Grieving is loving. Every love has in it the seed of grief. We evolved to love and love always means losing. Grief is as common as love. Like love, it is everywhere, in us and around us, always. Seeing this clearly is essential to healing our grief.
Grief is about losing connection, about losing relationships. In losing these connections we lose a part of what it felt like to be us. “How do I go on being me without you?” Grief is not a passing state of mind. It is not something we “get over.” It is a journey through a wild place in which we experience the pain of losing and how precarious being alive always is.
Grief is a way of honoring those we love. Feeling the pain of loss is a form of respecting the value of what we have lost. Every grief is unique. The grief of losing a parent is different from the grief of losing a child, which is different from the grief of losing a spouse, which is different from the grief of losing sibling. And then there is the grief of losing a marriage, or the grief of losing some part of one’s physical or mental capacity to illness or accident.
Grief asks us to pay a special kind of attention to our experience of being human, to our suffering and to the possibility of healing. Learning to mindfully integrate our grief into our unfolding development as human beings is the goal of grief therapy.