Allowing Room for Healing from Grief

Today is the first day since my husband’s suicide that I experienced the witness in my meditation. For the past eight months, I have experienced only an ongoing struggle with anger, tears, and racing thoughts that were intractable to say the least.

Photo: Tonny de Lasson/Shutterstock
Photo: Tonny de Lasson/Shutterstock
If I were an enlightened being whose practice had taken me to a level where I no longer held any attachments, perhaps it would have taken less time to reach this stage. But I am not an enlightened being. I am an ordinary person dealing with ordinary life and grieving the loss of someone I loved in the best way I know how.

To this point, I have tried mostly to be compassionate with myself and to allow room for the grieving process. This meant letting some overwhelming feelings exist in their extreme form for a while. The best I could do was refrain from feeding any additional energy into them.

At long last, the extreme feelings have settled into more manageable moments of thought. Now, when thoughts arise about incredibly painful aspects of my husband’s death, I can breathe with the pain and let go of the storyline. I feel myself becoming closer to forgiveness for both him and myself, though I know it will still take time.

While I’m not sure today’s experience is quite cause for celebration, I would say I think it is a sign of healing. I know the experience of losing my husband will color the rest of my life, but it doesn’t have to dictate the rest of my life. I will take this small sign of health as a signal that I am heading in the right direction and as motivation to keep on hopping.

For more about grieving:

  • Grieving Mindfully with Mindfulness Mutt
  • How to Deal with Intense Emotions in Meditation: 3 Simple Steps
  • Recommended Reading:

    “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
    – Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

    10 thoughts on “Allowing Room for Healing from Grief

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’ve been going through these past months. I will be sure to keep you in my prayers for your continued healing, that you may find God’s peace and comfort and hope.

    2. I am glad to hear that you are moving along the path to healing… though we’ve never met, I do think about you and the grief you must be facing…. especially a few weeks ago when my best friend committed suicide, as she was a bunny friend, and I gave her an autographed copy of your book when it was released. She was not a life partner, but I loved her very much and miss her enormously. I will be scattering some of her ashes on the rabbit island in Japan , Okunoshima, in June. Thank you for your calming words.

      1. I am so, so sorry to hear about your friend, Julie. I am sending all the love and bunniness I can muster your way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need an ear. It won’t always feel like it, but healing is possible.

        1. Thank you very much, Krista. Extra bunniness is always welcome. My little friends do a lot to help me from getting too deep into a pile of sadness. Sending continuing bunny vibes and love back your way as well.

    3. This little hop is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. It gives hope and meaning to those of us who grieve.

    4. As someone who once planned suicide, sure my spouse would have a better life after my exit, I am keenly interested in all that you are willing to share as you hop this survivor path. I don’t know how much grief/pain comes from what you believe motivated your lost husband vs from the repercussions through your life. I feel that if it is the former, there are many hops available to move toward peace because suicidally depressed beings have extremely impaired reasoning. Realizing this, survivors can move beyond what was done to them.
      (As to the latter: upheaval and its suffering are universal. Buddhist teachings and Bunniness will surely get you [and all of us] past that.)
      Whatever your individual details, I have seen your suffering in your writings, and I take joy in signs that healing is occurring. I wish you peace and joy. I send you my bunniness. And, I thank you for your posts. You are a treasure, and have helped so many of us simple bunnies to hop better, hop happier. (I have hopped beyond suicidality!)

      1. Thank you for your comments, Mary. I’m so glad you have grown to see the beauty and value in your own life. There is more I would like to say, but I just can’t seem to find the words right now….

    5. Been thinking of you. Sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you are going through. HUGS

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