• Patricia Ballentine

The Beauty of Grief

I am feeling very grateful for the Folks I know who have a deep and essential awareness of who Grief is.


They are the ones who not only recognize Grief, but have the capacity to hold Her when others are consumed or gripped so tightly they can barely survive.


These Folks are the ones who speak tenderness into the fear and vulnerability of Grief, breathe life back into someone's struggle to exist, and hold shattered lives together for as long as it takes for Grief's energy to lighten enough for life to continue.


Grief does not discriminate. Neither do these Folks who know Her well. They recognize Grief's presence in uncountable cultures and multiple generations. They see through the masks and disguises that offer a pretense of security. They recognize the unspoken languages and have the capacity to dialogue with the soul of Grief.


These are also the Folks who know when presence and silence extend, forming a blanket of safety within which Grief can do Her work. These Folks are rare. I believe they are called or gifted or born into the knowing of Grief's ways.


I imagine that Grief has existed longer than humanity and is an essential and informing presence in evolution. I think of Grief as a living entity that recognizes when She has served a greater good and then continues along Her path of change and form. And like us humans, I think that when the complexity of Her existence is ignored and left hungry for recognition, or is abandoned and misunderstood, a sense of purpose is lost. Grief becomes a tangled trap for raw energy and emotion that requires even more attention from those Folks who can recognize Her essence.

I imagine a planetary tapestry that encompasses all of life. Grief's purpose is to be a unifying thread running throughout the tapestry that connects us all through our individual and collective experiences of loss. I imagine that if our evolution and the fabric of our survival is the warp, Grief is like threads in the pattern of the weft guided and stroked by the hands of the Folks who intuitively know those patterns....and the colors...and the textures.


And, in these times when too many of us are oblivious to the consequences of our actions; when man's acts of inhumanity against humanity create overwhelming waves of pain and suffering, and when senseless and unconscious actions contaminate and destroy our very planet, I imagine the realm within which Grief's purpose has served for millennia has become tangled and distorted.


Before distortion and the unraveling of the fabric of humanity, Grief was an aspect of Beauty in the deepest sense. She had a place and a clear purpose.


These Folks I am so grateful for are heavily burdened today. And still, they remain connected to the essence of Grief and are navigating, reweaving, and restoring the purpose by holding the healing that Grief can bring. Many may be called grief workers, but these few....are Grief Knowers...wisdom keepers, soul touchers, and humanity healers. They embrace Grief and through their touch and presence, the Beauty of Grief's purpose is supported and life's fabric can continue to be woven even though it is ever changed. And that is as it should be.


Some may question the "Beauty" of Grief.


These Folks know that Grief is a Sister within the greater family of the Mystery of Beauty, and that the worldly places within which Grief moves is often not pretty and almost always filled with pain. The deeper the understanding of Grief's purpose the greater the potential for reconnecting and reweaving our planetary tapestry.

And so today, let us pause and look at the threads we hold or touch of the tapestry we are all part of. Let us each recognize that Grief is woven into our own lives, and as such is a common thread connecting us to all aspects of life. Let us reflect upon our alignments, our beliefs, and our practices. Let us question if we strengthen or unravel the planetary tapestry. Let us consider the work we make for others by our own neglect or thoughts and actions.


Let us offer a deep bow to these Folks...the Grief Knowers, for their work. And let us strive to recognize Grief when She arrives as an integral part of our journey through dark times. In recognizing Her, we are a step closer to our own healing, and even through our own pain we restore clarity of Grief's purpose, thus untangling the weft and patterns of our future.