When we lose someone we love, grief has its own way of making itself known and moving through us. This movement may take us crashing to the ground in sobs. It may take over our limbs so that they thrash at the air in rage. It may take possession of our whole bodies so that they tremble in horror. It may take us to stillness within in quiet contemplation. It may take us to a paralyzing sense of abject numbness.

Grief may take us through an inner landscape we have never known - a landscape we never wished to know. A landscape where the familiar sense of who we are moves out of grasp, to be replaced by a sense of emptiness. This movement dissolves us into an abyss where we are nothing; we are no thing.

But there is wisdom in this movement; it is taking us to a place, through the abyss, where it is possible to discover the full expanse of our humanity. If we let it, if we allow it, if we don’t wrestle with it, if we leave well alone, it will show us the nature of our heart and its essential qualities.

The movement is itself the fluid dynamism and flowing dance of our heart revealing its own nature, revealing the spectrum of its qualities, each with the potential to fill us with vitality and a sense of the value of life and living.  We value the life of the one we have lost and we value the life we have. In this place there is no contradiction between the intense pain of loss and the love of life.

All we have to do is let grief have its way with us. As long as we cause no harm to ourselves or others, the movement of grief will take exquisite care of us. If we leave well alone, and simply let ourselves fall apart in our own arms, we may discover that grief is not something we have to get through to get back to life. It is life.

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Dr. Geoff Warburton is a specialist in love and movement. He enjoys baking bread and dancing whenever possible, often at the same time.

 

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