Select Page

Grief as a gentle parent

The hands of a parent and child playing the piano together.

Grief doesn’t come to hurt you.

It comes to guide you home.

It’s arrival, whether gradual or sudden, will beg you to be present.

Forcing stillness, it wants you to open to your own depths. To the previously unexplored terrain. To all the other times you turned away from yourself.

It wants to pierce the most tender part of your heart, not to cause you pain, but to break you open in a way you’ve never opened before.

And when it leaves you will be forever changed.

Except that it never really leaves. It lingers at the door, like an old friend, checking you’re okay, making sure you haven’t forgotten who you really are.

In every moment that it suspects that you might, it reminds you that everything you’re trying to cling onto once again is impermanent.

So it asks you not to try, but to keep letting go.

Grief is like an onion. Sometimes bitter in its ability to cause you to spontaneously weep, and at other times deliciously sweet as it melts your sharp edges and soothes your broken heart.

Grief is a form of love, it’s just not wrapped up in as pretty a package.

No ribbons, no glitter, no bows.

It’s messy, raw, uncomfortable, for who would want to sit with grief in it’s dank, dark corner when the rest of the world is outside playing in the sun?

Ah but grief has so much to teach you. If you can sit with your own, you can sit with that of another, and that is a gift of the most precious kind.

To be able to sit in the dark when you can’t find a match, where there are no quick fixes or clean exits, that is the path of the brave.

Staying in the pain is how we get the lesson, and lesson upon lesson it will teach you. Until you realise there were no ‘lessons’ at all. Only love.

All grief was trying to do was show you the way back to love. It was trying to guide you to let go of everything you hadn’t grieved before.

Everyone will tell you it’s time to move forward, it’s time to stop being so sad. You have your practices, you’re a spiritual person, and you are confused if you’re as sad as you are. Oh but they don’t know what it means to have truly lost and to have felt a messy bleed. It hurts as much as it was worth, and grief arrives to remind you to feel how much your loss was worth.

It’s worth the time it takes to gently feel into the depths of your own sorrow. It’s worth the time it takes to allow your heart to break and open.

Grief will never tell you you’re selfish.

“Weep my love”, grief says, “for I am here to cloak you in the darkness; a necessary cover whilst you shiver and shake from your shock. I will come and find you in waves and layers so as not to startle you into your own numbness.”

Grief doesn’t want you to ‘get back to normal’ for there is no going back, not to how things were. There’s just here, right in the centre, right in the soft blackness, away from the light. 

Here is where you rest, until it’s time to let the first dapple of sunlight come dancing back through the window.

No forcing, no rushing, no clambering to get things ‘right’. There is no right or wrong, only the way your body needs to make sense of it all.

And you must allow your body to show you the way, to provide the answers, even when it feels like their aren’t any.  

Grief is the Father. The protector. The provider.

He will rest his hands on your shoulders and say “My darling, it’s time to stop. It’s time to rest. Let yourself cry. I know you’re scared to let yourself feel all of this. Scared to cry in case you never stop. But my love, this part is the most important. You must let yourself feel into the depths of this pain. You’re safe. There’s no one else here but you and I. It’s OK, go ahead, let yourself cry the tears your body has been asking you to cry for so long.”

If you decide not to do this, that’s ok too, because grief will still love you. He will be here the next time you’re ready.

He’ll be there to gently guide, protect, care for, and keep you away from anyone who might interrupt your process whilst you’re still too sensitive for the outside world.

Break. It’s ok.


Come home.

That’s all grief ever wanted, was for you to come home.

And you will. You will.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *