Grief is love. It is love for someone who is gone. When the feelings of loss are so strong that they brim over, that is you expressing great love.
I did not hear about the tragedy in Connecticut for a few hours. Instead I had taken part of the morning to visit some new babies. One visit was with an eight-day-old boy. For our brief, half-hour walk, his mother wrapped him so snuggly, so securely in his natural fiber carrying wrap, she could have been doing flips on a trampoline and he still would have slept peacefully.
All loved ones are that precious. So it’s fairly natural to grieve for other people’s loved ones too. No one goes through the process of mourning in the same way, but the basic emotion of grief, at its core, is the same.
Buddhist teacher, and grandmother, Pema Chodron has said it this way: “If you get in touch with that arrow in your heart, it’s quite accessible to you at that very moment, that there are people all over the world who are feeling exactly what you’re feeling.”
If you have lost people who are dear to you, then these kinds of tragedies can can bring back all sorts of memories. You may find that you want to reach out to people. You may feel in community with them in some way. Melanie Beattie calls it, “The Grief Club.” I’ve also heard it called the society of people “Holding a Hand in Heaven.”
You can send a letter to the parents of the children who were lost, or their classmates, or the families of the lost teachers to:
Sandy Hook Elementary School: 12 Dickinson Drive Sandy Hook, CT 06482
After all, Shakespeare tells us to “Give sorrow words…”
If you are grieving a loved one during the holidays: remember there are a few things that may help:
Remember, even if you have one hand in heaven, in this moment now, your feet are on the earth. So, notice that there is still life all around you.