Muse: to reflect, contemplate, to
meditate in silence on some subject.
Sorrow doesn’t disappear from our life, but into our life.
It is a myth that we “get over” grief. Grief doesn’t go away as it is always with us. If it disappeared it would be as if who or what we have lost also disappeared. Grief softens over time as it becomes more familiar. Our grief and sorrow become a part of us weaving their way into the fabric of our lives giving more depth to the tapestry of who we are.
So instead of trying to make our pain disappear may we learn to let it into our lives.
Hoping that we all stay healthy and safe in these uncertain times.
Please feel free to share this “museletter” with others that you think may benefit from it.
In grief, we spin our own cocoon that wraps around us and holds us in place until we are ready to engage in life once again. We spin our cocoon out of sadness, tears, unanswerable questions, love, and all of the memories that we hold dear. This is not a pretty process just like when a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly is not a pretty process but when we emerge we are transformed into something more real and more beautiful.
Just like the caterpillar who hangs upside down to spin its cocoon grief has turned us upside down and we feel like we are hanging by a thread. As we begin to spin this cocoon we are a little disoriented but something deep inside of us tells us this is a process that can’t be rushed.
When we are first wrapped in this cocoon of grief it feels smothering and we don’t want to be here. Sometimes it feels like the more we struggle against the cocoon the tighter the cocoon becomes. Eventually, we come to rest in this cocoon as we let the metamorphosis of grief happen.
Some days as we are enveloped in this cocoon we feel as if nothing is happening. We feel numb and confused but we can’t escape. Other days the process is excruciating as our hearts break open and we feel as if our insides are being turned into mush. We no longer recognize ourselves.
As time goes on we begin to examine who we are becoming in this cocoon. We wonder how the pain of this process is transforming us. We question who we are now and who will we become. We wonder how will we live differently because of this grief experience. We have shed our old skin and our new skin is more transparent and maybe a bit more colorful. Our hearts are knitted back together although a little misshapen. At first, our vision is a little blurry as we start to see ourselves in a whole new way. We are beginning to feel more cramped in our cocoon and know that maybe it is time to stretch our wings.
We slowly begin to unravel our new self as we begin to step out of the safety of our cocoon. We take our time as we feel a bit wobbly in a world that has gone on in much the same way but we have emerged as someone new, someone more real, more beautiful.
The Written Word
There are many ways to express our grief and putting our thoughts, feelings, and ideas on paper can be a very healing process. The suggested prompts here can be done one time or multiple times. I’ve learned it helps to set a timer for 10-15 minutes and keep your pen moving for the entire time. I encourage using pen and paper rather than a keyboard as there is a hand/heart connection when writing longhand. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar, just write. When the timer goes off you stop writing even if you are in mid-sentence. Don’t reread your work at this time. Just set it aside for a couple of weeks and then go back and see what your words may have to say to you.
(If you choose to use a keyboard the same instructions apply).
Try this writing prompt:
Describe what your grief cocoon looks like and feels like.
I will list some books, articles, poems, movies, or other resources that I as well as others have found helpful on this grief journey. I hope these resources may deepen your understanding of grief, maybe bring you some sense of comfort, and help you to feel less alone in your grief.