I find great joy in my purpose as Grief Worker and my ongoing study of grief in its many forms.
Disenfranchised grief (resulting from experiencing loss that is not recognized by society)
Anticipatory grief (when the grief that comes while expecting, fearing or preparing for a loss can be just as intense as grief that follows a loss, sometimes even more so)
Ambiguous grief (navigating grief that doesn’t come with clear closure – this is common in break-ups where you’re unsure if there is possibility of reconciliation, or when someone has ended a relationship but you don’t understand why…you still feel like you’re in the relationship even after they’ve left)
Compounded grief (carrying the accumulation of loss after loss after loss that has not had time, space or support to process)
Understanding the many forms that grief takes is also to recognize these categories are dynamic, fluid, and they often intersect with one another in our unique experiences.
Then there is the enormous wealth of information that opens when you look at grief from multidimensional, ancestral perspectives…
grief as dimension expansion
grief as parenting
grief as cazimi
grief as quantum communication
grief as ancestral rage
grief as radiance
the unique expression of grief in all the elements:
water, fire, earth, sky
& how those elements co-create and live in our bodies
As an astrologer, I could do a whole series studying each planet as a different manifestation of grief…
(…maybe one day I will…)
There’s an experience of grief as a daily, numb, dull ache – in a way that I personally believe everyone is grieving, all the time. This kind of grief burrows deep in our subconscious and co-creates with other energies who are more willing to make themselves known on the surface: bitterness, resentment, fear, control, anxiety, perfectionism…
Then there is Grief That Hits You Where You Live.
Grief that hits too close to home, cuts to the bone, rips your heart out, pulls the rug out from under your feet….you know what I’m talking about.
It’s no longer a dull ache you can more or less tolerate. No longer something that can hide underground.
Now your grief is like your skin has turned so sensitive and painful to touch that even a brush of a finger feels like your arm is on fire.
This is what I call, Impossible Grief.
It’s a loss that just feels…impossible. Impossible to live through. Impossible to experience. Impossible to survive.
And yet, here you are – living through it. Experiencing it. Surviving.
In the thick of Impossible Grief, the innocent ache in our heart boils down to one question:
How Am I Supposed To Do This?
This questions sings through every phase of our relationship with Impossible Grief.
How am I supposed to prepare for this loss?
How am I supposed to experience it?
How am I supposed to keep living?
When my beloved Rahel was sick last fall/winter 2021, I was (extremely) challenged to approach the portal with a great amount of strength, maturity, generosity and love. Above all I wanted to do right by her. I wanted to respect her relationship with life, death and sovereignty.
When it’s your time to go, you let me know. I will let you go.
Even if it’s the hardest fucking thing I’ll ever have to do.
I didn’t just do it for her, I did it for me too.
I needed my grief this time to be different. I couldn’t have my grief eat me alive the way it had so many times before.
This time, I needed to know I was going to be okay.
For myself, and for her.
For my life.
For the life we will continue to share.
Still, I found myself breaking down, landing in the safety of the Universe, the Great Mother, the Water, landing back into a maturity that is also a child, and speaking those words of Impossible Grief.
But Pachamama. I Don’t Know How to Do This.
Here, on the other side, spring 2022 (as I write this, 4 days before Estha and Rahel’s 14th birthday) I have learned that there is, if not an antidote, at least some strong support systems that exist for Impossible Grief.
For those wondering what the hell to do with their own Impossible Grief, I will offer 3 powerful technologies that can help tremendously.
Learning. Song. And Storytelling.
💫 Learning 💫
Learning about the complexity and fluid, layering intersecting categories of grief (disenfranchised grief, anticipatory grief, etc), as well as opening your mind and heart to multidimensional studies on grief is a fun nerdy endeavour. (At least, if you’re a weirdo like me!)
But even the simple act of learning about grief automatically diffuses the emotional intensity of it.
The realm of the intellect (air) soothes and calms the fire and water. Air brings perspective, clarity, expansion and levity.
