Experiencing grief is something we’ll all have in common sooner or later. Death is as much a part of the human experience as birth is, but the loss of a loved one is infinitely more painful.
So, what to do with all that pain? It can help move past the anguish if we remember grief grows from the deep roots of love. It is love that makes our loss unbearable. It is also love that slowly heals our heart and lights our way to acceptance and, eventually, to peace.
Love connects the space between agony and peace. As time passes and the sharp edges of our loss are blurred, we’re gently brought back, again and again, to loving memories. It seems it’s human nature to let painful moments slowly become hazy and distant, as if we innately know the way to keep moving forward can only become clear to us through happy memories.
Comfort seeps in slowly when we recall the good times we shared with our loved ones. Think about the camera roll on your phone. If you swipe through the last year of photos you’ve taken, you may find they are mostly happy pictures. You’ll find photos of beautiful flowers, amazing meals, wonderous sights, family gatherings, silly pet poses. You’ll not likely find any awful, painful, sad photos amongst them.
We naturally know an important part of surviving painful moments is neither throwing those images up to our faces again and again nor capturing the awfulness in clear, focused, full color snapshots. It is in letting our minds soften, blur, and maybe even gently forget the hard times.
When we lose someone we cherish, we naturally allow the agonizing moments of the loss to shuffle backward in our memory folder. We invite the precious, beautiful, loving moments to the front. This is our natural inclination — maybe even partly an unconscious act of self-preservation — to allow positive mental images to comfort us and bring us grace.
The peace of heart love brings to us is no small gift, no little bit of chump change. Love is the biggest, strongest, most impactful, thoroughly transformative, valuable, motivating, and healing force known to humankind!
Now, before you say, “What does she know about loss? I’m grieving over here!” I say this to you, in fresh grief myself, having lost my sweet mother only two weeks ago.
Love is indestructible. Consider this in the aftermath of a loved one’s passing; I promise it will bring enormous comfort. The realization of the unstoppable continuation of love is like the wave of a sparkling, energetic, magical healing wand over our heart. It’s the unending connection to our loved one through the force of love, passing over and through us, that eventually turns our grief to comforting peace.
Little by little, love helps us let go of loss, but never of love.
To those grieving a loved one, may you continue to have faith in the ever-constant, always victorious, force of love. May you invite love to rise up and envelop you, heal you, and shorten your journey from grief to peace.