Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Grief as a doorway

I'm aware of so many people for whom this entire holiday season is painful. Some have only recently experienced major loss, whether the death of a loved one, job loss or an awful medical diagnosis. Others have no family or close friends with regular traditions at the holidays. And some have memories of holidays past when they did experience loss. My heart goes out to all who find themselves wishing they could wake up tomorrow well into the month of January. It's not an easy time for them.

Each one of us experiences loss, sadness and grief so differently. Some people bury it deeply inside and carry on in stoic fashion. Others wear their pain and hurt openly. Some cry and cry. Others don't shed a tear. Some move on without examining their loss and grief. Others work hard to experience it, let go and move on. There isn't a right or wrong way. There's simply your authentic way of handling it.

I was really struck by a comment on Facebook last week because it speaks to my particular way of dealing with grief. The writer said, "Grief is a felt experience of love for something lost.... That is an incredibly powerful doorway."

The image of a doorway resonated deep within me. I always want to believe that once I experience the pain and once I get to the point of letting go, the entire experience will have been an open doorway to me for I-know-not-what. I have no idea what lessons or new dreams lie beyond that doorway. Not until I walk through. But grief almost always has, eventually, provided that "incredibly powerful doorway" for me.

What's been your experience of grief and loss? How do you get through? Do the holidays exacerbate this for you? If so, be sure to find someone with whom to talk about it. You don't have to suffer alone.

1 comment:

  1. The open doorway is, for me as well, a really strong image. And often the door is swung open most widely after I have endured something difficult...not unlike the "gift waiting" idea you mentioned a few weeks ago. I love that image too; it is so filled with hope.