Even better, self-studying and apprenticing your own grief in relationship to learning about grief in general provides a channel to redirect your pain into some kind of purpose. Something to focus on. Embarking on a learning journey is to enter a portal where you will discover, remember and reclaim parts of yourself that are ready to be found.
There is something so healing about being gifted language that explains and resonates with your experience – for a lot of people, even just reading my definition of “Impossible Grief” will light a thousand light bulbs and open doors of relief.
💫 Song 💫
Song Medicine is Grief Medicine.
Break-up playlists are champion for a reason.
If you’re dealing with Impossible Grief, put on the songs that tell the world exactly why you’ll never get over it. Sing it out. Dance it out.
(Picture me in 2009 head banging around my apartment in my pajamas to “Keep Bleeding” by Leona Lewis. You’re welcome for the throw back.)
This doesn’t just randomly “make you feel better.” This type of song medicine is actually ancestral and cosmic technology.
Singing and dancing provides energetic cleansing of “impossible” energies (or of whatever you are singing and dancing about). In the case of grief, music allows “impossibility” to keep moving, to transform into whatever the hell else it’s going to be, without getting stuck in your body.
For those who study, create or enjoy musicals, many of us are familiar with the theory that songs are written into the story when the emotions have built up so high and grown so big, that the characters absolutely cannot make another move without bursting into song.
Impossible Grief is like this too. Our grief so often entangles with guilt, shame and other energies that cause a build up of suffering, stagnation and silence in our throat chakra.
Song not only reclaims our agency, breaks apart suffering energies, but also acts as one of the most powerful communication devices in the multiverse.
The power of our grief and our love, when combined with the power of our voice, has the ability to travel anywhere in the universe and reach anyone who has been lost.
💫 Storytelling 💫
You know what, I will state here that I do believe storytelling, grief storytelling in particular, is not just a support system but an antidote for Impossible Grief.
In 2019 when I had to begin coming to terms with Rahel’s eventual transition, the impossible “how” question was a never ending anxiety loop in my brain. I was continuously thinking about possible death scenarios and low-key panicking about what I was supposed to do, and how I was supposed to be, when I got to that moment.
Then I went to the movie theatre and watched Frozen II. We got to the scene with Olaf and Anna in the cave (if you know, you know).
And I was like…
That’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s how I’m supposed to be.
I can do that.
Same thing happened when I watched the last episode of The Good Place.
I don’t know man, all of that reminded me of who I really am.
Reminded me that I don’t need to be constantly terrified of the bad things that might happen in the future, terrified of loss, terrified of death.
That’s not who I really am.
My true spirit is in love with the Adventure of Life! The Great Mystery. My true nature is someone who will not just tolerate “the unknown” but actually willingly choose it. And not haphazardly, I mean BIG FAT MUSICAL STYLES!
Then I listen to Elphaba sing “Defy Gravity” and I’m like,
Oh right. I can do anything impossible. I remember now. Carry on.
I mean, is the moral of the story that Kristin Bell and Idina Menzel are my star siblings? I GUESS SO, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU!
I have great appreciation for my friend Jesyka who supported me a lot while Rahel went through her recent ascension portal. One night on the phone Jes told me about her experiences grieving two of her kitties, and she told me about each night and moment that she said goodbye.
Often we feel like these kinds of stories are too upsetting to share with anyone, but for me, just the act of sitting, listening and receiving Jesyka’s experience was incredibly medicinal.
The thing is, we don’t need to know “how we are supposed to do this” because we already know.
You already know how.
You know exactly what to do, and exactly how to be.
Or at least, when the important moments come – you will know.
When we ask this question, “how am I supposed to do this?” What we are actually asking is to be reminded that we do already have the capability and the courage.
We do have the courage to meet this. To feel this. To be present with this.
You do have the courage.
And it’s going to be okay.
And you’re not alone.
