The Yin and Yang of Grief

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It was true love and there was not a doubt in our minds and hearts that we would plan a life together. And that is exactly what we did. We had a glorious future planned together.

We experienced true love; now this is a gift. Connecting with another person on every level imaginable is a knowing that will stay with me forever. On the other side of this wisdom is that I only have the memories. The fact is that he was killed. In that instant, all of our dreams and plans for our future died as well. I have spent hours upon hours dreaming about what was supposed to be. This inevitable process is so painful because the reality stings. I could write pages upon pages related to the pain and sadness that took over my body and soul. I felt completely shattered. Little did I know that being shattered also meant that I would choose to put myself back together in ways that I could never have planned.

Because Ben was killed unexpectedly, I quickly learned that a plan means nothing and that the next minute is never a guarantee. His absence is so often present and this is when emotions arise. When these feelings show up, I don’t dismiss them. I let them in, care for them with truth and compassion and then let them go. By the way, this is no easy task and has taken me many years to absorb this practice. I could go into details of the enormous amount of time enveloped in uncontrollable tears, collapsing into myself and feeling paralyzed. There were many many times throughout the years that I avoided and denied the all encompassing hopelessness, confusion and “crazy” thoughts that entered my being. I am living proof that, with awareness, practice, and self-love…light arises. Facing the depths of grief has given me experiences and perspectives that intricately changed the way I perceive life and the way I live.

Grief propelled me in ways that I never envisioned or designed my life to be. Would I have become a Reiki healer, fire walker, yoga teacher or take the risk of building my own business? I don’t know the answers to the “what if’s” and those words don’t serve me anymore. Rather, I observe my thoughts, actions and choices and go for it! Because I take on this “go for it” attitude, I have been cracked open in ways that are almost indescribable. The light that enters me gives me hope and choices to ask the bigger questions about G-d and the divine and my purpose on this earth.

I know exactly what I want in my life and I choose not to settle for anything less. This knowledge shows up in my beliefs, actions as a mom, daughter, friend, and social-worker. I have so much wonder and desire for my life today and my future. Going through any life changing experience gives one an opportunity to look within. Since Ben’s death, I have been given time and space to explore and ask myself many difficult questions. Grief leads me down paths that I never would have known were there. I am on a journey and adventure that I am excited about and eager to experience. Now here is the vulnerable truth; I want to share all of this with a partner. It truly is all about love for oneself and the knowing that I am here on this earth to share that love and compassion in every aspect of my life. Now, dating after being divorced and widowed….that’s for another article!

In the darkness, light is present. Just as there is a sunset, there is a sunrise, sadness and joy, winter and summer, rain and sunshine (maybe even a rainbow). The spaces in between are where we can find our balance and true authentic self. This is a snapshot of the yin and yang of my experience with grief today. I know that I am here to serve others in many capacities. My intention is to create space and bring this awareness to others. This awareness can arise through any experience (not only grief); everybody has a story and I hope to hear yours! Whether it’s my guidance through a counseling session, Reiki or yoga class, I am here for you! I know that I could not have gotten to where I am today without all the guidance and support from others. We can plan, design and manifest a life we desire but sometimes there is a greater force that throws us experiences we did not ask for. The twists and turns are inevitable. I believe an essence of life is holding space for all of the experiences, feeling and knowing your truest authentic self with great love and finding your tribe to share it with!

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