Yes, I’m still here. Yes, it’s been over 3 months since I have written an article here….the longest span between blogs since the website was created in January 2010.

Why did I this take time off? What have I been doing? It all has to do with grief.

I know that grief is not a subject that we like to read about….in fact, we like to avoid grief and those who are grieving as it often makes us uncomfortable. However, I ask you to bear with me for a few minutes as I discuss my experience….an experience that I am still moving through. I hope these will be minutes well spent for you.

You see, in late May of this year my beloved chocolate lab Harmony left the physical plane. She had been my friend and companion for 14 1/2 years….I had been given her as a gift by my children as I was going through a divorce and this puppy filled my heart with love. As she grew, our bond became stronger and stronger. She was instrumental in leading me to my current wife of over 11 years, Mary. Harmony gave me unconditional love and I gave her the same.

In time, I will write more about her. I cannot fully do that yet. A brief version of how Harmony came into my life can be found in the introduction of my book Be Yourself. Through the years, Harmony taught me many lessons which in time I will share. As Harmony aged and I observed the process, I knew she was bringing me another lesson…about my attachment to life in the physical form…..one I spoke of back in September 2015 during a talk at the Center for Spiritual Living in Huntsville, Alabama….a recording of that talk can be found here, Living in the Space of Your Awakened Heart.

Today, I simply want to share a bit about the immense power of grief.

After Harmony’s passing, I felt a pain that was deeper than anything that I have ever felt.  Yes, there had been times in my life previously when there was pain and loss…times that had brought about degrees of grief…..but none of those could come close to the despondency that the loss of Harmony brought about.

Weeks passed before I could pick up things around the house that had been put down in her final months to help with mobility….carpet remnants, ramps out the door and so on.  Her water and food bowls and medicine on the counter remained untouched.  Only in time was I able to muster up the emotional energy to put them away.

Every day I cried.  Every day for over 2 months I cried.  I still cry many days….I am crying as I write these words.

At times, these powerful waves of grief would wash over me and incapacitate me.  I could not sit, I could not be touched, I had trouble breathing.  All that I could do was pace the house and the yard and cry and moan.  These waves were daily at first…sometimes more than once….in time they started skipping days….they still occur but less frequently.

I still cannot look at pictures of Harmony or talk about her without crying.

I have no control over this.  I have never felt anything like this.

I have not felt like writing….hence the lack of articles here on the Bridge.  I have not felt like meditating or any kind of thoughtful contemplation….my mind tends to take me to sad places.

Hence, I have learned coping mechanisms…..I find distractions…..audio fiction books, binge watching TV, surfing the net and so on can take my mind off of the pain when it becomes too intense.

Yet, I am not short changing the grieving process….I know that it has much to teach me about life….and about death.  I am becoming more aware via personal experience of the thinness of the veil between the world of form and the world of the formless.

Even though I have not written any blogs nor been on social media much, I have been public with friends and family about my grief.  It has been part of my healing process.  I have been supported.  Mary, even though she has also been grieving Harmony, has been my anchor of support.  I have journaled, frequently visited a grief counselor, discussed my pain with my grown children and close friends.  I am still healing….writing these words are part of that.

I have become more understanding of the power of grief when it hits other people.  I used to wonder how and why someone could become so distraught over the death of a loved one….think of how we were taught about Mary Todd Lincoln and how she could not go on after the loss of her children and husband…..Woodrow Wilson could not deal with life for a time after the loss of his first wife….we all know of someone who has had this powerful force overtake their lives.  Until we experience it personally, we find their inability to move through life after the loss to be an interesting curiosity. Once we know first hand the power of grief, it opens us to deeper and more heart felt levels of compassion for what they are going through.

If you have experienced first hand this deep grief, you know what I’m talking about.  Many have reached out to me to share their experiences and know of what I speak.  If you have not yet had this experience, then simply look on this with “new eyes”, open yourself to a new understanding that there is a force out there that is a deep and powerful part of the human-spiritual experience.

I have read that part of being human and spiritual is that we are all called to love.  I have loved and do love many people deeply.  My love for Harmony knew no limits.  I felt the same love from her. Yet it is also said that if we love, then at some point we will grieve.  It is only natural that our love will bind us to those who at some point may move onto another plane, a place where we may not be able to hold them and experience them like we have previously.  This shift, which one person described to me that it was as if they are in another room now and you simply cannot yet open the door to that room, will bring the powerful pain of grief into your life.  It is part of our experience.  It will touch us all at one point or another if we love.

Yet, we would not ever avoid the joy of love so as to not experience this pain.  The love of Harmony was worth every tear I cry.

Love,

Mark Gilbert

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If you liked this article, why don’t you check out my other writings? Here are all my 4 books available on Amazon.  You might like the popular Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent and Our Spiritual Evolution (available in paperback and Kindle versions). Also, be sure to follow Conscious Bridge on Twitter and Facebook!

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Photo credit: Foter.com