Why Bother Sharing Grief?
Sharing good times is easy. Sharing hard times is not. Yet, I do not think we are meant to carry heavy loads of woe alone. Sorrow, though personal, is also universal. None of us make it through this life without bumping up against sadness and loss. We do not get to forgo the inevitable parts of living; such as experiencing grief when loss happens.
Sharing the Load
Sadness makes us feel vulnerable, uncovered, undone and powerless. Recovering exhausts us. Mending from bereavement can be a little bit like rolling a boulder up a hill. It is hard work. Then, just when we think we might be okay, the rock slips out from underneath our hands and rolls back down the slope. And we start again. Yet, since none of us are exempt from grief, we do not need to roll our boulder alone. From my own experiences with pain, I have noticed that those who have lost, as I have, can help me the most, if I let them. They are like a guide who has already tread down the path of adversity, and lived to tell about it. Their season of sadness changed their lives, but their lives did not end because of their sadness. These are the best ones to call upon for a little help. And recently, I was privileged to have someone call me.
A friend, emotionally depleted and physically spent after a traumatic loss, said to me, “Can you help me to remember how to breathe?”
We agreed that yoga could be helpful and set a date to practice some breathing. Unrolling our mats onto my deck one morning, I led my friend through some slow and simple asanas. I reminded her that no matter where we put our bodies in space, our priority was to breathe. She let out an audible sigh.
We breathed in deep draughts of air while seated in an easy twist. We inhaled the warm summer breeze while lying on our backs with our legs resting against the wall. We permitted our bellies to fill with air while resting in supported bridge pose. In essence, we moved, but more importantly, we breathed.
When we finished, the smile on her face confirmed for me that together, we had moved her boulder a little farther up the slope toward betterment.
Why bother sharing grief? It is worth it to trust another with the personal load of sorrow. After all, it is universal.