The Gifts of Grief


Yesterday I attended a Grief Ritual. I’ve been intimate with grief for 17 years yet have never grieved in community.

 I have often noticed myself thinking that I should be “over it by now,” feeling isolated, and wondering if there is something "wrong with me" for still deeply sailing the wild waters of grieving my mother's passing. During the workshop I let this truth sink in:

If I go into my grief it will only make me more alive.

Once home, I stumbled on some writing from about a year ago which perfectly sums up the connection between our gifts and our grief that I want to share with you.

For so many years, I have searched for her comfort in the arms of partners, which only seemed to create deeper pain and entanglement, and still a persisting emptiness. The real nourishment has come when I dive deep into grief's waters and welcome the full spectrum of its gift.



"I've been searching the remnants for mother. She seems such a distant memory. I come across her things – faded, telling of the stories of her life. How could I comprehend hers when she is so long gone from mine?


Could it be that she was recycled and is now the wet ground upon which I kneel?

The sun whose rising I worship each day?

Could she be the flowering rose outside my window?

Whispering to me of constant companionship in her arms...


Now dear lover, I see, I could have never found her in you. She is far too vast, too earthly, too all encompassing – found in every particle of light and moist soil beneath the forest floor. This is how new life is generated. And nothing is missing.


I see that you came to comfort me.

I see I was reaching out in despair.

And yet now let me be, this grief is heaven sent.


I keep her things, but I move on.

Out into this colorful world where life and death dance like two strands of DNA

winding up your spine, winding like rivers.

The underwater goddess washes me clean,

Whispers to me of ancient remembering.


I pray

That I may carry this forth to my people,

That I may find a root in this crazy world.

That I may open my mouth to sing, speak of these things I feel in the depths of my heart,

in the heart of all of us.


This grief is a gift because it births words and actions that I could never reach any other way

This grief is a gift because it is the mud where I grow I roots,

The wellspring where I draw my love,

The tears that nourish my tender offerings to this world.

It is not conditional, this grief is a portal to deeper being.

beckoning me to feel, from the depths I will give life."


So often we want to make the grief “go away,” and yet in that we are actually pushing away a portal into the depths of our own love.

What would happen if instead we turned towards the sensations of grief and let them lead us through the door?

How can we create more spaces to safely and openly grieve and let it turn us into deeper, more open and alive beings?


I welcome your ideas and stories of grief and loss.


In grief filled love,