Yesterday I played some music for a community event called “Death and Cupcakes,” an exploration of the expression of grief. Although there were a few men in the group, it was the women who shared their stories. One whose husband died from ALS and struggles for her children to find a way forward after this devastating loss. One whose son died a few years ago and seeks to find a ritual to remember him on the third anniversary of his death. One who struggles with “anticipatory grief” knowing that someone she loves plan to take his life.
Grief is the deep emotion of mourning a loss. Typically we think of grief as mourning the death of a loved one, but I wonder if grief can be defined as any loss of love. In life our losses can mount up. The loss of an idea of a mother’s love. The loss of a dream of a marriage that didn’t work out and the love of that partner. The loss of a special pet. The loss when a child leaves the home. The loss caused by regret that we didn’t do enough for someone we love once they are gone.
One thing that struck me yesterday is that there is no one structure that we can build for healing our grief. Not only is every situation of loss different, every one of us experiences grief differently and crystallizes the experience of loss into our lives in different ways. Grief can make us feel closer to the ones we have lost. It sometimes becomes part of our story – a new identity that we take on. After my mother lost her husband the first thing she would say when she met someone new […]