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  • Writer's pictureMonica Binger

Love Will Find A Way Through Grief

October 5th, 2023

A myriad of thoughts, emotions, and physical symptoms show up when grief is lingering beneath the surface. We are quick to notice the criticism, guilt, anger, blame, fear, and physical symptoms, yet, we're slow to recognize the real source, which gives each a persistent presence in our lives.

When grief presents itself, it’s easier to point a finger at challenging people or situations in our lives than to look our deep sadness in the eye. I had an opportunity to sit face-to-face with a big wave of grief this past week. I call it an opportunity because when all was said and done I felt so much better. The truth is that I was holding onto so much grief that my body finally said, “no, I can’t take it anymore. I cannot take on one more ounce of anything.”

My grief had grown so big that it had to find its way out of my body. It would either leave slowly, over a long period of time, causing issues and destruction to my body, mind, and spirit, or there was another option. I could take the time to sit with my grief so that it could leave. And what it needed most was the love and attention it deserved.

My dear father passed away from Parkinson’s disease in October 2022, and last Tuesday as I approached the anniversary of his passing, I started to experience what felt like a war inside my body. Constant back and stomach pain, persistent heartburn, and I was so miserable with waves of nausea that I had no appetite. I think that grief is the most physically painful and uncomfortable emotion, and causes us to stay busy and do anything we can to avoid the feelings of deep sadness.

A couple of days ago I woke up to persistent nausea and pain. I decided to do a guided meditation on compassion in hopes that it would help. As I listened to it, a voice in my headphones instructed me to tune in to an emotion. I focused on sadness. And it was as if Grief heard her name and immediately presented herself. Suddenly, there was tension in my throat, which slowly turned to pain. My face scrunched up. Pressure and pain washed over my eyes, and tears started to roll down my cheeks. My back and stomach felt tense with even more discomfort.

The gentle voice instructed me to feel my body's physical sensations. It took effort to stay focused on the pressure, tension, and pain. I was then guided to bring in compassion for myself and the experience as I felt my feelings. I allowed myself to feel the agony in my body, and instead of resisting and fighting the pain by unconsciously tensing my fists, arms, shoulders, and chest, I accepted and allowed it to be there. I relaxed my muscles and softened into the sharp pain as if I was getting comfy on the sofa with a favorite book. I didn't armor up and close my heart with resistance; I tried to keep my heart open with love, affection, acceptance, and appreciation for Grief as she showed me how terrible she felt. She felt absolutely awful. And for the first time I saw her as I would see a friend who is struggling. With empathy and care.

I allowed my grief to be there and permitted her to stay for as long as she needed. I sat with her and shared words of love and kindness, and instead of being consumed by the pain, I observed it. Being there with the agony felt safe because I had compassion for myself through the experience. Although it felt really uncomfortable, it didn’t feel like I was at war anymore. There was a sense of calm and relief because the battle of resistance was over.

The experience that morning felt different from the previous few days. I had shifted my view of it by giving Grief a name and I wanted to get to know her. I was curious, and intentional. And after a few minutes, the waves of nausea slowly subsided. Instead of being overwhelmed with fear that it would never end, I suddenly felt a sense of peace wash over me.

The icy pain that had become more robust just moments before started to feel warm, and then melted away. It was as if Grief just needed to show me the pain she was feeling before she could leave, like a child showing you a ladybug or frog they picked up in the garden. As quickly as she showed me her pain, and I welcomed it in, she found her way out of my body. She didn’t want to stay to be a bother; she just wanted to be seen, welcomed, and honored.

Is it possible that it’s this simple? Less than 29 minutes of offering unconditional love, attention, and appreciation to something that felt like a monster inside me, and suddenly it was gone. My grief's pain needed to be seen and accepted instead of ignored, resisted, or criticized. By the end of the guided meditation my stomach didn’t hurt as much, the heartburn was gone, and the backache had disappeared. It may be hard to believe it happened, but it did.

Grief needed my undivided time and attention to show me the extent and intensity of her pain. I responded with kindness, and instead of resisting the pain I stayed relaxed and present. I didn't fight it, find a distraction, or fall asleep. I allowed myself to be there with her without trying to fix things or think my way to a better place. I stayed with the experience and felt my deep, heartbreaking sadness with acceptance and love, remembering that it wouldn't last forever and that I could get through it.

The past ten days have reminded me that self-compassion and respect for this season of sadness and all that I am experiencing is what I need the most. Grief is complex and messy, and will show up from time-to-time. I think I have arrived at a point where I'm willing to change clothes and jump into the muddy puddle of grief. I've decided to wear a sweater of warm love, plants of respect and dignity, and boots of courage. If you're on a similar journey of loss, I hope that you can take time each day to choose an outfit that gives you the comfort and support you need and deserve at this time.

Written By:

Monica Binger

Life, Relationship, & Parent Coach

Specializing in Coherence, Communication, & Relationship Dynamics

About the Author:

Monica provides coaching services to individuals looking to make improvements in their life, within the family unit, or the group they belong to through improved coherence and communication. She is a curious pathfinder and bridge person who helps people build bridges by taking them inward to discover a path onward.

Please Note: It’s essential to make decisions that are best for you. The insights shared in my articles and blogs are my views and opinions and should not be construed as advice, recommendations, or fact. Just because something helped or worked for me doesn’t mean you should try it without external support and guidance. Please always remember to consult a mental health or medical professional or therapist if you have emotional or physical issues or concerns.


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