By TRU Grief Services
The groundhog saw his shadow and six more weeks of winter was predicted. Valentine’s Day came and went and the grocery stores were drenched in flowers and chocolate. Snow comes and goes quickly as it comes and spring is not quite here. But for me, the word that comes to mind is yearning. In grief we yearn for what is just out of reach, for what was and not for what is in the present moment. It is what we long for again. The longing, the ache in the heart and body, is part of the grieving process and it is sometimes difficult to give ourselves the compassion to feel and accept it.
When I yearn for the person who has died, I have to give myself the compassion to accept that and permission to cope in whatever way works in the present moment. Our clinical supervisor defined compassion as the “deep awareness of the suffering of another with the desire to relieve it.” For the month of February, I ask myself: can I give myself the gift of self-love and compassion to accept my grief? If my special person who died were sitting next to me now, what would s/he say to me? Can I receive compassion? Does it take away the yearning for my loved one during Valentine’s Day? No, but compassion is a gentle reminder to not judge the process or the feelings that go along with missing the person who has died. I continue to yearn.