The Progress Report by Eileen

Grief /ɡrēf/

Deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.

I’ll start with some honesty. I am fortunate enough to not be an expert on this topic but I can tell you that some of the people who I love the most in life are grieving in ways that I cannot even begin to imagine. I have lost people through the years but I have not felt the profound loss of a parent or a loved one in ways that others have. I can, however, tell you that it is awful and lousy watching people I love grieve.

I’m a helper and a problem solver. In my teaching profession, I spend time getting to the root of problems and then creatively I put effort into finding or creating solutions. With grief, I feel powerless and at times I feel like there is absolutely nothing I can do to help those I care about when they are experiencing heartache and sadness. Why do I feel so stuck? I feel guilty that I am experiencing life differently. I am learning to accept the things I cannot change, but I want to know what it is about grief that is so stubborn to be solved.

In all of my research, the one suggestion that stands out is to simply just be there. Maybe not physically because sometimes people just need to be left alone, but allow that person to know that you are there if they need you. Solitude can be very comforting for someone who is stressed, frustrated or anxious in a time of sorrow. At the same time, sometimes people who are going through the motions of grief just need silence. Silence isn’t always the same thing as being alone. Two people can sit in silence together and it is just as meaningful as a good conversation. I think what I am learning is that everyone deals with death in different ways and I have to stop feeling like it is my job to get them to bounce back. They may never bounce back but I can be there if the bounce is in their path

Loss requires time to heal. As living beings, this is a frustrating truth we all have to face at one point or another. However, you can work with the time you have to do something about the way you are feeling, whether you are the griever or loved one of a griever. The yoga philosophy of ahimsa, translated as nonviolence, helps supporters of grievers because the opposite of nonviolence is peace. Ahimsa…

[Writer’s block. Takes an hour break to attend a yoga class and hopefully gets some inspiration].

The universe works in mysterious and mind boggling ways! My intention of writing this post was to learn more, seek answers, make sense of what grief is. I haven’t been to this particular yoga class in over a year because it fell on the same night as my yoga teacher training and because life got in the way, but I remember always leaving her class feeling inspired. At the end of her class tonight, she opened up a book to a random page hoping that it would call to a random person. It called to me, and I am inspired to share it with you:

“The healing you give to the world can happen as gracefully and as naturally as the pine trees touch and heal with their life, their presence. Arousing your sense, they fill you with their fragrance. Their presence changes your energy, calms your fears, lets you know all is well.

Know you can stand tall, joyfully be who you are, and grow where you are. You have the ability to touch those around you in a way that heals them without hurting or draining you. One of your gifts to yourself and to the world is that of the healer. You don’t have to force it, strive to make it happen. It happens gently and naturally when you love and accept who you are.

Open to your healing powers, your ability to heal yourself and those around you. Receive this gift with joy, share it freely with all you meet. Open to your healing powers and you will cherish your past, all you have gone through and done.

Who you are is love. What love does is heal” (Melody Beatty, Journey to the Heart).


*Thank you to my amazing yoga teacher for being divinely intuitive to my investigation. The lesson here: Open yourself up and the rest will follow.

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