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How I See Grief As Love

Lisa Michelle Zega Images January 2023

Grief Kuel Thought Leader: Lisa Michelle Zega

Though you don’t have to agree with me that grief is love, I invite you to ask how might grief be love.

“As love seeps in, the grief transforms and becomes a greater love.”

Or perhaps, how might honoring your grief be loving?

Grief In A Bowl:

Imagine grief held in a bowl. You pick up the pitcher and begin to pour love in. The water washes over grief, getting in the crevices, under each particle, and soaks all that is there.

As love seeps in, the grief transforms and becomes a greater love.

I often think at the center of grief is the seed of love, which needs to be watered so that love can be released from its confines and grow into more love.

Some tell me they can’t be with their grief. It’s too big and it will swallow them whole. Touching it is too painful and they simply can’t endure it. There’s truth here. The hurt IS big.

And it’s true that pain needs love.

Grief As Love:

The thing about ignoring needs is that inattention doesn’t make them go away.”

You can’t imagine telling a hurting child to ignore the gash in her leg and keep going. How come? You want her healing. Not an infection that makes her pain worse.

The thing about ignoring needs is that inattention doesn’t make them go away. What’s ignored doesn’t disappear, it gets bigger, louder, and more demanding.

Another way I see grief as love is through the lens of the senses.

Maybe I don’t like the jarring sounds of ambulances, fire trucks, and the cries of the hurting, so I turn down the volume on my hearing. Bird songs, wind whispers, and puppy paws scampering down the hall get muted too.

I dim my sight, not wanting to see trash lining the gutters, tents cobbled along freeways, and images I don’t prefer. But what of the light in the eyes, painted flowers, and delicate spiderwebs? Do they not also fade from my vision?

Pain And Loss:

If I dull my senses to quiet my senses, not wanting to feel the pain, am I awake to the brush of lips against mine? Pain and loss are part of life’s tapestry connecting us all. There is a lot we can ignore, but it’s hard to deny our individual suffering. And what if allowing it also lets us experience the fullness, mystery, and beauty of an open-hearted life?

“Grief is meant to be witnessed in and by love.”

Touching our grief is hard and painful. And, touching it identifies the places for love to enter, wash, and cleanse.

This is an inside and outside job.

Not Alone:

We as individuals are called upon to go back and witness what we needed and didn’t get. We are called to identify what was done that should not have been done. Moreover, we are asked to feel the feelings and bring love and comfort to our wounded, overlooked, rejected, and unloved parts.

We do not do this alone. Our wounds happen in relationships, and so too does our healing. Grief is meant to be witnessed in and by love.

What if to fall in love is to fall in grief? And to grieve is to love? What if all love has grief and only love holds and heals grief?

How do you see grief as love?

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Lisa Michelle Zega

About the Author:

Lisa Michelle Zega is a Life Coach for Midlife Women of faith who are starting over after the death of a spouse or a divorce and are struggling with sadness and self-doubt. She helps them metabolize grief to retain all the nutrients, learning and wisdom and release the waste, so they can begin again with joy and confidence. 

She’s a devoted Minnesota Vikings fan, enjoys people, loves to hike, read, travel and embraces the fullness of life — the joy, sorrow and all the in between. You can find more about Lisa Michelle at Legityou.com or Lisamichelle.legityou on Instagram.