“The centerpiece of the integration of grief is not the mind, but the heart.” –Alan D. Wolfelt

I like to give a voice to grief; I think it’s a calling of mine. However, grief not as the monster hidden away in the closet, but rather a loving friend escorting one into endless opportunities for expansion of the heart. It has been six and a half years since the passing of “my Micah boy,” as I fondly called him. After he died, his Grammy made me a quilt out of some of his clothes. I treasure it. I touch this “piece” of him every day making my bed, but on this particular morning, grief moved front and center.

I used to ask a lot more “why” questions, and I’ve learned that is normal. I did attempt to understand grief through my mind. It took some time – along with some avid kicking and screaming on my part – to acknowledge that going through grief, sitting with grief, living with grief, didn’t happen in my mind by understanding it. Rather, it was a matter of my heart. It’s not some thing my mind can figure out; it’s just the deep love my heart knows very well. I grieve for one reason. I have loved!

In the beginning, I did not welcome those grief pangs. I often wondered if I would live through the process, as it was too much to work through. I felt no comfort, just raw pain and lots of it! I had to be willing to feel it in order to heal, and as I have experienced my pain it has been transformative. My heart expanded, I am less judgmental, and I have more compassion to give myself and others.

As the grief surfaced this morning, I didn’t push it away and I welcomed my tears. I cried deeply enough that my breath paused to give room to guttural pangs I was experiencing. I touched my heart and acknowledged the depth of the pain. Then, I finished making the bed and got ready for work.

Grief no longer scares me like in the beginning of my journey. I wasn’t afraid to enter the grief that randomly rose this day. I didn’t beat myself up for feeling something I was feeling. This grief experience only lasted a few minutes. I let myself feel it for those three or so minutes and embraced the love that comes with and through it. Grief, my friend, thank you!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.