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  • Julia Stolk

Grief's Wisdom

As I sit at my computer to write this early morning, I sit in reflection and consider what could be shared today. It is the word grief that comes to mind, and the felt sense of a deep ache in my heart that informs me this is true – this is what is present in this exact moment.

Grief by definition, is the process of reacting to loss, yet how many of us know how? How many of us were raised with the allowance to sit with and allow the emotions true expression? To notice how emotion informs us, giving us a sense of how we are responding? Many of us instead, were more commonly told to stop, to not be so emotional, to just get over it. Eventually interpreted as a lack of safety to feel and from this place arose the development of skillful ways to mask those emotions – some healthy, but many not.

Grief is a word that is being utilized more and more in today’s world. As we are being asked to shelter in place, or even quarantine in some parts of the world, the recognition of loss and its’ experience is being felt on a deep individual and collective level. Sitting with that ache, the following words arose.

May there be a moment in your day you are met exactly as you, and that the wisdom of your feeling is allowed its true expression!

Grief’s Wisdom...

There’s an ache I wake to this morning,

A quieting of outside noises,

This call brings me inward.

It’s the tender calling of grief,

Asking if I might sit with it awhile.

I pause,

Can I handle standing with that ache?

That calling to be met, to be seen, to be held,

And be allowed?

And as I ponder the possibility of not dropping in,

The ache contracts around my heart,

Now begging for its’ freedom.

I arrive to my breath first,

My entry point to arriving at the gate of presence.

As I arrive there,

The ache becomes a flutter of energy with the possibility of my arrival.

With the invitation accepted,

I wearily step inside the doorway,

Take off my boots and coat,

Wet and muddied from life’s storms.

And before the chance to settle comes,

I hear my own words break -

Forgive me oh grief,

For my inability to sit with you,

My fear to face all that you have so graciously held for me

while I busied my days,

Busying in an attempt to keep me away from you.

The release of my words cause collapse,

Shattering any resolve left to pretend that this grief is not mine.

The loss of my childhood innocence,

The rough hand of a blind man,

The loss of beauty,

The fading of summer’s light,

I settle in for a long, cold winter’s night.

Why all of this?

Why any of this?

And where were you,

Those who brought this grief?

And no matter what I ask or how I ask,

Even with the sounding of grief’s wail,

There is no one that answers the call.

The hearing.

The arriving.

The collapsing.

The shattering.

The settling.

All here to collect,

In unwept tears,

It’s stolen moments,

It’s stolen memories,

It’s stolen innocence,

It’s stolen joys.

And in her skillful hands,

Grief reveals her wisdom –

The tears washing clean those aspects of me,

That were hidden in plain site always waiting to be seen.

All those moments of pain, loss and sadness,

Tucked away for the moment when I could bravely arrive,

To sit, allow and give voice to her stories.

The welcoming has begun.

©Julia Stolk

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