Tomorrow is just another day. When we look out the window, we will not see sparkles of postcards, nor hear distant musical horns. There is much cultural bias towards a certain attitude for bringing in a new year. There are expectations of hope, resolutions and positive vibes that most people succumb to fueling up with, just because it is a new year.
The hope that I want to talk about is one that may sustain our souls through the unbearable. If hope may carry us gently in the air of sorrow that grief has carved up, then respite may be possible for a little while. Before we can regain energy, we need rest and clarity. Grief sucks our energy from us, especially in the beginning. It can easily muddy up our clarity. Hope may help replenish them. With renewed energy and clarity, we may have more courage and strength to face the sadness with our whole being, and build the new path of our lives. I share this with love.
Mixing hope in with loss. And you may wanna say: How on earth? Get real. Let me set it straight for ya…
What comes into your mind when you hear hope, as you experience grief? If you are like many, there’s a wish, deep within, that hope could be possible. Does it seem impossible for you? Well then, sit tight, hold on to what is with you right now first. Embrace it. Do this while keeping in mind that whatever is happening, in your bones, thoughts, aching or wondering heart, is all in transition. It is moving through you. It will move through you and leave, in its own time. Let it do its work. Don’t rush it nor deny it. Don’t force it to stay, either.
It is in our human nature to be connected to our stories. Our departed loved one is the part of our story. So, of course we hold on to the moments we recall, about them and maybe us, and of unrealized futures that we planned. Some memories take on a long term prepaid lease and just linger. Sometimes these are the most painful. Other memories fade into the background, even if the most joyful.
At this moment, if the wish for just feeling the presence of the person, who is gone from your physical world, is the strongest, then honor that wish. Sit with it. Close your eyes and see if you can recall a moment of joy. It is a virtual recall of what once was. The thing to remember is that the joyous moment happened once. The gift now may be one of a different nature: Knowing that you had the experience. Knowing that you also love so deeply.
Yes, it is easier to think that we no longer have what once was. And it is easier to notice that others still do. Yet, sinking into this knowing does not change things in ways that we want. It sinks our hearts and gives us that overall sinking feeling. It changes our outlook on how all things are and will be. It starts underlining the missing. It fades away what is still here, and what is yet to arrive, pleasant surprises that still wait for us. The sinking is to be experienced, and expected. Your heart will know when to grab onto a raft to pull you out of the depths, even for a little while. Be there to listen to your heart, your intuition and inner knowing.
Our choices are pronounced during rough waters of life. When things are easy and pleasant, choices do not drastically affect the outcomes as much, unless we intervene willingly to introduce an oddball. Then we arrive at a point in time when we are holding onto a raft in open waters and unknown destinations, stripped off of our comfort zones, wishing we were still back in time when it was good. Right then, the last thing in our mind is how to control our new destiny. Because we get stuck in the destiny of the past, we can easily get blind sighted to the possibilities of the future.
There is no easy bridge to fly over from what was to what will be. In order to allow life to redeem itself, we must make a choice to allow its incubation. And, we need to sit with what is, to become fully present to our life. With compassion toward our self, our beloved, life and all the events and people that were assembled to make our story possible. Our feelings of joy deserve a place at the table along with our feelings of sadness. Feel each emotion, thought and memory. Treat them equally, with curiosity and welcome. Get to know them. In the process, get to know you. Be kind to yourself as you do this.
Float between your grief, and life as it is now that needs attending to. Remember that you are the whole person. Treat yourself in your wholeness of all the experiences. Lift yourself up into healing and joy, equally as you go deep into your sorrow. The more you treat your self to something uplifting, the more strength you will have to be with your loss and sorrow. Try to remember being kind, firstly to yourself, through this discovery.
Hold on to the hope deep within you, even if it is a reluctant faint flicker. Whether it speaks, wants to draw, write, or rest in an afternoon sleep, let it come through. Befriend your hope as much as you befriend your sorrow.
May the even dimly burnt candle flame in our hearts stay resolute and turn into the brilliance of stars.
With love, always.
Yasemin, December 31, 2017
For those whose loved ones passed too untimely, against what we believe to be the natural order of things, my heart bows to your sorrow and what you may be going through. Experiences of a loved one’s death is humbling. Each person’s experience humbles me more. How the bereaved hold on, continue, even flourish in unexpected ways, is a hopeful curiosity for the rest. It points to the possibility of renewal against the odds of anguish. The wounds may be invisible, shift shape, yet are ever present. We are entering a third new year without my husband and my son’s father. Our griefs are unique. I feel that a young child’s loss resides deeper, mixed with the challenges of growing up and learning about life. I keep learning, teaching, and practicing cultivating hope, love and compassion, for him, for me, for everyone who grieves, and all who will experience grief some day.