You, who read the writings I write, the ones who keep death near their hearts.
Thank you. Especially the time we live through now, when we swim in a sea of losses like a crash course, in the death of our beloved ones that keep us alive once and draw us to the future or in the loss of our jobs, spouses, projects, routines, need for intimacy… Are we or they who proceed towards an unknown horizon?
When we want to place our experiences in a sufficient frame, it seems like we need to go way beyond the theories written about the topic. The stages starting with the denial of the unwanted truth and proceeding with anger and negotiations, no doubt, help us name some of our feelings, but they also bring some monotony to the field in a way the ones working there have never intended to do. They clothe grief with a single model uniform.
However, a big part of grieving (grief holding us) remains out of these models. The maps these models provide us with do not describe the route our sorrows pass through. Theories do not accompany the laments that our hearts are singing.
In fact, when we go back to 12.000 years earlier, to Paleolithic era, the cave drawings, and burial procedures whisper something to our ears beyond all these theories. Perhaps the mourning period is not an issue to cope with to continue our lives from where we leave, but, what’s more, it is the means for us to connect to life from a place we haven’t experienced before and a process of creating a meaning out of what we live. The development of some new models which could hear this and try to accompany our griefs in this way creates a celebratory mood in me.
“After you start learning about grieving, you don’t find yourself talking about it. You don’t analyse it. Instead, grieving becomes your way of talking, analysing, and seeing. Instead of grieving becoming your aim, it becomes your way to continue when you can’t move on.” Stephen Jenkinson, Die Wise.
Does it really happen? It does, if we don’t shoot the messenger i.e. your feelings. There are things that your feelings emerging in the grieving period will tell us about your broken hearts and sorrowful souls. Can we stay there until we hear the message? Since the emptiness around your heart wants to share what has been taken from your life and what your heart needs in order to be bundled up with trust and start to beat again. We enter in the process of grieving period with a question mark. We know nothing. We can only listen to the emptiness and solitude, and we can ask that emptiness: If you could talk, what would you tell me?
If these words echo in you, could you spare a few minutes? Close your eyes and focus only on your breath. Fill your lungs with the feelings you have now. How about breathing in one or a few feelings? Giving ourselves the opportunity to release this feeling and sitting in it. Releasing the feeling in you into the room, but its becoming a nutritious place where you can breathe afterwards. We can sit in it even if it surrounds you.
Open your eyes when you are ready and look at your need now. What does the emptiness tell you?
We are not trying to remove the sorrow. We are just trying to listen to what the emotional reality that belongs to you is. If you cannot find the words to describe it, invite symbol, metaphor, laments; dance, poem, or story to your life to understand and explain what is going on. In this way, you can find the images, actions or words that can convey the pain to you in the pain itself. And if you can spend the necessary time here, you can find way and strength to move on getting out of the limited vocabulary most classical theories present to you.
Mourning could make your heartbeat again. Sometimes with the company of laments only.
P.S. I am attaching one of my favourite laments here.
Seni Alırsa Fırtına
If the storm takes you away