Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The purifying transmission of grief

Tending to grief is the essence of the wounded healer. Proving a sanctuary and safe passage for its unfolding – in the body, the psyche, and the nervous system – requires that we fall to the ground, at times, and weep.

Weep for the shattering, for the dying of an old dream, for the entirety of the unlived life. It was just never going to turn out the way we thought. It’s too shimmering, too majestic for all that. It is these tears that form the portal to connection.

Grief is not something we “get over” by way of stages and techniques, but an eternal and faithful partner we spin with as the cycles unfold, purifying us by way of lamentation.

We live in a world that has lost contact with the holy yellowing of the soul. But to marginalize or pathologize the experience of grief is to work against nature. The earth grieves by way of her seasons, the rotting of leaves, and by way of the ache in her rain drop. Each evening as the sun yields to the stars we can know and commune with that longing.

There is no endpoint to this turning of the light, no final state of resolution where we land in some untouchable place, free from our embodied vulnerability, our somatic aliveness, and from the possibility of more burning.

Rather, we find ourselves in the procedure the alchemists called the rotatio, the holy spinning of vast cycles of rupture and repair that touch and open the human person.

The soul is endless and the visitors of grief may companion us for a lifetime. But the forgotten, brokenhearted orphans of psyche and soma come not to harm, but to reveal. And to open a doorway into mercy and wholeness.

Grief is not so much a process that we “make it through” and come out the other side fully intact, but a non-linear, purifying midwife of the unknown. It moves not by way of straight line, but by a shattering, involving circle and spiral.

Photo by Karen Nadine

Click here for free videos and new online courses