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Grief Takes Courage

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Every significant event that happens in our life, changes us. Whether we consider that event as positive or negative, we are a different person on the other side. The changes may be obvious or subtle, but the change has occurred.

The death of a loved one is definitely a significant event. Let’s be honest, our lives are forever changed. Whatever the relationship you had with this person; your life will not be the same without this person physically in it.

How does this death make us different? What is this change that has occurred? Maybe we are more independent or less independent, more fearful, more courageous or less of each. We may find ourselves more accepting of others. Possibly we want to control more things. Before the death we may have felt safe and secure; now we find ourselves feeling more vulnerable and fearful. Do we trust people more or has that trust been violated? Did we have a strong faith and since the death we question our faith? Maybe we have become more spiritual than before the death. Trust me, the change is there.

Grief invites us into change. We know that everything changes, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year. Change is seasonal and constant. We are not exempt from change. Death and grief bring change that is painful, lonely and terrifying. We are being asked to acknowledge and change in ways we are confused about. We find ourselves isolated, feeling shame, sorrow or guilt. We are forced into a change that becomes the new normal.

When we begin to settle into this new normal; we begin to notice the things about ourselves that are different and new. We notice the responses and the reactions we have. Our beliefs often change. Priorities shift and habits disappear and are replaced. Grief asks us to study ourselves. It invites us to embrace the many emotions, surrender to the changes, and create the new person we will become. Karla Helbert, in her book Yoga for Grief and Loss p.19 ( 2016 Singing Dragon), shares a saying that her yoga teacher referred to often; “Adopt, adjust, accommodate”. When living with grief in our lives we are constantly asked to "adopt, adjust and accommodate", change requires it.

Grief is a call to courage. It takes great courage to face the changes in our lives that stem from death and grief. What courage it takes to “adopt, adjust and accommodate” when in reality we want to scream, “NO! I didn’t ask for this and I don’t want it”. It takes great courage to surrender and work WITH the changes and not against them. It takes great courage to live with Grief In Life.

"Being with grief can be terrifyingly painful, yet when we live our grief honestly, it has the mysterious power to deepen the meaning of our lives. This is the gift-curse of grief."

~Grieving Is Loving, pg 82

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

Wisdom Publication 2020


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