Letting Go of Grief
by Dana da Ponte ~
This week, I’ve been struggling with feelings of loss from the pandemic. I miss how things used to be.
In my work, Spirit helps people dive deep in their subconscious and emotional realms. There are a lot of memories that still affect us stored in those hidden corners. One of the emotions Spirit regularly uncovers in the shadows of the psyche is grief and that’s exactly what I’ve been feeling in waves, both big and small, during this pandemic.
Most people find it difficult to greet grief with compassion and truthfully, if you’re like me, you might sometimes not even be aware you are grieving. You might notice something is wrong or off but you might not know that the reason you are feeling odd is because you are grieving something or someone.
Grief can sneak up on you when your life changes in any small way and your life is always changing. You are always changing. Your body changes. Relationships change. Kids grow and change. Jobs change. Homes change. Even when you’re excited for a new experience that is coming, there is something about the old one that will feel like a loss. Nothing stays the same for very long and with every small or big change comes grief.
Think about what you have lost since the pandemic. One of the things you may have lost is a sense of routine. Where you work, where your kids go to school and play, the events you normally would have attended, the extra curricular activities you had to drop, all the people you used to see on a daily basis – all of these may have changed. You’ve probably had to change how you shop, exercise, eat, entertain yourself and celebrate.
You’re allowed to feel sad about all this change. You’re even allowed to feel angry. It’s not easy having to adapt to a whole new routine. You might still be feeling displaced or out of sorts. It’s a lot of change to accept.
I often feel restricted or trapped. I can’t always go out and do whatever I want to do. At times, it feels really frustrating being held back in this way. It’s not easy to lose your freedom. You’re allowed to struggle with that. Don’t belittle your pain or dismiss it by convincing yourself you shouldn’t feel the way you do. Just feel what you feel.
There’s so much that doesn’t feel normal anymore. We’ve had to change so much about our daily lives you might be experiencing something as simple but profound as the loss of normality.
You might be struggling with losing a job. Even if you didn’t experience that kind of loss, you may be empathizing with all the people who have and you’re feeling a general loss of security. This kind of grief also brings anxiety and fear.
You might have also had to experience the loss of co-regulation, the loss of connection, the loss of hugs and affection, the loss of physical nearness. All of this can bring about moments of overwhelming loneliness. You might be grieving the touch and connection you used to have.
If you are a parent or grandparent or you care for kids, your heart may be feeling heavy for the next generation. You may be grieving the future you thought they would have.
Except for the ceremonies we have around death, we don’t have a lot of rituals around grief which is unfortunate because as you can see, there are a lot more kinds of grief than the grief we feel when we lose someone we love. When we allow ourselves to experience all kinds of grief, it opens us up to feeling deeply which is how life becomes meaningful.
Spirit Art Exercise:
To help you process some of those unpleasant emotions, try this Spirit Art Exercise.
Gather a collection of everyday objects that you don’t mind getting paint on and that you think would make interesting lines or marks (like the end of a paper towel roll, or a wine cork, or bubble wrap, or the netted bag your fruit comes in).
Gather a collection of warm colored paints like reds, pinks and orange.
Gather a collection of cool colored paints like blues and greens.
While thinking about any grief you may be holding in from the pandemic, make patterns and lines and marks with your cool blue and green paints. Add words or symbols to describe your thoughts and feelings.
When you are done exploring your feelings of grief, give the layer time to dry.
For the final layer, think about what you are grateful for or the positive experiences you’ve had since the pandemic that you might not have had otherwise. While you are feeling your joy and gratitude, make patterns, lines and marks with your warm colored paints.
I created the example you see a while ago and as I played with my warm and cool colors, I noticed that gratitude was a welcome companion of grief. I didn’t dismiss my challenging emotions and only focus on gratitude, but after allowing my grief to pour out of me as I painted, focusing on gratitude helped soothe and comfort my bruised heart.
If you choose to try this creative healing journey, I hope it does the same for you.
Dana da Ponte is a professional intuitive, artist and certified MAP Practitioner. She helps empaths and highly sensitive people manage anxiety, overwhelm and negative thinking so they can break free of self-sabotaging patterns and claim the intuitive and creative powers that come with their sensitivities. You can visit her online at danadaponte.com and sign up to get her free moon pages delivered to your inbox every full and new moon or join her free community Art Journaling with the Moon for Intuitive Healing