A few weeks ago, I was driving home from work and the image of a incredibly beautiful pool of water suddenly emerged in my mind. I saw myself sitting in the green grass by the edge, peering into the calm, dark water. I knew immediately that it was the pool of grief that I had come to be with. Sitting by the edge, I looked deep within the very soul of suffering. I looked deeper and deeper into the endless waters, unflinchingly, until I suddenly saw a reflection rising back towards me: love and compassion.
The thing that struck me most about this unexpected image, was that it was apropos of nothing. The sun was glistening on the Millers River and I was feeling generally content and at peace. Yet, the pool of grief was there, indeed as it always is.
I think sometimes we are conditioned to think of grief as something that we only experience during times of great loss or trauma. But grief has many shapes and forms, and is something we carry with us our whole lives. In the last few weeks alone, I have felt deep grief about a number of different things. I realize, too, that I have been gifted with an incredible invitation – to sit by the pool of grief and to gaze within the soul of suffering. Each time I do that – as difficult as it is – I am touched by something larger, a greater Truth. For that, I am deeply grateful.
“Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.” – Oscar Wilde
“Grief stirs the heart. It is indeed the song of a soul alive.” – Francis Weller