Finding the Gift in Grief

Small Griefs Add Up

Today I am having to deal with the grief that comes with a health challenge facing a loved one.  In loving this person, I go to the compassionate place in my heart. But as  Miller Williams talks about in his poem “Compassion”–we cannot know what goes on down where the blood meets the bone. This is a place we cannot go, no matter how we empathize with someone. We can’t be “in” the person, experiencing their focus, their reservoir of fear or sadness. We see the friend or loved one from our own perspective–not theirs. In this place, we can’t possibly know what choices they “should” make in their medical care, their communications with family, or any of a dozen other decisions they are making. And yet in this world of  brain dominance, we are encouraged to prioritize, put things in perspective, stick with the left brain and don’t let the emotions […] MORE

Global Grief in America

“Wild Sage” by Catherine Tappouni Burkee Every single day we are inundated with the tragedies and sorrows of people around the world. Recently, several tragedies have come to us in our home, the United States. Boston has been added to the burden of grief we carry after Newtown and Hurricane Sandy and Colorado. It is impossible to watch and listen to what is happening around us without taking the emotions of grief, sadness and loss into our bodies. Our cells store these emotions, often with our personal emotions of grief learned throughout a life of losses. We feel what the survivors are feeling, and we grieve with them. This connection with others is part of our human-ness, but it’s important that we recognize when we are accepting more than our body can handle. We Signs that this is true can be as simple as finding ourselves sighing deeply throughout the day […] MORE

Easter Thoughts

The Easter story is one that we read all the way back to the Babylonians—the miracle of Spring, the death of the plants and the eventual resurrection of Mother Earth. It certainly triggers hope, and we can imagine how it brought joy in the early peoples as they waited to see if green would reappear. In my book “The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss,” I believe that the broken heart is similar to the frozen cracked earth of winter, and the gift is the greening of our hope and faith in what is to come. We are forever a hopeful species, and as the dark clouds of war and anger bring winter to our spirits, so can the gifts of love and kindness bring the spring. May each and every one of you find the joy in the story, and in your own life. I […] MORE