A New Year: Giving Ourselves Permission To Thrive In The Face Of Grief

Photo by: Cara Hope Clark

This post has been ruminating in my mind over the past few weeks, waiting to be brought to the surface to explore and share with you. I have touched on this subject before, however it feels important to take a closer look, since I would imagine there are many of you who may find this as relevant as I do.

I was driving along in my car recently listening to my Pandora Radio. A favorite Pearl Jam song came on called Alive. As I listened to Eddie Vedder with his expressive soulful voice and heartfelt ability to deliver a lyric, he sang the familiar words I’m still alive. This main stanza of the song felt like a divinely appointed message in that moment. It has been ringing through my mind like a daily mantra ever since. Have you ever had that happen to you? I have, many times, and I have learned that it is always something to listen to. In this case, I got the message loud and clear that although Claude is gone I am still alive and I need to celebrate that gift! I am still here to get on with my life, to get on with what I came here to do. I have a mission just like you do and everyone else here on this planet. Losing someone we love does not change that, it actually helps shape and solidify the course of our lives moving forward.

I have had this awareness through my grieving process on some level but it takes so much time to sift through the rubble of grief. It takes time, and the amount of time we need is different for each one of us. It takes time to feel that it is really ok to go on with our lives. It takes time to feel that we are not turning our backs on our lost loved ones by being happy or being a productive person again, living a life with true meaning without them by our sides. I know this well. I have been slowly inching my way through this, moving in that direction all along. But it is indeed very challenging to keep that momentum consistent. I find myself grinding to a halt over and over again until the next round of inspiration is unveiled and I get back on the horse, so to speak. I recognize it’s all part of the grieving process, but it can feel maddening at times. It is a slow moving journey that can’t be rushed; it has no time limit or time table; it can feel seemingly endless and out of our control at times.

Although I have created some amazing things in my life since Claude’s suicide there has always been an undercurrent of holding back my true joy and happiness. As if I would be betraying his memory somehow if I were to truly move on. Truthfully, when I found Claude hanging in our attic that day, a part of me died too. Hearing that song felt like a wakeup call for that part of me who has not come forward to reclaim her life. It is time, I can click the reset button, giving myself permission to live my life in a renewed way. I honestly had no idea it would take this long. I have wondered many times if this day would ever come, feeling trapped in my grief for so long. Can I really let go of the past that has been binding me for almost five years since Claude died? I won’t ever forget what happened or the pain I have felt, truthfully, I think it will never go away. Yet, I think I am ready to release the guilt that has been stuck to me like glue since his passing. Allowing myself to be effortlessly breathed and guided by the pulse of my life. Allowing myself the gift of freedom! Hallelujah!!!

Since my grief has become such a predominant component of my life, it is hard to imagine a life without it. I have been processing this shift and my understanding of how I can truly re-create my life. It seems that an adjustment period is under way for me, a gradual recalibration of the old vs. the new. How perfect and timely considering we are beginning a new year, a new cycle, giving not just me but all of us an opportunity for a fresh new start. This is a time that can be filled with hope and new beginnings if we so choose.

I am grateful that I have been feeling renewed excitement about my life purpose and keeping on track with that commitment. It feels like I am slowly coming “alive” again. After all: “I am still alive”. There will inevitably be bouts of the old yet familiar resistance to change bubbling to the surface. Those parts of myself rising up, trying to hold me back, keeping me safe with the status-quo. However, I am determined that over time a new balance will be established and a new normal will be securely in place.

Will you join me in your own time of course, to gently give yourself permission to experience life in a new and fresh way despite your loss? It may take hundreds of tiny tender baby steps, there is no rush. This bears repeating: Your loved one would want that for you. They are by our sides cheering us on, they want the best for us. I have been feeling Claude close to me lately. I feel he is holding my hand through this, guiding me as I take each step that brings me closer to wholeness.

Let’s open ourselves to the mystery of this life that remains before us. We all have so much to do and so much to offer. After all, that is why we are still here. We are all needed, especially now with the world changes we are faced with and challenged by. We are all important and we are all being called upon to get on board with our individual purpose.

So let’s make 2017 the year of stepping out and stepping into our true selves in a completely new and empowered way. It can be something small or something grand it is really up to what you feel called and guided to do and your own comfort level. Remember to always be gentle and loving with yourself and adopt the mantra, I’m still alive

May your new year be the most empowered and mission driven year ever. May you also walk in partnership with love and with light illuminating your path.

Happy New Year Dear Ones!!!

All Love,

Cara Hope

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10 thoughts on “A New Year: Giving Ourselves Permission To Thrive In The Face Of Grief

  1. I’m a little breathless after reading this blog. Hallelujiah is right! Please know your voice is clear as a bell and your message a good one to remember for all of us. We are still here!

  2. I love everything about this post! Your words, wisdom, reminders, and even the photo! I also love your reference to the Eddy Vedder song, “I’m Still Alive”. The lyrics are about a boy who finds out his father is actually his stepfather, and that his real father is dead. In real life his father did die, and this song is about his strained relationship with his stepfather. He considered the lyrics to this song, “a curse”. However, watching his fans jumping around, celebrating, and screaming this song out, he realized they made the song as a positive thing, “an affirmation of life”. He is thankful to his fans for lifting the curse of this song!

    1. Aztechan, thank you for your comment, it warms my heart! I did see that on line about the song and Eddie’s relationship to the lyrics. Thank you for including that in your comment. It is nice that in the end his words have inspired us to celebrate life! <3

  3. Beautifully stated. It sounds like you are preparing to turn a page and explore a new chapter in your life.

  4. Thank you so much for the honesty and beauty with which you write. One of the most powerful things I read after the death of my father was the simple phrase: “grief is a type of love”. If we don’t love, we don’t grieve. Problem is, grief is such a taboo in our society that no one talks about it, so nobody realises that grief is a natural part of life and that it’s not something you can or should just “get over”. Living with grief has a bittersweet beauty in itself. But that doesn’t mean we have to let it hold us back.
    I’m so glad I stumbled across your page by the way. Writing, blogging, sharing and reading other people’s blogs on grief has been such good therapy for me. Once again, thank you… and sending much love your way. xx

    1. Wise words! I am so grateful for your comment Elen! It means so much to me to hear how people are affected by what I have written and to hear about other people’s journeys. It is so important to know that we are not alone in our grief. Many blessings and love to you!

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