Not long ago I listened to a young person talk for a time, then commented, “It sounds like you love nature and hate people.” She responded with a simple, firm, “Yes.”
This young person is not alone in her feelings. Perhaps you too (almost certainly you too!) have had such feelings.
Take your grief to nature. Settle in, get quiet. Pay attention to the birds.
Let yourself feel the emotions that come with your grief. Allow anger, fear, loneliness, sadness, rage, abandonment, shame, confusion, and whatever else you can name to come up in you, and honour them all. Acknowledge that these are real emotions, with real roots and real effects.
Let your pain, your screams, your tears, your snot, your sweat, your shaking, come out.
Again, pay attention to the birds. If you get loud, or if you move – pounding the ground, kicking, or whatever you need to do – the birds may just disappear. Or maybe they won’t. Maybe, if you pay close enough attention, you’ll see a sparrow perch briefly nearby. Maybe, as happened for me, a pair of yellow warblers will leave their high perches and come down to you, posing briefly so you can lose your breath to their stunning beauty before they fly back up to the canopy. Maybe, if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice a robin come near and sit on a small dry branch for a time, looking at you until you feel its presence and its acceptance of you, of itself, and of all that is.
Love all of them. Know that you belong here, that you are accepted by all that surrounds you. Soften into that.
Then ask them, how can I bring this back to my human relatives? Ask them again and again, until you can hear their answers, their stories of how they have done exactly what you are asking to be able to do. Let them take your grief.
Let them tell you how to come back whole to us, your closest kin. We miss you.
Published August 23, 2021