Showing posts from November, 2022

The Ocean of Grief

It's 5:13am on November 18, 2022. The body knows. It remembers, it wakes me up with a tightness in the chest. I search for my inhaler. It can only do so much. Over these past four months since Viggo died, I've experienced my grief as an ocean. My own private ocean. Sometimes it feels like a private ocean on a lonely planet where I am the only inhabitant.  Sometimes I can step into the river of grief, that great rushing river that connects my grief to the grief of all the bereaved throughout all of time. The river is overpowering, communal, ancestral, bottomless. I belong there, too. The river of grief gives me perspective because it brings me into contact with the grief and loss of others, it reminds me I am not alone, it pushes me along and does not let me stay stuck in one place. The river is a transcendence. Not a transcendence of my grief but a transcendence into all grief. But this post is about my ocean. When Viggo died, I felt myself suddenly dropped into the middle of a

Season of Grief, Season of Awe

  Cultures around the world and from the beginning of time have set apart the autumn season to honor death and dying. There is a deep sense that autumn is when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. In the Northern Hemisphere right now, the symbols of death are all around us. The lengthening of night. The goodbye song of the geese as they fly in formation. The letting go dance of the leaves as they spin from Sky to Earth. The smell of bacteria and mycelia performing their alchemical duties of decomposition. Formerly brilliant flower heads turned black and gone to seed. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall is the season correlated with the metal element. The predominant emotion is Grief. Metal is a pure substance derived from the earth by a process of reduction. In the same way, in autumn the living world is reduced, returning back to its source in the Earth. The main organs of fall are the lungs, whose branches and alveoli mirror the branching of plant life both above and below t