Quotes for
the Journey:

Grief



  
Grief rends the heart cleanly,
that it may begin to heal.

Morgan Llywelyn

   
Every great loss demands that we choose life again.  We need to grieve in order to do this.  The pain we have not grieved over will always stand between us and life.  When we don't grieve, a part of us becomes caught in the past like Lot's wife who, because she looked back, was turned into a pillar of salt.
   Grieving is not about forgetting.  Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain.  It is a sorting process.  One by one you let go of the things that are gone and you mourn for them.  One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of who you are and build again.       -Rachel Naomi Remen
   

There has never been anything worth obtaining without grief, or suffering, and disappointment.       -Henry Morrison Flagler

   
When our spirit tells us it is time to weep, we should weep.  It is part of the ritual, if you will, of putting sadness in perspective and gaining control of the situation. . . . Grief has a purpose.  Grieving does not mean you are weak  It is the first step toward regaining balance and strength.  Grieving is part of the tempering process.       -Joseph M. Marshall III
   

We soon cease to feel the grief at the deaths of our friends, yet we continue to the end of our lives to miss them.   They are still with us in their absence.       -Gerald Brenan

   

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
whispers o'er the fraught heart and bids it break.

William Shakespeare

The human being is a surprisingly resilient organism.  We impel toward health, not sickness.  Your spirit, as surely as your body, will try to heal.
    The question you must ask yourself is not if you will heal, but how.  Grief and pain have their own duration, and when they begin to pass, you must take care to guide the shape of the new being you are to become.
    So you should not fear tragedy and suffering.  Like love, they make you more a part of the human family.  From them can come your greatest creativity.  They are the fire that burns you pure.       -Kent Nerburn

   
Grief is something we go through for ourselves, something that allows us to make a transition from having to not having.  When we grieve, we focus on our loss, our "new" life without this person or this pet or this town or this house.  Grief is a healthy response to drastic change, a response that allows us to deal with the pain of loss and get on with our lives.
   Many people, though, go through a much longer and stronger grieving period than others, to the point that they make themselves sick or anxious or miserable.  This happens most often when we mix in other elements with the grief--regret or self-pity or anger or resentment or guilt are just a few of the emotions or feelings we can add to the grief and take away our love for life, at least for a time.  Once we add these elements, grief is no longer healthy, but destructive.  It's no longer helpful, but harmful.  And the only way around it is to recognize what we're doing.       -Tom Walsh
   
Don't be ashamed to weep; 'tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.     -Brian Jacques, Taggerung
    
The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief--but the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.     -Hilary Stanton Zunin
   
See how time makes all grief decay.      -Adelaide Proctor
   
Between grief and nothing, I will take grief.      -William Faulkner
   
   
Grief is a most peculiar thing; were so helpless in the face of it. Its like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.     -Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
   
Grieving is the way that loss can heal.  Yet many people do not know how to grieve and heal their losses.  This makes it hard to find the courage to participate fully in life.  At some deep level, it may make us unwilling to be openhearted or present, to become attached or intimate.  We trust our bodies to heal because of the
gift of a billion years of biological evolution.  But how might you life if you did not know that your body could heal?  Would you ride your bike, drive a car, use a knife to cut up your dinner?  Or would you never get off the couch?  Many people have become emotional couch potatoes because they do not know that they can heal their hearts.
    Unless we learn to grieve, we may need to live life at a distance in order to protect ourselves from pain.  We may not be able to risk having anything that really matters to us or allow ourselves to be touched, to be intimate, to care or be cared about.  Untouched, we will suffer anyway.  We just will not be transformed by our suffering.  Grieving may be one of the most fundamental of life skills.  It is the way that the heart can heal from loss and go on to love again and grow wise.  If it were up to me, it would be taught in kindergarten, right up there with taking turns and sharing.     -Rachel Naomi RemenMy Grandfather's Blessings
  

   
To grieve at any loss, be it of friend or property, weakens mind and body.  It is no help to the friend grieved for.  It is rather an injury; for our sad thought must reach the person, even if passed to another condition of existence, and it is a source of pain to that person.     -Prentice Mulford
  
The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him or her alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.     -Arthur Schopenhauer
  
The reality is that you will grieve forever.  You will not "get over" the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it.  You will heal and you will build yourself around the loss you have suffered.  You will be whole again, but you will never be the same.  Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.     -Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross and John Kessler
  
It's so curious:  one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief.  But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer. . . and everything collapses.      -Collette
  
Heavy misfortunes have befallen us, but let us only cling to what remains, and transfer our love for those whom we have lost to those who yet live.    -Mary Shelley
  

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