We are in a moment of transitions. A change in seasons. The re-opening of the world. Daily life itself is filled with transitions. Night gives way to daylight. Daylight to dusk. Dusk to night.
Every moment of transition, every change, requires letting go of something: a routine, a ritual, a habit, a practice, a belief, a thought, an assumption, an identity.
In that letting go, we encounter grief. And that grief must be honored.
Grief is not just for big loss, when things are taken from us.
There is grief hidden even in the most “positive” transitions: moving to a new home, getting married, starting a new venture.
We experience a loss, and grief, even if the thing we are letting go is something we never even wanted in the first place. Even if we don’t like the thing we are letting go. Even if we never liked it. Even if it has been a source of our pain or discomfort. Even if it has been a cause of our suffering.
Grief is not a qualitative evaluation about what was lost or let go, nor does it look to whatever might be gained in the future.
That’s because grief isn’t about the substance of the thing at all. It’s about what it gave you, the meaning you gave it, and the shifting from one state to another.
Without a willingness to honor grief, we can’t fully let go. And if we don’t let go, then we will remain stuck, clinging to what was instead of opening to what could be.
Even more crucial: without a willingness to honor grief, we cannot fully experience joy. Because joy and grief are part of the same whole.
Honoring grief doesn’t mean you have to be in “grieving” for days.
Grief is often confused with, but not the same as, mourning. Mourning is an activity. Grief is an emotion.
In a liminal space, grief comes with the gift of its medicine, to those who are willing to receive it.
grief is medicine
for the discomfort of change
embrace its wisdom