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Open-Hearted Love and Grief

open hearted loveGrief and I have had a rather complex and resistant relationship.

Part of the reason I’m good at what I do as a grief counselor and coach is that I’ve “done” grief both really badly and really well.  I’ve run the gamut from completely denying it and pretending it didn’t exist to getting lost in dark of it to moving through it with love and openness and support.

Recently, I’ve been talking more publicly and openly about some of my story and the heart of why I love my work so deeply and why I am so passionate about walking with others on their grief journeys.

The response I’ve received has been unexpectedly beautiful and sweet and heartfelt.

Every time I share my story, people come up to me and open up about their stories.  Stories of love and loss.  Stories of babies and children who left too soon, partners who die unexpectedly, parents and siblings and friends and grandparents leaving a gaping hole in their life. They talk about their journeys to move past the pain, rebuild their lives, to break the silence around grief in our culture.

Too many of them tell me they wish there had been someone to share their story and loss with at the beginning of their journey, rather than years later when they’d finally found their footing.  Some of them tell me they have never spoken of their loss until they are telling me.

I, too, sometimes wish I’d been able to find a way to share my story and my pain years sooner.

Sharing our stories and having others witness our grief is powerful.  It is love in raw form.  It’s is a gift – through it may not feel that way at first.  It’s a gift of open-hearted and beautiful love.

Love between you and your loved one who is gone. Love between you and yourself. Love between you and those who witness your story and your loss.

Grief tends to either open us to love or close us off from love.

Ignoring it. Denying it. The silence of it. Wrapping it around us and refusing to let it go.  These things close us off from love.

Sharing it. Experiencing it. Moving through the pain of it. These things open us to love.

Open hearted love that heals.

Share your story.  Choose love.

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