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The ‘hole’ of grief – darkness and light
The ‘Hole’ of Grief #5
Imagine you are sitting on the verandah of the cabin in the picture. What do you see?
In this series ‘The Hole of Grief’ , I have been delving into grief as it interacts with our innermost being. In my first post in the series ‘A new year…….gulp’ , I proposed, given we were at the start of a year, whether it was an opportunity to embrace ‘the hole’ of grief, and explore all it has for you.
In the second post in this series, ‘Looking into the grief hole’ I proposed in the hole, along with elements of dark, were also elements of light. In the third post ‘This could be what death looks like’ I delved into what the darkness of grief could look like, and with the last post ‘Grief – is there any light?’ I delved into what the light of grief could look like.
As I said all through this series, I know we are all individuals and grieve in different ways, but it is accepted now, there will be grief when there is a loss. It is a natural part of our shared human experience. To this end, it is critical to well-being to explore grief, which I have likened to a ‘hole.’
I invite you to look at the picture, which was taken on a recent trip to Kangaroo Island at Hanson Bay, after the 2020 bushfires. Just to the left of the cabin, is another cabin that is no longer there. The fire was so hot and so devastating.
There is an invitation to you to enter this picture, maybe ‘seat yourself’ on the verandah of the remaining cabin with an imaginary coffee or a glass of wine in your hand.
What do you see first?
I know for me, the overwhelming part of the view when I was there, was how beautiful and pristine Hanson Bay still is. The water is a stunning blue, the beach with beautiful sand, an amazing sky, together with the rugged place, this part of the Island is, makes quite a compelling picture.
From the beach, you then look around to the surrounding land and hills and see, quite unbelievably, there is not one part of the landscape that has not been left untouched by the fire, made even more amazing how close to the water the fire came.
But these two parts of the picture together, provide a very unique snapshot in space and time. For me, there is no other part of the Island with quite the image this is. It is compelling, a picture that will remain a part of me.
As you sit on the verandah of the cabin, my hope is you will also see this uniqueness for yourself.
For me, this picture portrays the grief ‘hole’ and both the dark and light elements so well. If we look at the beach only, we may think to ourselves “Ah a beautiful beach, think I might go for a swim.” But there are many beautiful beaches such as this, and maybe after a while this particular beach may be forgotten. It is not until you combine the light element of this picture, the pristine beach, with the blackness of the surrounding hills, that the picture takes on a rather unforgettable character. And for me, I don’t want to forget this picture; is is just too unique for that.
How does this relate to your specific and unique grief journey? Maybe as you ‘sit’ on the verandah, contemplating the image in front of you, seeing both darkness and light, you will see both of these elements as you interact with your grief. There is sadness because the physical presence is gone, but there is also light as you have experienced, and given love, which will continue, but in a different way.
Grief is not something you can put off, or maybe get to at a later stage. It is better to simply ‘let go’ and let your self be immersed into whatever the grief journey will take you on. Yes there is darkness, there is light; and the two will come together, and with this valuable experience, you will be able to incorporate into your life experience, going forward. More on ‘letting go’ in the next blog.
This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.
Photo courtesy of the Hayley Family Vault