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The Grief Window

Updated: Apr 9

Kapiti Island invisible behind the lightening and thunder storm | Photo credit: Ahly (Paekakariki beach)

» Why am I feeling a mountain instead of a molehill? «


My partner flew off overseas for a month earlier this week. I didn't expect to be quite so thrown around by my emotions with his leaving-- he'd traveled overseas for 5 weeks last year, and I had found I actually enjoyed my solo-parenting experience.

This time round I had been feeing a bit more relaxed about it, with not a lot of thought or anxiety around him leaving, so it surprised me when I entered the kitchen moments after he'd left and burst into tears. I'd discovered two untouched cups of tea that he'd prepared but we hadn't had time to drink. I felt tender and raw for the rest of the weekend.

On the Monday, after I dropped my boy at school, I knew I needed to double-down on my self-care practices. I cleared my diary and made space for me and my experience. By school pick-up time, I was feeling more resilient. Yet it surprised me again when an ache in my heart became uncomfortably loud the moment I perceived my boy being ever so slightly rejected by his buddy at Taekwando practice. This Grief was also pulling up feelings of abandonment and rejection. It was turning into quite a cocktail of sensations.

I'd entered a Grief Window where a small measure of loss and sadness was surfacing all measures of loss and sadness, and that conflated with meaning around abandonment, rejection and unworthiness.

It's been awhile since Grief has personally visited me (trust me; I had my collective Grief experience during the COVID phenomena), but what I noticed in the 'me-time' that I created, there was a synchronistic moment where I haphazardly came across a poem I'd written almost ten years earlier. It was about my boyfriend (now partner) flying out to Christchurch as I stood watching from the other side of Lyall Bay. The tone of the poem touched my heart, it was full of loss and uncertainty. and ... beauty.

I realised I wanted to hang out with my Grief more intimately, because my Grief wrote that poem back then. I was less armoured in that poem.

And it hit me; I LOVE having an opened heart-- that's' what Grief does-- and therefore I must also love feeling my heart in its moment of loss.

When Grief hasn't been fully acknowledged, felt or honoured, small things can open up a big mountain of grief. If we don't have the support and understanding of this phenomena, we can judge ourselves unfairly and curtail the very precious moment that has opened up.

The Grief Window was reconnecting me back into my poetry - that part of my Self that only emerges from a tender place.

I reconnected back also with the passing of my dad three years earlier and the incredible healing that took place in his final months during his cancer journey.

I reconnected with the loss of dreams, loves, and lives. So much surfaced to be seen, felt, acknowledged.

The Grief Window is our friend. It's here to cleans and purify our psychological and emotional body (and even physical body if we have been ignoring the earlier signals) and brings us back into connection with self, with community and with spirit.

What I feel now is the movement towards connecting back in with a very essential part of my self - the Poet; she has been dormant for years, waiting quietly while I pile on hat after hat of responsibilities (ah yes, that 'mum-hat' often feels all consuming).

As I simplify my days to the essentials, there opens up space for poetry again. It's an old intimate part of me that my new circle of mum-friends don't know exists.

It feels exciting to invite her back into my life.


The poem that got me moving...


On the other side of Lyall Bay

Between you and me

The waves

The winter sun

The blue-white

Horns of light

Dwarfing the aircraft you are in

I stare into the thunder

Of light, your craft

Eclipsed for a second

As it conjuncts the sun

And I

Feel my whole body lift


The waves are large

And burst in my chest

Glorious sadness

To miss you

And touch that frightening

Possibility of your small

Life in that small craft

Disappearing, a dot

In the sky banking south

Towards Christchurch

I am left

The large sky

Inside me


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