Last night I attended a collaborative circle on grief and loss. There was a therapist who gave her professional advice, but the majority of the two hour time was spent with a circle of about 25 women answering questions women had about grief and loss by sharing what they have learned and found helpful in their own lives.
One woman made a comment about how when we grieve there can be a loss of innocence. It struck me as quite profound. As more women spoke I felt tears coming and I let them fall knowing the safe space I was in.
The past two years in my life have been about a lot of transition and with it has come delayed grieving. One of my children has had a major life change and challenges I never saw coming. For the sake of privacy, I cannot go into the details, but I can say as a mother, it shook me. Seeing your child hurt is deeply painful.
As another mother said to me afterward, we do our best as parents to nurture and protect our children. She could relate in her own way to my experience as one of her children had gone through a traumatic experience. She understood the pain but also the realization that we cannot protect our children from ever hurting.
Seeing the loss of innocence in my own child and in my own heartfelt wishes as a mother has brought me a new kind of grief I hadn’t known before. As another woman spoke about her grief, she said that despite the pain, she knew she was here to experience this loss and to grow from it.
I nodded my head in agreement, for that has been my experience.
As a medium, I’ve done many readings for people who have lost loved ones in a variety of circumstances. The more I experience personally, the more I can bring this depth to my work as a medium and a life coach.
I understand that as a person I need to go through various life circumstances to grow my own soul and my compassion. A profound example of an early loss of innocence was the death of my teenage brother when I was not quite ten years old.
I’m not even sure I was aware of suicide before this. I will never forget the police officer standing outside our front door and my mother speaking to him as I sat in our living room. I immediately knew something was very wrong as soon I saw him when the door opened.
Another loss came the following year with the death of my grandmother, who I loved dearly and showed me more maternal love than I experienced at home. Several years later three teenaged friends would die abruptly in a car accident days before they were to leave for college.
Over the years I came to know other losses, not necessarily always physical death, but endings and sudden changes that came about.
I once heard Alberto Villoldo, a shamanic practitioner and teacher refer to the tempering of the soul to that of tempering steel. Curious about the actual definition of tempering steel, I googled it and found that it becomes stronger and “able to undergo change of form without breaking.”
I have found that with each loss, my heart is broken open. And when I allow this to happen, it becomes stronger. The pain is there and lessens over time but somehow an alchemical change occurs, my compassion grows and my soul deepens.
There is a mystery to life I see the older I become. We are not meant to know all things that will occur. We can though, stay present with what arises no matter how difficult and allow our feelings time and space to be felt and expressed.
Time and again life teaches me that through feeling I experience the soul, communication with Spirit and my own divine connection. The journey isn’t always easy and rarely smooth, but there is both a lightness and depth that comes with age.
The lightness comes from knowing that small things are just that and joy can be found in small moments. What really matters is the love we give and share. The heart’s journey can be complicated but our spiritual connection can ground us and carry us forward through it all.