When we interact with grief storytelling, whether we are watching Frozen II, or The Good Place, or sharing a conversation with a good friend…the act of listening is not really about “getting the answers” to your impossible questions. (Although sometimes you do get answers in the process…)
But really, it’s about energy. It’s the ancestral and cosmic technology we’ve been talking about.
Every story contains energetic codes and energetic imprints. When we speak our impossible questions out loud, (“how am I supposed to do this?”) and then listen to a grief story – we are asking the energetic codes present within the story to come forth and co-create with the part of us that remembers we are brave. The part of us that remembers we already have the answers. We already know what to do. We already have the courage to do it.
And most importantly – that we are not alone.
At this point in my life, I have developed a great amount of skill and mastery with creating stories as energetic medicine.
The story I wrote – Let Loss Make You Warm – is everything that I’ve described throughout this talk.
It’s a place to learn about different concepts of grief, including multidimensional perspectives, and offers a space for you to self-study and apprentice your own unique grief.
It’s a place where I share many of my personal stories of grief – I share it with the world because 1) I know that many people will benefit from listening to my stories and 2) this is my way of reaching my loved ones, wherever they are in the universe.
And finally, Let Loss Make You Warm is energetic medicine. The entire story is a grief tincture.
All stories have energetic imprints – but when you are an intentional bad bitch wicked witch of the west and you know what you’re doing when infusing a story with the most empowering, loving, generous, heart-filled energetic codes available to you…
My story is designed to collaborate energetically with the part of you that already remembers an empowering, loving relationship with grief. The part of you that already knows what to do. The part of you that is already okay. Already brave. The part of you that is In Love with the Adventure of Life.
As I write this, Otherworldly Giants is moving out of our “Early Nerd” morning phase and into our GRIEF SUMMIT 2022.
The Grief Summit is a portal between April 22 2022 (my cats’ birthday) to June 13 2022 (My 38th birthday bitches!). In other words, it’s an intentional container to move the next phase of development of Otherworldly Giants.
Since OG is a new baby, I wanted a space to rebuild community invested in this work, to gather new community who are looking for this work, and for anyone enthusiastic about the content coming out of our world.
In short, I know there are people looking for me that don’t know they are looking for me. And I’m looking for people that I don’t know I’m looking for.
So I’ve created a new Otherworldly Giants Storytelling School facebook group where I’ll be sharing stories, posting videos, launching my “Grief, Love & Buffy” series (OH YES IT’S HAPPENING) and more. In general, it’s a place for us to gather and share good medicine, good conversation and good stories.
(For those of you avoiding facebook like covid, I get it, and I’ll still be sharing highlights from the Grief Summit via the mailing list.)
I’ll end this transmission with an offering of grief storytelling and a sample of what I’ll be sharing throughout the summit, from a series titled: “Grief as Mountains.”
This series is dedicated to my two true one and onlys, Estha my Son/Sun, and Rahel, my World ❤
They’ll tell you that grief is a mountain. And you’ll spend your life trying to climb it.
They’ll tell you that you’re taking too long. They’ll give you a bunch of extra stuff to carry along the way. Then they’ll complain that you weren’t more graceful as the air got thinner.
They’ll present you with a long list of what’s wrong with you, and you might start believing it too.
Why are you still a mess? Why aren’t you over it yet?
They’ll tell you and tell you, and you might just start buying into this Impossible Project.
As if getting to the top will mean that you can finally conquer something that will make the loss not cut so deep or last so long. As if something on the other side will make everything and your Self go back to “normal.”
None of that is true.
True Grief, like True Love…has to be something different than that…
But I’ll tell you. My Grief is a Mountain. I’ve spent my life climbing it.
And, I Would Do It All Again.
And again, and again.
I would do it, Full of Grace.
Not to Get Over my Grief.
But because on that summit is where I need to be when I sing for the Greatest Loves and Losses of my Lifetimes.
That is the true size of it. That is how big it is.
That is the view I need.
That is how high I want to be to tell this love story.
Because this Love Story is not just for me.
It’s for the World.