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  • Kitty Edwards

Of Broken Parts and Golden Gifts

I am fascinated by the emotion of grief.

I am always amazed how it twists and turns, and then sews the broken parts of us back together again.

Grief isn’t just for death.

It is also for friendships that have ended and for love that is lost. We grieve when the certainty we once had vanishes. Grief arises when we feel lost and unanchored or when we lose the community that was so important for our growth.

In our Western culture public displays of grief are discouraged. It is perceived as a self-indulgent, time-limited activity.

We are told, “Move on. Get over it.”

If instead we spend some time with our grief, feeling its gravity, allowing it to inform us, we often find that grief has a softness to it. When we listen for our grief and honor it, we discover that grief can open our hearts in unexpected ways.

To lose is human. How we respond to loss can be a creative exploration into our limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.

We can mourn our losses at any time, but first we must be aware of the grief we hold within. Our grief can shape our perceptions and reactions to current events in our lives.

Once we remember the loss and the grief surrounding it, we can parse out the anger, disappointment, shame or fear and begin to work with the grief itself. Drawing forth our memories allows us the space to observe, mourn, lament our loss and then move toward a new wholeness.

Like the ancient art of Kintsugi, a Japanese tradition of repairing broken pottery with gold, we can piece ourselves together with loving care.

This is my favorite Kintsugi ritual for grief.

  • Make a sad face to trigger a grief you are holding.

  • Let the memory of your loss bubble up in your body. Notice where in your body this grief resides. Allow the tears to flow.

  • Visualize yourself at the time of your loss. How did you walk? How did you hold yourself? What position would your body take in grief at that time.

  • With the knowledge that you have now, bring a golden gift to your past self who is grieving. It can be a gift of strength, courage or simply love.

  • Deliver the golden gift by placing your hand on the area of your body where this grief resides. Stay with this exchange until you feel the energy shift. A softness will arise.

  • Thank yourself for giving and receiving this golden gift in this moment, in this time.

I like to check in with my grief from time to time to see if an old grief needs my attention.

In doing so, when I am confronted by a new loss, I am ready to receive the blow with grace knowing that I have the tools to process it when the time is right.

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