Grieving On The Eve Of Gone Too Soon

On this eve of Michael Jackson’s first Gone Too Soon anniversary, my heart is filled with both grief and gratitude.  Remembering MJ’s death, of almost one year ago, stirs the grief of my life’s many losses, as well as the gratefulness found in the comfort and joy of Faith, Hope and LOVE.

*What is Grief?

Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion, and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. 

Grief is the internal part of loss, how we feel. The internal work of grief is a process, a journey. It does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us. Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost.

Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain.

*Descriptions on grief from: David Kessler & Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, two well-known experts on grief and loss.

Through my training and experience as a Bereavement volunteer in our local Hospice program, as well as the experience of grief in my own life over the years, I have come to understand that grief comes in waves.  Grief is like the ebb and flow of the ocean tide.  Grief is a living, moving, organic spiral of emotion.

When grief becomes overwhelming, remembering gratefulness can provide a ‘light’ in the darkness.

Gratefulness is the core of spirituality.  Gratitude is at the heart of every religious tradition and the human path of those who do not identify with any religious path.

Rituals make us mindful. Every ritual — graduations, funerals, weddings — has something to do with gratefulness. The Mass or Eucharist in the Catholic tradition literally means “thanksgiving.” In the Hindu tradition a puja, or sacrifice, is a grateful acknowledgment of a gift. Offering the first fruits of the harvest is a ritual. You lift up a part of what you have received to the source from which you received it. This is an expression of gratefulness….

Blessing is a very concrete reality. The word “blessing” is related in English to the word “blood.” Blessing is like the spiritual bloodstream that flows through the universe. When we bless something we are returning what we have received to its source. We know we receive life and breath from a source which is beyond us. We haven’t bought it or earned it. We are just put here and life comes to us from some mysterious source, and we can give it back. That is like the blood coming from the heart and going back to the heart. That blood keeps on flowing and if we tune in to the bloodstream of blessing the world comes alive. The same thing happens if we cut off the bloodstream or drain the sap from a tree; life withers. ~Brother David Steindl-Rast

I feel grateful for the life of Michael Jackson. I feel grateful that, through his death, he is now a part of my life.

I wish for you all spiritual blessings, Michael.  Today, on the eve of the anniversary of your death, I feel grief and gratitude.

I am speechless...

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