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Grief Is A Mind Game

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

The present is a moment that we often occupy unmindfully. We often use it to simply bridge the gap between our memories and our hopes.” (The Grace In Living, Kathleen Dowling Singh p 39).

Once again, I read the above sentence and filtered it through my grief lens. Although the author was writing about living each moment mindfully; in the general context of life, we can use the same principle and apply it to our grief.

In the general sense, we live our daily life without really paying attention to the details. We attend to the daily routines, appointments, job and family without really seeing, hearing, feeling and sensing the life we are living. We remember a few events from the previous day and weeks, all the while planning for the upcoming weeks and months. Before we know it, the day we live today is a distant memory. My daughters and I had a saying while they were growing up that went like this, today is the tomorrow we dreamed about yesterday. In other words, we are always planning ahead and forgetting about living the moment.

We often live the day unmindful of the grief we are trying to ignore. We do everything we can think of to not to face it. We ignore it or push it deep inside. We let it lurk around the edge of our being, banning it to the shadows of our existence so we don’t have to feel it. We live in the not-so-distant past, the fringe, where it doesn't hurt. We feel the ache swelling in our heart, the lump growing in our throat, and the twinge stinging our eyes.

But….. we go no further.

We allow our minds to race to anything but our grief, anything that will fill the space that hurts. Quickly the lump and sting fade from existence and expression. The ache vanishes as long as we do XY or Z (you name it). We ask ourselves, “when will this stop?”. We begin to hope. We hope for the day when there is no struggle. We hope for the day when the pain is gone. We anticipate and long for a future without grief.

How do we live our grief in a mindful way?

We have to decide that no matter how painful or agonizing, we will allow the grief to manifest in whatever manner it shows itself. We will feel it. We will experience it. The ache in our heart; let it continue. See where it goes. Feel the squeeze, the tightness; feel the pounding. That lump in our throat may be a scream, a howl, a gag or a whimper waiting to escape and be heard. Let it become the sob that validates our pain. The sting in our eyes could be the sign of cleansing tears, the sign of pent-up anger or the flow of sacred tears of love. Feel the sting, the burn and the sweet release that will follow.

Mindful grief is felt and experienced. Mindful grief is pondered and explored and lived in such a way that we are changed by it. Mindful grief hurts. Mindful grief can be that bridge between our sweet memories and the promise that we will be OK. Mindful grief is grief lived and not ignored. Mindfully living our grief elicits the assurance that we are feeling our life as it is. We are feeling, experiencing and acknowledging the pain and sorrow and at the same time affirming the love we shared. We are feeling what it feels like to be living with Grief In Life.


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