Exit and Support Network

Awakening from Grief -
Finding the Way Back to Joy

The real dealing from grief can't take place until we make the journey from the mind to the heart. And when the heart is broken, the thought of re-entering it is terrifying.

But the heart is precisely where the healing takes place. And when it is broken, it is also wide open.

It is not the illness, or the death, or the loss, or the grief that causes our suffering. It is our attempt to push it all away that causes our suffering.

If I were to briefly summarize what leads to a growthful resolution of grief, I would say that instead of clinging to our models of how it should have been, or how we wish it was, we simply turn and look at life as it is.

The healing of grief begins when we allow our hearts to be open and vulnerable, when we allow ourselves into them, and allow our wounds and sorrows to be healed by them. While our cultural conditioning has been to close our hearts at times of sadness or fear, the true healing takes place when we open them to absorb our dares, and swallow it into the infinite light they contain.

Tools for Healing From Grief & Loss

  • "It's OK to cry"
  • Share your story with at least one other safe person
  • Ceremony and ritual can be helpful
  • Write a letter to the one who has left or hurt you
  • Keep a journal
  • Express your anger in safe and appropriate ways
  • Meditation, contemplation and prayer into your daily life
  • Let go of guilt
  • Take care of your physical health
  • Be creative
  • Laugh/humor
  • Professional therapy or counseling
  • Relax and take your time

By John E. Welshons

There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken, a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy and a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space too vast for words through which we pass with each loss, out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound whose serrated edges cut the heart as we break open to the place inside which is unbreakable and whole, while learning to sing.

By Rashani, Co-founder of Earthsong, a woman's sanctuary in Hawaii

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