The Sacred Space

Life is a funny thing. One minute, you’re going one hundred miles an hour, trying to prepare for a Monday morning presentation and the next you’re receiving a phone call that brings everything to a screeching halt. One minute you’re trying to decide what rug would look best under your dining room table and the next, you’re sitting by your grandmother, stroking her hair as she struggles to breathe. Life. It has a way of putting things into perspective.

And so does grief.

Grief is that nagging friend that keeps tapping your shoulder after a life altering event occurs. The one you keep ignoring while you’re busy writing obituaries and preparing for funerals. Sure, every once and awhile, you’ll let it stay in the same room with you. But  it’s easy to usher it out while all the busyness is still going on and the relatives are still in town. But eventually, grief catches up to you. It feels like it sneaks up from behind, that it takes you by surprise, even thought we knew it was there the whole time.

Grief. That nagging, awful, necessary, beautiful, horrible thing.

Grief takes you from being an active participant in your life to being a silent observer. In fact, the world outside your grief seems to fly by as you watch, and wait, and plead for it to slow down and recognize the giant loss that the universe has just experienced.

Please, just stop.

Or at least slow down.

But all the while, you’re existing in this space of memories and feelings and even more waves of emotion.

But life keeps on moving.

And it expects you to do the same.

So you pick yourself up. The self that has both no feelings and all the feelings at the same time. You pick that self up and you go into auto pilot mode, hoping that things will start to feel normal again.

But grief, nagging as she is, taps you on the shoulder while you’re driving and reminds you that it’s okay to not feel normal right now. In fact, it reminds you that grief is a sacred space where there’s beauty to be found. Beauty that slows us down long enough to think about the things that really matter. The things that make us feel loved and the people that we want to love all become more clear through the eyes of grief. Grief allows us to sit and experience the emotional waves – the angry ones, the soft ones, the ones that feel like they might swallow us up, and the ones that tickle our toes. All of those waves are important and need to be felt in that space. Because grief is a sacred space.

It is a space that demands to be inhabited in the present if we are to move forward into a healthy future. And even though future is not a place we like to think of as we pass through grief, it is a place that will come. We can choose to embrace it or we can choose to live in the pain of the past.

Yes, the future will look different. But it can still be good and bright and happy.

Ah, grief. You nagging, awful, necessary, beautiful, horrible thing.

Grief. Where pain meets healing and anger meets peace.

Grief. The sacred space.

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