vast night sky, under a bight full moon, or in the soft glow of the setting sun. We can allow ourselves to feel whatever we feel — no right, no wrong, and no judgment.
In honoring our grief, Sandra Harris (who lost her daughter and her husband) says, “Find what really nurtures and helps you, whether it’s music, meditation, yoga, or singing. If you pray, then pray. If you garden, then garden. If you dance, then do it with all your heart.”
Grief may compel a solitary sojourn into the deep recesses of our hearts. Yet, we are never alone on this journey. There are always those gentle spirits who travel beside us. The individuals and couples in HEART GUIDE likewise hold a lantern to help light our way.
In joy & gratitude,
Diana J. Ensign