Healing the Heart after Loss
“We learned from a grief counselor that there is a barrier that goes up in your mind to protect you from the shock you have gone through, and that it will come down when it’s ready to come down. … Your interior journey is your own interior journey.” —Ned Winterbottom (HEART GUIDE, in memory of his daughter Laura).
“After my parents died, I stayed in Florida for a time. While there, I sat outside and watched the sun set every night, for months.” —Michelle Qureshi (HEART GUIDE, in memory of her parents).
When we lose someone we love, there are no simple solutions or ten effortless steps we can follow to “fix” our sorrow (or the sorrow of our friends and family). There are also no magic words or religious gurus—however well intended—that can make everything suddenly better.
With death, we miss the people we deeply love: those whose souls are inextricably connected to our own.
Sinking into our grief is the work of a warrior. Where others only seem to skim the surface, sorrow often propels us directly into that inner realm: the bottomless terrain of our heart, mind, and spirit. In that sacred space, we can look closely at our lives and at the lives of those we love. We can breathe through intense emotions that threaten to overwhelm us, and we can explore thoughts that cause us to cry out in anguish. We can also recall events that make us laugh or smile unexpectedly while sharing stories of cherished times together.
There are no easy answers for grief.
But there is this:
Know that you are not alone.
Know that there is more than we currently understand.
Know that the people we love want us to be happy.
Know that healing takes time.
Know that you are here for a reason.
Know that you are loved.
Finding what truly nourishes us may also help to heal our heart.
Maybe we need friends, counselors, or spiritual teachers who will stand by us and care for our wellbeing. We may need strong shoulders we can lean on. Or we may need ample time for listening to meaningful songs, looking at treasured pictures, and sharing favorite memories. Perhaps the soothing solitude of nature or a single line in a poem will become our healing balm.
Be gentle with yourself.
Today, there’s no need to rush or to do anything. Just be.
Peace to your heart,