I recently attended a 4-day grief and loss workshop at Dancing Deer Farm in beautiful Paso Robles, California. It was a small experiential workshop with only seven participants and four staff. The size, plus the skill of the staff, fostered a safe and intimate environment that allowed us to go deep.
Near the end of of the workshop, we were invited to pen a note to Grief and Loss and then share it with our companions somewhere on the 23 acre property. Afterwards, we buried it to symbolize a “leaving behind.”
Here is what I wrote.
Dear Grief and Loss,
I came here to find you. It wasn’t hard, being that you’ve been with me all my life. I know your forms well: hidden wounds that bleed, psychic limps, and of course, the Loyal Solder.
You’ve been my faithful companion, the companion I’ve never wanted. I’ve tried to push you away, pray you away, and my personal favorite, run and hide. You remained. My soul bled.
We’ve been dancing, you and I, the way a star dances with a black hole. Because I was finally strong enough to surrender, I stopped and began falling into your dark maw of devastation. I felt the crushing loss of friends turning away. I sensed the disintegration of my being as I passed into your cannonball void, pelvis rent from torso, eyeballs blackened, and golden halo torn off. I listened as my life song was silenced.
For you brought back what it was like to be thrown from heaven. I had tasted death at the hand of my father, the same who had given me life. No wonder I had hidden this. No wonder I had lived like the dead.
Now, after I dared to embrace you and was drawn through, I found myself in utter disbelief that I’m more whole on the other side. I haven’t died! In fact, I feel renewed on this dark side of the still-there wound. Though this particular journey is too new for me to fully assess, I know that somehow nothing was lost. All was changed though. Transformed.
Grief and Loss, you haven’t actually been haunting me. You’ve been faithfully waiting to lead me into resurrection.