Grief is a profound gift. It is one we never request, but one we learn to respect.

When grief comes, we are given a way through our pain and suffering to a new way of being… to becoming more real and more open to love than ever before. I say this as a way to encourage each of us, me included, to feel fully the pain we are experiencing, especially as we enter the Holiday Season. The memories of “how it used to be” and all the seasonal traditions, now celebrated without our loved one(s), weigh heavily upon us and invite us to grieve once again.

With heartfelt love and appreciation for the pain of loss, I invite you to hold your pain, whether it is anger or sadness, guilt or fear, with love. Imagine that what you hold is like a child who needs a few moments of your time to listen as the child (your pain) tells you what it is feeling. Once you feel the pain and listen to what it may have to tell you, it will dissipate. Thank it for coming and go about your day. When another feeling arises, do the same. It takes just a few moments to be with yourself in this loving and compassionate way.

A couple of days after my son died, a woman came to visit me. She was with Compassionate Friends and wanted to talk to me about coming to the local chapter. Standing at my front door, she began to tell me the long and very sad story of her son’s death and did so with almost uncontrollable emotion. Still overwhelmed with the pain of my loss, I had no room in my heart to really hear her pain or to adequately care for her. I ended her monologue as politely as I was able and went inside feeling even more sad and somewhat confused.

I saw her off and on through the next months in town, and each time I saw her she went into her monologue of pain. I felt compassion for her, but, in retrospect, I believe that she never really grieved. She never sat in the silence of love. She never held herself with compassion, allowing herself to feel her own pain. There was a wall between her heart and her pain. She became the pain and left herself behind.

As we feel our pain, we must remember that we are more than the pain so that we can hold ourselves with love and feel whatever the pain is bringing to our attention. When we do this, our pain, having been embraced with love, dissipates and we receive the gift that grief can bring to us… more love.

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Pamela Prime

Pamela Prime is a mother and a grandmother and lives in Twain Harte and San Francisco. She and her husband have a small retreat with three guest houses in Twain Harte, called Two Bears Dancing! Pamela is a Spiritual Director, an educator and a writer. She has a master’s degree in Systematic Theology from The Graduate School of Theology in Berkeley. Her first book “When the Moon is Dark We can See the Stars” was published in 2008. It is the story of how faith can hold us in our suffering, awaken us, and bring us into deeper awarenesses of God’s love and guidance. Pamela has a 4-month-old daughter who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She also has a son who at the age of 16, committed suicide. Pamela was a guest on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart and discussed Finding Peace and Light After Loss with hosts, Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley. To listen to this show, go to the following link:

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