Grief moves like a subterranean stream through my life, and its liquidity is a constant yet frequently unconscious presence. Days can pass wherein I dip nary a toe in the rushing waters. Yet other days, the waters rise, and the briny fluid reaches the wells of my eyes.
These past few weeks, that subterranean tributary is quite less than subterranean. Its level has risen, and the melting winter snows seem to have swelled the stream, feeding its depth, its breadth, and its velocity of movement.
This month of March brings with it the dying breaths of Winter, as well as the birthdays of three dearly departed loved ones. Grief is natural at this time of year, and the lack of sun in this New England late winter only adds to the challenge.
So, what to do in the face of grief's rise? Watch, breathe, cry, and breathe some more. It is, after all, simply an energy. Grief has no substance, no true physical form, although it will often manifest in the body as pain. Yet grief is a mind state, an emotional space, a spiritual state. But notwithstanding, I do not have to choose to live there. When grief moves through me, it is enough to simply be, to breathe, to cry, to breathe through grief to the next moment, and then the next, and the next. If grief is truly a stream, a tributary of the waters of life, then perhaps I can simply choose to enter---and exit---on the pillow of a mindful breath.