Grieving as a Spiritual Practice – Friends Journal

udith’s suggestion, that grief could be a spiritual practice, gave clarity to my vision from the previous year and, more immediately appealing, seemed like a way to ease the anguish of grief or at least to give it meaning. I figured I’d start with meditation. I got out of bed soon after sunrise, brushed my teeth—strange how the mundane activities of life continued even though all else had fallen apart—went downstairs, made coffee, and covered the pot with a thick cozy. Although I didn’t know exactly what I’d do (I’d only tried meditating a few times in my life), the promise of coffee at the end was motivating. I settled on the end of the sofa in the living room; crossed my legs into a folded position, feet tucked beneath my knees; and peered through the French doors, searching for my special leaf. Every morning for the past several weeks, one solitary maple leaf at the bottom of the hill waved to me, like a light-hearted greeting from Kelsey, like the “Hi Mom” that used to begin our phone conversations.

I closed my eyes and set an intention to be open to Kelsey, wherever she was. I slowly inhaled and exhaled, paying attention only to my breath, and sank deeper and deeper into an inner space. After some time, images began to appear: the phone call from the police, telling me about the accident; the afternoon and evening spent trying to absorb the news. Everything surrounding her death—which had been a blur—came more sharply into focus. I let the images come, often weeping, for two hours. I didn’t know why it was important to relive those moments, but I felt better.

Grieving as a Spiritual Practice – Friends Journal