SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion of grieving as creating a space for safely connecting to one's feelings? Can you share a story of a time you found wholeness and joy by grieving fully and authentically? What helps you not be wrecked by grief while fully accepting your feelings?
After attending the circle at Santa Clara on this topic last night, I came away with a feeling of wonder. What if the circle is actually its own entity? We may be listening to each member of the circle when they share with words or stillness, but what if we are really listening to the circle? The circle felt beautifully complete, with deep sharings, exploration of edges, and counterpoints. If the circle were a person, that would be one heck of a wise person! And how beautiful that one cannot listen to a circle without also deeply listening to the individual. And how doubly beautiful that this circle can only emerge as a result of a process, and can never be replicated in the same way again!
Reading the comments here, I feel that our circle wasn't limited to just one physical space - every one of the commenters here are part of a bigger circle, and we are literally dotting the circle that is the shape of our planet. Thank you for making this possible.
Thank you for sharing this wisdom. It states it so well - when we short cut our grieving, we short cut life.
In response to the last "seed question" given: What helps me not to be wrecked by grief stems from God ... As in scripture.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 68:10-11, 20-21
Thank you Somik for writing and sharing your feelings.
For a very long time, I couldn't think of my Grandma without crying and immense regret.
My mother is suffering from dementia and she is at the last stage of the didease . She cannot recognize anyone even her own children and is totally bedridden . The doctors have given up . She is totally silent , however her eyes reflect her pain ans suffering she is going through . There is total acxceptance of her condition and a silent prayer to God to ease her suffering by letting her move on to the next phase of her journey . . The emptyness within is there , however would like she passes away peacefully with her suffering cut short .
Dear Somik, Beautiful reflections. We have held this question several times in the last couple years. What really is death? My search eased a bit when 'Katho-Upanis, had' shed some light. In this very poetic exchange between Nachiket a young boy and 'Yama' the lord of death, Yama asks some very crucial questions? When you see a seed and plant it in a ground, the seed grows into a small plant. What then happens to the seed? Similarly, when the small plant grows into a huge tree, what happens to that plant? When the plant starts having Flowers, where does that come from? When flowers give way to a fruit, what happens to that flower? Do they all die to something or is it transmutation of energy from one form to another? With that Yama leaves Nachiket holding that question for a deeper inquiry.
As you rightly said in the last para, What are we absorbing that frees us from all that feeling and roots us in Truth, resulting in Joy and Gratitude for our existence? Thank you.
Dear Somik, Just the day before, I lost a dear friend of mine from Ireland. This piece came to me near and dear. With enormous gratitude. Jean
Thank you for the passage. This was need of the hour. We witnessed a very celebrated death of my mother in law very recently. She was diagnosed of sudden cancer and she decided no to treatment. She said we would do prayer circles at home and she would love to meet her loved ones. In a month's time she passed away, the whole month we celebrated each and every day. There was so much joy. And when we would discuss death with her and say "Mom we will miss you" she would reply saying " you are still attached to the body"!!. We cried and laughed together before she passed away. No mourning after that. We lived each feeling fully with her. I think that's what taught us to deal with her passing away with ease. We learnt that no death is "untimely" since we think linear we feel that way but its nature's way, we are all sitting with boarding pass, not knowing when the flight will take off.
How to live life fully is a challenge for all of us. How to accept fully and trully the departure of someone we love is also a challenge for us. When a child is born, we celebrate the arrival of the child and celelbrate her birthday. And when that child passes away we feel sadness and grief in our heart. We need to give space in our heart to truly and fully accept our sadness and grieving. It takes time and support of our loved ones to go through grieving. This process allows us to get the true acceptance for the transistion of our loved ones.
I have gone this process several times when all the mebers of my family and my dear good old friends passed away. Knowing intellectually the impermanace of life was not enough for me. I needed to go through the process of fully grieving, putting my head on the shoulders of my family members and friends and letting my self cry heped me to truly accept their passing away. I needed that space within me to expereince my sadness fully and feel lheir love and blessings and my love and gratitude for them. The last loss in my life, the passing away of my wife, was a very difficult expeirence for me to go through grieving. Fully and truly accepting my sadness has helped me to live my life fully.
Life is a gift and death is a gift. Light is a gift and darkness is a gift. To see the light fully I need to see the darkness fully.
Jagdish P Dave
Yes, the soul is eternal and continues to be present, and death of the body and loss of the physical presence is still a significant death and loss. It is my experience that grieving creates a space for safely connecting to one's feelings. When my father died, I sobbed like I hadn't sobbed since I was a child or maybe ever. I was aware as I was sobbing that I was sobbing, that I was letting myself sob, that it was coming from a deep place within me, that it felt good, and that I was sobbing not ony about my father's death but also about a lot of things for which I had never let my self sob. My sobbing was emptying and cleansing. It was an expression of my grieving fully and authentically, and in it I did find wholeness and joy. I didn't feel wrecked by my grief and sobbing but felt wide open and more together and whole as I was accepting and allowing and feeling my grief and sobbing. My father died 23 years ago and the experience is still clear and present in me.[Hide Full Comment]