Day 98: Grief is an Act of Expansion You Never Wanted
The more years I do this work, my conceptualization of what grief truly is and how us humans can best navigate it has distilled into something quite simple.
At its core, I find that my work is to companion grievers as they learn to tolerate immense pain and begin to remember they are still alive, somehow.
So many of us have not been taught to sit WITH. We have been taught to FIX and to PROBLEM SOLVE. Any griever will tell you there is no fixing and problem solving in grief, as no one can bring back their person and no one can turn back time to when everything felt normal.
The act of expanding our ability to sit with our own pain is a brutal endeavor, and one that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And yet, I find that many of my clients begin to have a new relationship with what expansion means—early on, it is only the expansion of the ability to survive great pain. And what I see is this expansion emanating into other aspects of life—towards finding a new voice, towards kindness for ourselves that never happened, towards asking ourselves what we actually want and hope for in this life.
Let me be clear that I do not believe that this expansion is worth the terror of what grief can bring, yet I do see that expansion happens in other ways as long as we honor the pain of our experience.