The leaves have fallen on the ground
The soul has spoken
In the cave of the heart angels cry
Absence melt into presence
The longing of the soul has never been so loud
Poem written by Christy Choy, MFT on Oct 6 2017
Whether it is a painful break up with a lover, the death of a loved one by suicide, illness, or accident, a divorce after 19 years of marriage, or a little foster child saying goodbye to the birth parents ; the experiences of grief and loss are universal, and inevitable in life. It is as if each day, as we create a new self, when our body generate new cells; we are also shedding the old, the part of us that no longer resonate, little by little.
Yet the experience of grief is cruel. As if a heart wrenching thief just went through every bit of our soul, sucked away every drop of joy and casted spider webs over the sweet memories. “For now they are gone, you will no longer have what you once have.” the thief exclaimed. And we are doomed, caved in by darkness, weighed down by heaviness. For how shall we live life again?
When we are in relationship with others, whether it is a friend, lover, family, our work, or even a school; we share a piece of our soul with them. The little stream of soulful energy, from the reservoirs of life, flow from our heart and mingle with others. In this exchange of life stream we create a sacred piece of artwork – the shared life experience. This piece of artwork often contain elements of both light and dark, as in all things of nature. The laughter we shared while watching a silly TV show, the cake we baked and shared with others in a celebration, the precious moment when we looked into each others’ eyes and knew exactly what we wanted to say, or even the pain we suffered when we were hurt in the relationship. Sweet or sour, joyful or painful; these are the special moments in life that we shared, with our heart, with our life force, and our intention.
And when all is gone. It feels as if there is this deep hole in the heart, a strange sensation of emptiness in the chest. How could it be? And ah.. the excruciating feelings of heartache. These are all too painful to feel. And we escaped, we detached and ran away. Ran away from the pain but also, separated from our soul, our heart, our ever-flowing reservoir of life forces. We are rendered soul-less, living as a zombie, infected by the venom of life’s cruelty.
Those were dark times, indeed. Having experienced a variety of sudden losses and endings in my life since childhood, I know it too well. I remembered wandering out and about in the city, frantically cleaning the bathroom inch by inch, work so diligently and “enthusiastically” at a job for over 12 hours a day. I remembered how my 19-year-old self attempted to numb this excruciating pain, and cope with the catastrophic experience of a sudden loss. Or, perhaps unconsciously trying to find myself again.
Many years have gone by and I have, inevitably, experienced other forms of loss. Some of them being more catastrophic then others. But I’ve learnt that, eventually, I seem to “recover” from the doomed experience in the process of creation. I write poems, I draw, I sing, and I create little tokens of memories. I might allow myself to sink into that deep hole of the broken heart, but then I picked myself up and kept going. Seek help, take care of my body, process, and create.
For it is by remembering that we grieve; and it is in deeply caring for ourselves that we continue to share our love with others. For life is a regenerating process. We are like snakes, shedding our old skins from time to time. And it is in the acceptance of this game of life that, we live and flourish.