On Grief

As I prepare to officiate another family funeral, I am reminded of something I once wrote to my daughter about grief.

It is never enough…I grieve losses too, sometimes even after decades. A passing thought, a memory, a place, a smell, a song. Each of these triggers a surge of sorrow – now perhaps not as convulsive (the intensity has waned but not the depth). Grief I once thought of as a fearful specter to be avoided, now has become an intimate counselor. Grief reminds me to be present, to be engaged, to appreciate the mundane and seemingly uneventful things in life that make up my humanity. Grief is a counselor not a friend; when I see grief approach, I don’t rejoice, I look a full look and sigh a deep sigh, but I don’t run, I sit with grief and listen to its questions, and it’s reminders to live fully – in all my emotions. So, at times I weep, sometimes I sigh, sometimes I say I don’t want to converse. Grief intrudes nonetheless, and I learn. Always though, as grief departs my friend, comfort arrives in a quiet, burden-lifting way. Thank you, comfort, for following up on my sessions with grief. I see more clearly through the tears. I feel more deeply through the sighs. I am here; they are not. I cannot change this, but I am changed by this – still.

Leave a Reply