This might be your first Mother’s Day without your loved one, or you might be like me and have a few under your belt. Either way I suspect you are feeling that familiar lump in your throat and/or that knot in your stomach. I get it, I have it too.
This is my invitation for you…
I invite you to feel GRIEF fully, be with it, inspect GRIEF, but most of all - Don’t shy away! Get to know GRIEF, makes friends with it, invite it in, pull up an extra chair at the table, ask it questions, turn it inside out and upside down. Become so familiar with it that every time GRIEF comes to visit you know just the type of beverage to get out to host its presence.
And most of all always leave a seat open at the table because GRIEF does not let you know when it’s coming. GRIEF arrives uninvited but expecting your full attention.
Then be prepared for GRIEF to surprise you and show up dressed up as something else. As you love it and make friends with it, GRIEF is going to get angry and lash out and it might try and pull you down deeper. But hold your ground with loving kindness and compassion towards yourself and let GRIEF know that you welcome it as a part of your whole – your whole life experience – but be very clear that it is NOT your entire life’s experience. Not even close!
Explain to GRIEF that although its density and weight are unbearable at times, it is only a small piece of all the incredible memories and experiences that make up your life. Let it know that it is welcome at the table because it is very important to understanding the entire texture of your life. But also let GRIEF know that it is not allowed to come in and scare away all the other beautiful parts that make you an effervescent, shining being. Nor is GRIEF allowed to take joy, happiness, and zest for living hostage.
You will not allow this behavior in your one and only beautiful, sacred and imperfect life.
And if GRIEF will not listen then you have the right to ask it to leave. Let GRIEF know it’s not welcome if it can’t share space with all that you desire from life. It was never invited to a part of your life, but you welcome it as long as it can co-exist with the continuing of your pursuit of the life you deserve.
Perhaps you’ve let GRIEF run rough shot for much to long and it’s time for you to take back your position as chairman of the board, leader of the band, queen of all you survey, president of your country, whatever your title, it’s time you take back the power and re-establish balance. Perhaps the thought of launching a coup on GRIEF is overwhelming and you don’t know where to start.
Let me remind you that you have an army soldiers ready to support you in reclaiming balance in your life. Your army is full of all the parts of you that have been neglected, that don’t feel like they are enough and possibly feel like that don’t deserve any more that what GRIEF offers. This is all wrong! You are more than your grief, you always have been and you always will be!
You have an army of joyful memories, dreams that once came to life, dreams that are waiting to come to life (they are doing the happy dance right now at the thought of being born into your life!), bucket list wishes, and more that want you to bring GRIEF along for all these things, but don’t want you to let it rule the kingdom anymore.
GRIEF will always be here. The goal is not to sentence to a remote island you can never access or keeps it from showing up. The goal is to love GRIEF as deeply as you love all the other parts of you, allow it a voice – but to let GRIEF take you hostage or to savagely attack all the incredible, beautiful memories and parts of your life that are meant to shine bright, is a travesty.
My invitation to you this month of May is to begin to integrate your grief into the totality of who you are, honor the dreams that have come to life and grant freedom to those dreams just waiting for you to swing open the prison door.
Remember GRIEF is the form love takes when our beloved is not longer on earth – quit fighting it and go back to loving it.
Let “GRIEF” become ‘grief’.