Unfinished Grieving? Have a Funeral in Your Heart

The few trees still upright were stripped of their branches, lonely flagpoles without a nation to claim them. Mike Mullin, author

Three weeks ago, Hurricane Ian ravaged parts of Florida and other states. Many people are in mourning for their possessions, their way of life, and the idea of life being the way they wanted it to be. Every day we are thankful that our southwest Florida house was spared as we empathize those who lost so much. 

In Asian philosophy, this mourning of the loss of how we thought life would be is called Ego Death. Those who have lost their homes, possessions, livelihood, and/or their way of life must be willing to have a funeral in their heart. 

Grieving the loss of our expectations, as well as possessions or even loved ones, is an important step towards recovery. There is no way around grief. To move forward, the path is straight ahead. 

Affirmation: I accept the importance of grieving no matter what the loss.

Coaching question and request: What have you lost that you have yet to grieve? This could be something less profound than a parent, child, or spouse. Perhaps it’s your innocence about the world, the loss of a friend, your most prized possession, or your way of life. Take a moment to think about your unfinished business around grief. Then do the work of having a funeral in your heart. 

October, Baptize Me With Leaves!

October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace! Rainbow Rowell, American author

What a lovely ode to October. I guess if your name is Rainbow, you have no choice but to become a poet. Right? 

This is the first time in several years that I’m experiencing the beauty of fall. Health concerns and a hurricane bearing down on Florida kept us in Northern Illinois this year. I’m reveling in the colorful trees, the cool days, and the general hum of fall. 

With so many tragedies happening all around us (I’m particularly thinking of the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian), we must grab the gold ring of October and, if we are safe and whole, be thankful for our blessings and do what we can for those unable to celebrate. 

Affirmation: I am grateful.

Coaching question: How are you celebrating Fall? What can you do for those less fortunate? 

The Tides of Life

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. Kristin Armstrong, Olympian

Speaking of tides, my thoughts go out to my fellow Floridians and others affected by Hurricane Ian. Yesterday, as I imagined the possibility of our beautiful Marco Island, Florida home and the homes and livelihoods of many others being swept away, I was grateful for the outpouring of love and support from friends and family all over the country. My husband and I are safe in Illinois and, over the course of the storm, we determined that our friends in Florida were safe as well. 

I was anxious, of course I was, but as I focused on gratitude, the tide of love rushed in. Through all the ups and downs of my life, I’ve made an effort to remain grateful for the love that turns fear, loss, disappointment, and heartache into manageable feelings. 

Affirmation: I am grateful.

Coaching questions: What are three things you’re grateful for today? When has gratitude ushered in a tide of love in your life?

Photo by Pamela Heckel on Unsplash