A moment in the life of grief is a moment in the journey of healing

There are days we awake, cupping our palms around expectant joy, feeling the pulse of beauty to come. The world spins its freshness in small moments — a cup of coffee in a fruitful quiet, a slow drive beneath white-streaked boughs still bearing a hint of snow, the stranger’s smile that slides its light through stillness.

And then, maybe because this is the solitude that’s been absent, the softening that’s been wanting to spread its animal warmth, something shifts. Maybe the breath is vessel, the body a chime whose notes lift at last to your ears. Where there was a joy, the scales begin to dissolve. Where anticipation rippled its sweetness, lassitude unravels, spilling its mouldering weight.

Here you are, stripped to the bone of sorrow. Surprised by its swell and turn. Alone with it, the heart scrawl and puckered lines breaking their crooked seams. And though there are stories to attach, so much that has happened in these weeks, in this month, this is not the time for naming or reasoning. For pulling at stems, the ones that will always tangle with the roots of the first sadness, grief that branches through each hallowed longing and loss.

All this moment asks is to notice, enter the fullness of what is. And then hold it, give it water, air, your silent tears, your open throat. Feel the ache where wing meets skin, this sky inside the chest.

When you arrive where you will arrive, there is no-repacking, though you may try to re-route the wilderness, the river, relocate each gust of moaning song. This will be the temptation and the trial.

Sit. With everything.

Allow yourself this territory. Even if there are a thousand masks at your fingertips. Even if others rush to relieve you, offer solution as solace to soothe their own discomfort.

Someone will come. Meet you where you are. Maybe ask, “Where does it hurt?” Maybe say “I see you.” Want to listen if you want to talk. Know it is sacred to be with the raw, writhing creature of you. This tender, startled elegy in the midst of an ordinary day.

They will hold space. Bear witness. Let you breathe each trembling, tear-stained breath.

Here you will find your safe and healing ground. In vulnerability. In compassion. Where nothing needs to be fixed but everything borne is honored — your truth, grief’s mystery. And we are sweet, brambled tongues learning this language of love.

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14 thoughts on “A moment in the life of grief is a moment in the journey of healing

  1. This is the medicine my heart needed today. And many days before and later, I imagine. Thank you for creating this space to come undone and heal. Keep writing. Our grieving hearts are listening.
    All my love,
    Kai

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    • I am so grateful these words found your heart just when you needed them, Kai. May there always be that space and may it hold you in the fullness of all you carry. Love and hugs to you.

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  2. Dearest Naila…once again, I am in awe of your brilliance and skill with words that seem to come from the soul. I am especially touched by this: “Know it is sacred to be with the raw, writhing creature of you.” Thanks for sharing this essay about vulnerability and healing!

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    • Thank you so much, my wise and heart-full friend. I know you, too, have been there and what a gift it is to be held in love and acceptance when we so long to be seen. Love and hugs to you.

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  3. Such wisdom can only express itself through a soul who has known profound loss. As usual, Naila, you nailed it. “Allow yourself this territory. Even if there are a thousand masks at your fingertips. Even if others rush to relieve you, offer solution as solace to soothe their own discomfort.”

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    • Ah, my friend…although I wish it otherwise, for the echoes that resonate their truth in in your own heart, I am grateful. Thanks for being a witness and a warrior as you bravely walk this journey.

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  4. Devastatingly beautiful and wise words from your knowing and giving heart. They are such a blessing to us all — just as you are.

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  5. Oh, thank you so very much, Phyll. Your words mean so much to me, especially as you have witnessed my grief coaching and midwife journey these last few months. I appreciate them deeply — as I do you!

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