My recent posts have been raw: practicing in the midst. And this rawness prompted a long-distance friend to inquire about my well-being. Truth: I'm grieving. Beauty: I'm awake. One year ago, my mom died. Though her death was not shocking, it was sudden. There was a great deal to process—head and heart—within a short week. I've considered this past year my "year of healing" from the primal loss of my mother. And in the midst of healing, a close friend—living with stage-4 cancer—took a turn for the worse, not in a sudden way, but in a prolonged way. He died three weeks ago. He was one of my best spiritual friends.
Grief is an interesting place. It's raw, tender, and strange: like my insides are on my outside. It's also vivid, poignant, and alive: like my heart-mind is open and awake. There's truth and beauty in grief. As much as I want it to go away (right now!), I understand that resistance doesn't lead to true healing. To heal, I must feel everything, not all at once, but in consistent, compassionate ways. I must allow for heartbreak, foggy mind, and vulnerability. I must meet myself and others with kindness.
These last few weeks, I realized something anew: we're all in the midst. In the midst of wonder and sadness; gain and loss; healing and pain; truth and beauty. Whether "in the midst" because of world circumstances or daily life, we all experience grief, just as we all feel love and joy. And we have a choice: we can numb, distract, and resist; or we can inhabit our lives fully, with honesty and gentleness. We can join hands, again and again, especially in the midst. We can live, love, and grieve as a caring and compassionate community.