October 27 2011
I’m learning about grief,
I’ve joined a group of the bereaved – from months and years ago –
And still I weep, as do we all, sitting in the circle, sharing;
The tears are welling from my eyes .
What is this grief I feel?
Where is this mourning springing from?
As we talk, discussing how to use the energy of sadness,
A truth dawns.
My grief is foiled love.
Love, the deepest force within me,
Propels me forward; it cannot be plugged, or
Like a geyser it will devastate me from within.
It must flow forth, unite me with the universe.
My heart’s fuel is love; it drives me as I honor my beloved
By caring for all those I meet, and serving them.
In loving them, I grow in strength and find serenity and peace.
In serving many others, I still love the one I thought I’d lost.
In this way, the world for me turns right again, and grief reverts to exaltation –
The torrent of my love once more enfolds the Other;
All is well within my soul.
This week, the grief group I’d joined was discussing how people who have suffered great losses sometimes become capable of carrying out great works of service for others, propelled by their grief and sense of devastation. It’s a way to turn a negative into a great positive for others and, in the process, for oneself. It’s one example of how we always have choices about how to experience life’s losses and wins. It seems to be a truth, that a great devastation can create an opportunity for great service.
There are many examples of people who have gone on from deep loss to admirable service to others. This led me to meditate on the nature of grief, as I wondered how it can create such tremendous positive energy. It seems that when we love someone deeply, our capacity to love increases exponentially. Then, when the person goes away from us, we’re left with a huge surplus of love that has to go somewhere outside us toward others, or cause us great internal pain.
Perhaps this is God’s way of increasing the good circulating in the universe, by allowing us to experience the bliss of loving so that we must continue to love, or perish. We are, after all, one with all, even though we perceive ourselves, in our bodies, as unique and separate.