Good Grief. Don’t Change the Channel.

Good grief. Don't change the channel.
A wise woman once told me that the higher purpose of grief is to recognize our longing for profound love.
Picture this. You’re watching your favorite television show – maybe one of the final episodes for the season – and you lose the signal. What do you do? a.) Curse the station. b.) Hit mute and stare in disbelief at the static, hoping the signal will reset on its own. c.) Dive across the room, grab the tin-foiled rabbit ears, and strike a statue of liberty pose. d.) Get up and do something else. e.) All of the above, not necessarily in that order and possibly on rotation. When someone you love dies, you lose their signal and, after the shock, sadness sets in. Somewhere beyond the cursing, muting and staring you start feeling the gravitational pull of grief. This is when societal intimation encourages you to “get up and do something else.” After all, if you get sucked in too deeply, you might crash. Better to stay busy while the gravity field weakens.
Except this gravity doesn’t weaken without the grace of a higher purpose.
Everyone is a channel for God – if you’re willing to listen to everyone. But you’re not. And you can’t. God knows that, so your significant channel signals are pre-set for what you need. Loved ones in your life act as signals to specialty stations that broadcast points of interest, encouragement, growth, humor, creativity – or whatever you have need of. When they’re around, it’s easier to engage with the programming that makes for a better life experience or accomplish what you set out to do. There are also people that broadcast God directly into your life. Sometimes you recognize these sacred channels right away. Sometimes you don’t – until they’re gone. When a loved one dies, you not only lose them – you lose the station they boosted for you. The life experiences and expressions you shared. You can circle within the gravity field, tinfoil in hand, but the rabbit ears are gone. You are left with an insatiable longing.
Grief moves us beyond the gravity point when we embrace its higher purpose.
From Theory to Practice. When Ray died, I lost a direct channel to God – and more than a few secondary channels – so the grief set in hard, fast and on multiple levels. He was a significant God channel so, in grieving Ray, I also grieved God. My “go to” person was on the other side of the veil. Now what? As grief forced me to confront a different relationship with my out-of-body beloved, I realized my relationship with God was part of that package. As well as my relationship with all those secondary channels Ray held signal for – like art and the purpose for my creative expression. The ease and comfort, in experiencing these channels, had to shift to other broadcasters still here. My attachment to Ray’s style of delivery had to adjust in the silence without his physical presence. When Gravity Meets Grace. If the higher purpose of grief is to recognize the longing I carry for profound love, then my desire to find a way to shift from merely surviving to thriving, in spite of the estrangement I feel, must also serve a higher purpose. When I take my sense of loss back to Source, I pull up from the heaviness of grief and move into the power of grace. I remember that God created – and gifted me – with this beloved. I see that my loved one’s signal just received an upgrade. Longing invites me to recognize the opportunity before me to receive my own upgrade – while still here. When grief meets grace our GPS gets reset to travel where gravity does not bind us.
If I love you here, I loved you first in heaven.
This is the deal about having God Channels (like Ray) for me. They are significant because the seed of desire for what we share is planted within me and encourages me to keep reaching. By design, they are my memory of God here – and my memory of God there. I know, this sound like some mind-stretching mystic shit (alliteration intended) but I want you to play with this idea because this is not a blog about navigating grief. This is about resetting your signal. For whom do you grieve? For whom do you long? Where do you find your experience of profound love today? There is a new (old) order introduced when a beloved dies, offering to fine-tune your receiver. You can reset and match signals with that loved one. You can reset and tap into the greater love you long for. The higher purpose of grief evidences in our willingness to accept its invitation to recognize our profound reach beyond the veil. It is our GPS home. Not all earth plane events originate with a higher purpose. Shit happens. Yes. But SHIFT happens when we recognize that all things can SERVE a higher purpose – if we reach for it. This is the comfort found in a grief that points to our deep longing to experience love and life – FULLY – on both sides of the veil. This is the grace, and thus curriculum, for those of us left behind. I always love to hear your thoughts, DEar HEaRTs. You matter to me! Mwah! XO Bernadette Subscribe to this blog or follow me on Facebook. And if you like this then LIKE this! Remember, SHaRiNG is CaRiNG. If you found something here that inspired, you may know someone else who will feel the same.

When grief answers first … wait.

When Grief Answers First When grief answers first, it isn’t pretty. And, sometimes, it's raucous and self-involved. At least that’s my experience with it. Maybe I am more messy than most – though I suspect not. I suspect that what I am giving voice to here will not seem strange – or sacrilegious to the preciousness of life – if you have spent intimate time with grief. Singular grief sucks. Multiple grief sucks. Overlapping grief sucks. I’ve done them all. When that gut-punch, double over, drop-to-your-knees moment hits, it is hard to imagine that there is anything beyond the pain. When I found out I had breast cancer – just months after Ray took his last breath – grief spoke first. “Well, here’s your ticket out of all this pain. Your work here is done. It’s been a good run.” When losing someone or something you love becomes a reality, it throws off the order. Ray’s run with a cancer that ended in death turned my days – and my morning prayer time – upside down. The pain felt in his absence left me with a desire for connection at any cost. Even if it meant I spoke to Ray first – and God second. Something I never did while he was alive. My healing hierarchy fell out of balance while cancer cells feasted on estrogen without supervision – or should I say without “super vision.” When the small lump grew and ate away breast mass, I witnessed what the physical demonstration of grief must look like in a part of my body designed to nurture life as well as receive pleasure. There are those who believe that disease gets its footing in times of dis-ease. As I look at the overlapping distress and disappointment, compressed into a span of five years, I have to say my dis-ease has carried on long enough. Even for this messy muse. Each day, I wrestle with angels until I find a blessing – knowing that it will not be a blessing that offers a re-do. It will be a blessing where grief – singular, multiple or overlapping – learns to live with grace and gratitude, moment by precious moment. When grief speaks first, I am learning to let it say its piece and forgive myself for what feels like an indulgence, for grief is not indulgent. It is simply a part of life. Then I wait for the whisper of grace. And I embrace grief as a part of evolution – not involution.
I wrestle with a greater awareness of love through the face of loss. And I evolve because I love – not because I loved.
Grief and grace invite me to be part of the equation. To notice the places where I am missing from myself as I am missing him or her – or this and that. To love more deeply and receive more freely. How much grief and grace can a heart hold? A lot. An awful lot if we allow ourselves to evolve and expand through the process. I intend to heal through this grief AND the cancer in my breast. And that means I have to give my ALL to the process. I have to be fully honest, fully present and fully human. (Got that human part down pat.) I told you in my “Life. Death. Breast Cancer.” post that it would get messy here. I also said that if I share anything heavy, it would be to build muscle. So, if grief is a challenge for you in this moment, you are not alone. When our hearts expand, they touch. Here’s to building muscle, together. I welcome your journey with grief here. And if you, too, are working hard for a physical healing in your life while wrestling with an overlapping grief, I would love to hear how you are doing with it. Sharing is Caring. And feel free to subscribe.