I have been thinking alot about grief and loss lately. This is partly because I have been facilitating a training on grief while simultaneously updating some current curriculum on grief, but mostly because I am alive and breathing and paying attention to what is going on in the world. To be alive on this planet is to feel loss at some point on another. Each day we are called to integrate the experiences of everything that has come before, some of which we may label wonderful and amazing, and some we would label “I would rather that not have not happened”. We only have to tune in to the world around us to realize this is the truth of our individual and collective experience.
It would be great if we had a formula we could plug in and bypass the pain and challenges that arise in our lives. Unfortunately such is not the case. (At least I haven’t found one yet.) There is no right way to navigate, nor is there a user’s guide. There is no perfect catch phrase to magically remove these inevitable experiences. What I do know, probably more clearly than I have ever known before, is the healing power of community. Spaces of authenticity, vulnerability and belonging, whether large or small, that invite us to bring our whole selves, mess, grief, loss, sadness, joys, triumphs and all.
So although it may be tempting, those things in life we would rather not experience, look at, or even admit exist in our lives, are not things to be avoided, bypassed, swallowed, stuffed down or hidden away. To do this would be to deny some of the most basic aspects of ourselves. The more we can normalize the fact we all have these experiences, the more we will be able to create a soft landing not only for our own stuff, but everyone else’s too. And isn’t that what all this is about? Learning to live and move and experience life, sometimes when we feel we are not fit for human consumption, and giving others the space and freedom to do the same. That is a world I want to live in, and I believe that is a world we can create.