Francis Weller on Grief

“Grief is subversive, undermining the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned behaviors of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life-force…. It is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated. It resists the demands to remain passive and still. We move in jangled, unsettled, and riotous ways when grief takes hold of us. It is truly an emotion that rises from the soul.”

Francis Weller

Someone drew the writer’s attention to this quotation yesterday (and thanks to Jewels Wingfield for posting it). She found it very helpful – and wholeheartedly agrees with it. Cultural pressures to hurry up and tidy away grief are immense, so we can slot back into ‘normality’, numbness and our place in the machine. And the reality is, whatever our personal circumstances may be, there is a huge amount to grieve in the world at the moment, just as there is a huge amount to be grateful for. For the writer, grief and gratitude are the living breath of love, and essential daily practices which support everything else. And love is always subversive….

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994

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