Grief, the Gateway to Grace

My family has been hit hard. A young life has ended on this Earth far too soon.

As I watch those I care about most reeling in grief, I sit frozen, not knowing what to do or say. In an attempt to begin to process my own thoughts and feelings, I turn to what I can do, I write.

Grief is an interesting emotion. It’s raw, persistent, and must be felt, experienced and worked through, or it will plague you. It’s defined as ‘a keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret’.

Grief can stop us in our tracks while the rest of the world passes by, a merry-go-round of busyness, insignificant interactions, and endless bullsh*t to someone who is grieving.

What if grief is the gateway to grace?

What if there is a very specific reason to experience grief; an experience delivered to us, ready to be uncovered, discovered and tapped into as an element of our own expansion?

Could it be possible that grief is brought to those who are ready for a deeper experience of living?

Could it be that grief is, in fact, a gateway to grace?

I am exploring the relationship between Fear, Fire + Faith in my own life.

For me, each one is a link in a chain, all necessary to make the entire chain – the fullest experience of our lives – stronger. I can’t help but wonder if grief as a gateway to grace is yet another link.

❓ Can we allow ourselves to ultimately feel what we’re meant to while not limiting the reason for these feelings?

❓ As we sink into grief, could a step in our own process be to recognize it for all that it could be?

We tend to run from grief, to hide from it, mask it, play it down. Perhaps we are running away from the doorway instead of towards it and eventually through it.

I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I’m willing to ask the tough questions.

There are aspects of our human experience that must be expanded on. We’re barely skimming the surface of our reality.

We’ve taken a wrong turn, lost direction or become out-of-touch with the origin of why we’re here in the first place; to live out this human experience as fully and completely as possible. 

We’re here to breathe, see, hear, touch, taste and feel all of what life has to offer us, including those aspects that are typically viewed and interpreted as difficult.

What if it is within these very difficult aspects of life that we are able to link to much MORE?

What if we literally must be taken out at our knees in order to wake-up, rise-up, and open-up to all that is here for us to experience and expand upon?

Grief is a reaction, ‘a reverse movement or tendency; an action in a reverse direction or manner‘.

Perhaps we’ve defined grief too narrowly. Perhaps it isn’t a reverse movement at all but an important movement inward and forward in our own expansion.

I’ve experienced gut-wrenching, take-me-out-at-my-knees grief three times in my life: grief surrounding my adopted father’s death and a deep regret and longing for the father-daughter relationship that I wish we’d shared; grief for an unborn child; and grief arising from inter-generational trauma, being taken from my birth family, community and culture.

Grief has gripped me at the throat, taking my breath away.

It’s kicked me in the stomach so hard that I’ve doubled-over in pain.

It has lodged itself in my body until I was ready to release it.

Grief has also given me a gift from my ancestors with many lessons to learn as I am ready.

At times I’ve chosen grief; at times, it has chosen me.

With each experience, I grow more ready to experience grief for all that it is, all that it can be, and all that it can link me to – a GIFT – a GATEWAY TO GRACE.

Be gentle with yourself – breathe, relax, release.

Find the relief that is there available to each of us upon invitation.

Invite and allow grace to infuse and heal every aspect of your being.

C, your young life on this Earth is complete but it is so, SO not over. I feel that.

Your life is a reminder to each of us to rise-up and explore an elevated experience of living.

You were in the prime of your life; such an important reminder – a harsh one – to each of us to reflect back on our own journey since we were 17.

Have we fully appreciated each day, each moment, each breathe that we’ve been given?

Squeezed out every single ounce of learning, joy, adventure, appreciation, happiness and sadness?

Life is such a gift. Thank you for reminding us of that today – and every day.

Rise up and shine on. No confines, only greatness. 

Much love, Aunty Char


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About Charlene SanJenko

Charlene SanJenko, Founder + CEO of PowHERhouse Impact Media Group, has worked intimately with thousands of women over the past 20+ years to understand what they need to fully integrate excellence and fulfillment in all areas of their lives.