Grief


It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

(Rilke, translated by Robert Bly)

 

Grief is the emotional and physiological state that issues from profound loss. Grief is multifaceted, staggering, disorienting, and destabilizing. Grief, however, is not a problem to be solved. Grief is an experience to be lived. The problems come from not allowing ourselves to grieve and grieve fully.

 There is no getting over grief. There is only facing grief, and allowing the self to experience grief. OR there is resisting grief, ignoring grief, denying grief, and trying to keep grief at bay. The latter results in our becoming ill, shutting down in depression, or acting out in some way.  The former results in us feeling deeply, connecting with our true selves, and being passionately alive.

Because we are human beings, we are communal beings. We need others. We go through our lives with others. One day, one of those about whom we care deeply, dies. We are bereft. We are “at a loss.”  And we go down. It is right and proper that we do so. We stay down for awhile, sometimes for a long while. And we can cry out with the pain of that. That is the most natural thing in the world. But we have been taught from very early on to be “silent and stolid” with our pain. (Cf. “Cry Out in Your Weakness,” The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks). To not cry out. To not lament.  To not make others feel uncomfortable. To not be a “burden” to others.

 To cry out -- that which at birth was organic and fluid, now feels uncomfortable, difficult and even wrong. We have all received messages in our culture that suggest that it is problematic to grieve, or to feel anything for that matter, too loudly or too long. We need others to help us to be able to feel, to grieve. We need help. We need support.

 We can work together to help remove the blocks which prevent you from crying out.  I help people to tap into and give expression to the feelings within. I want you to feel safe and supported as you access, explore and express your grief in healthy ways.

 Of course, grief is experienced not only in reaction to the death of a familial loved one, but in relation to all kinds of losses including the loss of:

  • physical health,
  • a relationship through break-up or divorce,
  • a pet,
  • faith,
  • income,
  • status,
  • a sense of purpose,
  • sobriety,
  • an illusion or delusion about ourselves or others.

The goal is not to help you get over your loss, but to be with, and move through and with whatever you are experiencing with regard to that loss.

 “The only people who think there’s a time limit for grief, have never lost a piece of their heart. Take all the time you need.” Unknown.

Contact Bill Lent

(646) 322-1582