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Grief can be a Clarifier


Day 5: Grief can Bring Great Clarity


I’ve had some people tell me that when they look back to the initial months of their grief, while they never wish themselves back to that place, they have an odd longing for some of the clarity it brought—an almost austere, harsh, distillation of knowing of what is important, what doesn’t work, and what is worth one’s time or not.


Perhaps there is more freedom to say no. Or yes. Or whatever feels right in the moment. A permission that isn’t exactly permission—more of an act of survival.


Grief doesn’t just allow for shedding—it requires it in order to survive it. When you watch your life implode, I believe there are two things happening simultaneously—a pull to curl into oneself, to shut out noise, the world, and anything that doesn’t relate. And then there can be this parallel opening—your heart is ripped open, raw, and many report feeling more attuned than ever to the suffering of others and the world.


This is not a post about finding silver linings in misery. That kind of approach doesn’t serve and honor the grief process. Yet naming experiences that are so real in grief is important. And moments of immense clarity do happen for some folks.


The clarity of grief can be powerful. It is yours. Listen to it. Trust it.



Welcome to my second, 100-day project. I hope to provide a daily offering on something grief-related. I am a grief therapist and educator working with people in Oregon, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Maine. This feed is in honor of each person who has trusted me with their stories and wisdom during their grief journey. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult.

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