As some of you reading this will know, my lovely Grandma passed to Spirit last week. She was 95, and was really well until the last few years.
Gran was a cornerstone of my life; she helped bring me up when I was younger as my mother worked away and she was, until the last few years, the one unchanging and constant aspect of my life.
Through changing times, growing pains, moving on and upwards through life and experience, my Gran’s constancy was like a lighthouse shining brightly to guide my ship through the turbulent seas of life. She never changed, never wavered and my understanding of her unchangeable nature was a security blanket through any changes I might have been going through.
Both my mum and I were with her when she passed. We were called as her breathing changed and spent several hours with her. I wasn’t sure she was actually ready to pass – she had been on an end of life care plan for only a few days and there is never a finite timing with such things – and then all of a sudden I felt my Grandad step in and I knew.
In as much as there is the emotion of the moment, there was also a beauty and a serenity in her passing – the relaxing of her energy, the transcendence of her breath and the simple, quiet stillness of the moment. Mum and I told her it was ok to go and that we would be ok and she gently passed from this life. I will be forever grateful for the gentleness of that moment – for a lady who was always gentle herself, always grateful for everything she had and who was always accepting of everything and everyone around her.
Love is the most powerful of human emotions. If we think about it, love is actually the only emotion we experience; it is simply that all of our other emotions are an expression of an aspect of love or an expression of an aspect of the absence of love – in one way, shape or form.
Of those, grief is the most complex and has the power to be the most profound. The sheer force and power of grief that we feel and experience has the potential to change us forever and shape us in ways that we cannot foretell before we experience its energy.
So often the destructive element of grief is what is depicted, the pain that is felt, and therefore we so often bury and fight the process, and yet grief has the most amazing ability to heal. Whether it is grief through the passing of a loved one or grief through another aspect of loss – a relationship, a sudden change in our life – grief and its component parts create a healing potential that illuminate that which we would never otherwise see and create possibilities for wholeness that might not exist without its experience.
When we let it (and allowing is the key) it takes us so deeply into ourselves – yes through pain, yes through loss, yes through devastation – that we uncover aspects of ourselves that we would never be able to through any other process. We uncover patterns and archetypal energies hidden deep within our subconscious that we are finally able to realise, understand, accept, heal and release.
Grief enables us to open doors that we had closed, even if we didn’t know that we had, through other painful experiences or through sudden moments of instinctive and unremembered reaction earlier in life. We open these doors through the grieving process because there is no other way than to just be in that moment – in our sorrow and in our surrender to what we cannot control. And just being in that moment is the catalyst that starts the process of unfoldment and healing.
Through grief, no matter its devastating tsunami like force, we are given a gift beyond words. We are given ourselves.
As Rumi says ‘love is the bridge between you and everything’ and through grief we express the deepest part of love in a way we are often not able to in any other circumstance, and we cross the bridge into everything that we are and everything that we may feel we are not.
I am reminded that all relationships act as a mirror to us, showing us from another where we are at balance or at odds within ourselves. When we lose someone the mirror is uncovered with startling brilliance, its light ripping through the protective shells we have in place, shining its’ stark brightness into the basement of what we don’t want to see but that which we need to if we are truly to allow the gift of that person’s light to be the gift that they would want us to have.
Through honouring the process of grief – no matter how long it might take us to do so (and we should absolutely not berate ourselves for that time, no matter how long it may be), we are also honouring the love we held and still hold for that person and we are honouring, more importantly, their love for us.
We are allowing their final gift to us, their passing, to be the hand that lifts us into the fuller potential of ourselves – the potential that they can see from their vantage point in Spirit.
There is no mistake in the process of life or in the process of death; there is no greater Grace than that of the Spirit moving in action through life and also through death, and there is no greater gift than that which the process of grief passes to us – a deeper understanding and unfolding of ourselves.
Breathe Light, Live Love and allow the light and love of your loved ones in Spirit to fulfil their gift to you.