Grieving — A Return to Wildness

Grieving — A Return to Wildness

Grieving is an act of wildness. For a short or long period of time we allow ourselves to be raw, uncontrolled, like the undomesticated nature of life itself. Deeply they are intertwined—grieving and life—one feeding the other. The wildness of grieving opens us to the wildness of life.

Something takes hold. A torrent of unexpected sorrow, the urge to scream, the primal instinct to pound the floor, to wail to the stars, to dance, to move as something mysterious and ancient shakes us loose.

Like the screaming raven, torrential storms and crashing seas, we too become untamed.

Our intimacy with the rigid, fearful, overwhelmed, wounded parts of ourselves, and the world, takes us there, an intimacy with that which aches to be felt and set free: the pain of childhood neglect, the immense shame once captive in our deceased grandfather, the agony of our next-door neighbour, and that of the world, all we can’t turn from and deny feeling anymore.

Suffering finds our heart, breaking it open. We can no longer bear the burden of holding ourselves in check, of standing tall, of getting by without facing the stark reality of what it is to be human. We can no longer play the sanitized game of fitting in, hiding out, of acquiescing to the cultural expectations to be strong and move on.

The frozen embers of pains past melt, surge, rage, finally, are made fluid in our body; the icy creeks of despair and longing are set free, the river made wild again, through us, leading us back, as all rivers do, to the vast, waiting ocean.

Every moment the Earth calls out to us, it calls to wet its soil, to give life so life can grow more beautifully and abundantly. The clouds long for the tear-filled ocean and the Earth longs for rainfall. Our grieving nourishes the cycle of giving and receiving, of living and dying.

Indeed, in the wild movements of tears we die again and again, a sacred offering to Mother Nature, to life, a sacred return to wildness.

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Check out Vince’s book: Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart

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