|Seeing Through the Veils|
This is Week 19 of my Surviving Year Two Grief Project. Details about all my Grief Projects, as well as Grief Resources can be found here.
I think that Grief can have a very interesting effect of cutting through all the false fronts that get presented to us on a daily basis. When we live in a constant state of continually facing hard truths — like no longer having a partner in life, or knowing that someone can die right in front of us — there is a falling away of the soft veils that so many people wear to feel "safe" from feeling and seeing too much.
When I was a child, I was hyper-sensitive. I could feel everyone's feelings around me and it was unbearable, because I did not have the tools to control it or understand it. It completely overwhelmed me. Slowly, through a lot of help from mentors and teachers and therapists, I learned how to protect myself and not get quite so overwhelmed by all the emotions flying around me.
|Kali-Ma, Cutting off the Heads of the Ignorant|
After my husband died, I was so raw that the old empathic portals inside me started to open up and I started to feel other peoples' feelings again. It scared me, but it was impossible to shut down because my grief was unstoppable and kept me extremely raw and open and empathic. Now that I am four months in to Year Two of being a widow, I am starting to see this sudden removal of the social veils as a gift. When I ask someone how they are doing, and they say they are "fine," I actually see and feel how "not fine" they are. I have a choice in that moment — to either enter a dialog about how they are "really" feeling, or pass on by and let that illusion of a veil stay up. This feels like a very powerful place to me. I am learning that it is not my job to rush in and help, every time I see someone in pain. I can choose when I feel strong enough to be in that "helper" role and when I need to just keep on moving.
Sometimes I am in a place of high energy and fire and those are the moments I must be very careful not to speak too harshly or forcefully. Grief can make me very blunt and I realize that can be hurtful sometimes. I have been stripped down to the rawest place of grief and bones and I sometimes have a hard time talking to people who have not tasted this dark, sour place. When someone tells me that I just need to "think more positively," I want to whip out my energetic sword and slice off their ignorant heads. But that's just it — their comments are ignorant. They don't know the kind of despair that potentially awaits them in this life. They are almost living in a different reality than I am. Some days, I have patience and empathy for those still wrapped in their protective veils. Other days, I want scream at them and rip all the veils off in one swoop. Both of these feelings are okay. Both are part of the journey of being in deep grief.
I think Widows tap into a very ancient well of deep power. We know the life of partnership and union and we know what is like to have that ripped away and be alone again. We survive this transition and that is powerful. We have lived in both worlds. Especially as women, we know what is like to depend on someone else to play a more masculine role in our lives and when that person suddenly is gone, we are forced to very quickly integrate that masculine role inside ourselves. I sit in that alchemical vessel now. It is a place of deep grief and deep power.