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Seeking light in the tunnel of grief

Grief begins with an ending.

And with that ending, is a beginning we never asked for.

We enter a dark tunnel of emotions in which the death of our loved one leaves us, and we grope for some sign of hope. That we’ll survive the pain. That our loved one’s spirit is ok. That there will be some way to live without them in our lives. That the God we believed in before didn’t cause this, either willfully or through neglect.

The confusion, on top of everything else, is overwhelming. So are the stress, the sleepless nights, and the what-ifs and whys.

So how do we get safely through a dark tunnel? We need light. Or in the matter of grief, we need inspiration.

I’m certainly not saying we have the capacity to be inspired when we first enter the tunnel. I don’t think we do.

But at some point we need to find it. We need little moments of reprieve from the pain; a light that can lead us forward. When we know what inspires us, we can seek it out in our better moments. Or even in our worst.

Over time, those moments of inspiration stick together like glue and grow into the light of our new beginning; growing a little stronger with each successive moment.

One form of inspiration is the unexpected sense of being visited by your loved one. Sometimes it’s subtle, but sometimes you can’t miss it. There is nothing that will soothe your heart more than to feel you’ve had some kind of connection with the person whose physical presence is gone.

Another is nature. We know that walking on the earth and in the woods will reduce your stress, lower your blood pressure, and improve your mood. But beyond that, the sheer beauty of the natural world, of which all of life and death are a part, can keep us afloat.

Writing poetry, painting, playing music, coloring - any creative outlet - offers a calming, grounding effect we can’t know will come until we put ourselves into it.

Inspiration comes in all forms, and in different ways for each of us. It invites us into unseen arms of comfort when we allow it in. It helps us slowly fill the empty hole of loss where our loved one will always be. And it helps us fill it in ways that will nurture their remaining spirit as much as it does our own.

Inspiration is the fuel of life. No matter what you’re going through, seeking what inspires you is the purest path to relief there is. And it is always there for the asking.

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