“Your capacity to grieve is a reflection of your capacity to love”
~ Sameet Kumar
We live in a culture that is fixated on youth and beauty. As a result there is a denial of death and grief. Because society has not come to terms with the inevitable cycle of life and death we struggle as individuals to grieve. Often companies only allow one or two days for bereavement leave. Grief does not work in a linear, neat and tidy stage progression and you reach the end and then you are done with it. When a loved one dies we mourn the loss. Over time our grief shifts and gets woven into our lives, but it never fully goes away. Mindful grief support offers you the opportunity to honor your grief process, to radically accept how it shows up in your life. Granted there are some people who can drop into a major depressive phase as a result of mourning; and they need special attention. For the most part however, we grieve in the way that we love. Bringing mindfulness to the grief process gives us an opportunity to be with our grief one moment at a time. The well of grief and loss can also trigger every loss we have ever had. This is known as cumulative grief. One of the most difficult issues in grief is that others cannot tolerate it for very long. They feel a need to fix us or make it better. They cannot understand why we are not over it yet. Learning how to grieve mindfully honors your process. It also gives one the strength to accept how grief shows up, be it deep sadness, panic, anxiety, anger or despair.
One of the most difficult aspects of grief is the feeling of loneliness. The feeling that no one else understands and that you will never be okay because your loved one is no longer at your side. In this moment it may be difficult to see beyond your sadness. Learning mindfulness can assist you in finding a renewed life’s purpose. Your grief can awaken you to the fragility and impermanence of life. It can give you a new appreciation and a new direction. Time is so very precious and fleeting. Much wisdom and purpose can be generated as one journeys through her or his own grief process.
If you are struggling with grief and loss or are experiencing adult sibling conflict after the death of a parent or parents, contact Tracey for counseling.
Brach, T. (2003). Radical acceptance: Embracing your life with the heart of a Buddha. New York, NY: Bantam.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York, NY: Hyperion.
Kumar, S. M. (2005). Grieving mindfully: A compassionate and spiritual guide to coping with loss. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Rinpoche, S., Gaffney, P., & Harvey, A. (1994). The Tibetan book of living and dying. New York, NY: HarperCollins.