Good Grief: Why It Is Necessary to Honor our Feelings of Loss

Grief changes shape, but it never ends.

~ Keanu Reeves

When was the last time you experienced grief? Some people see it as a deep and meaningful right of passage, a blessing of sorts—and others see it as a painful curse they wish would never visit them. Which is your perspective? If we want to fully experience the deeper meaning of life in a human skin, embracing our grief is not an option. The only choice we have is how we process grief.

A very close friend’s mother passed last night; she was 102 years of age. It has reawakened within my heart and mind the pain and sadness associated with losing both of my parents about seven years ago; each just shy of their 95th birthday. While all three beloved people lived very full and productive lives their passing has, nonetheless, created a void in the mind and heart that we can never fill—nor should we try because the invisible essence of grief (aka, a transcendent love that passes all human understanding) permanently occupies that space.

Processing the death of a loved one is a process that really never ends. As Keanu Reeves inferred, grief really never goes away—it simply sublimates over time.

Whether it is a sudden and unexpected transition or one we see coming because of prolonged illness or declining health, to contemplate the meaning of life without that person opens the sacred door to the heart and invites us to explore several things. Foremost, we get to fully appreciate the role that person played in our life, be it a parent, a child, a close family member, our best friend (or even our beloved pet). In short, their loss invites us to acknowledge the void they leave—and to grieve a loss we can never duplicate or replace. However, in the spaciousness of enough time, we see that the best way to honor that relationship is to reenter and mindfully engage in life, knowing that we are not less because of that loss. In fact, we are more because we carry the imprint of that person’s essence in our expanded heart forever.

I have long believed that fear attaches itself to a concern of the loss—or death—of someone or something. Beyond the loss of a loved one, it can include the death of a lifestyle, a job, a home, or even a reputation; all of which can be grieved; loss of anyone or anything close and meaningful to us is worthy of our grief. If embrace our grief affirmatively it can help us transcend our fear. The practice of a lifetime is to remember that life itself is but one long sacred continuum that connects everyone and everything. Regardless of where we exist on the timeline of life, in space and time, all that has ever been, is now, or shall ever be, is contained within One eternal life; it tethers us to the invisible presence of something greater than ourselves. A belief in separation may exist in our own minds—but never in the continuity and flow of eternal Life itself.

Hold the remembrance that it is a blessing whenever grief arises. See it as a divine nudge—a whisper from the ethers of the Universe saying “fear not—for you are not alone.” Know that your grief sacredly tethers you to whomever (or whatever) lingers in your heart and mind as a loss; they are as close in this very moment as is your own breath.”

Peace, Dennis Merritt Jones


Dennis Merritt Jones
Dennis Merritt Jones
Throughout his lifetime, author, speaker, and mentor, Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones has been on a quest to inspire and lift people to a higher expression of life. His vision is to guide people to their purpose, knowing that when one fully awakens to who they are and why they are on the planet, they share their gift to humankind and create an enriching life for themselves and the world around them. Dennis is the award-winning author of six books—three of which are recipients of a Nautilus Gold or Silver award—and hundreds of articles and blogs. He has written and released the following books: The Art of Abundance - Ten Rules for a Prosperous Life; The Art of Being - 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life; The Art of Uncertainty - How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It; Your ReDefining Moments - Becoming Who You Were Born to Be; Encouraging Words - Proof That Who You Are Matters, and; How to Speak Science of Mind. Dennis believes we each have the capacity and, ultimately, the responsibility to contribute something positive to this world, leaving it a better place than it was when we arrived. Reflected in his writings and presentations, his teachings promote a contemporary life-affirming, spiritually logical, and positive outlook on life. As a keynote speaker, Dennis is equally comfortable addressing an audience seeking spiritual inspiration or those seeking a purely secular motivational message. He uses his understanding of universal principles to draw upon wisdom from both eastern and western philosophies. As a mentor, Dennis works with individuals and non-profits to assist them in clarifying their vision and mission. He believes that there is a deeper consciousness of unity, cooperation, and reverence rising in humankind where the value of all life, regardless of ethnicity, geography, culture, or sexual orientation, is sacred. He believes this consciousness of unity, cooperation, and reverence for life and the planet will be one of the most significant influences upon society as we approach the challenges of 21st-century living.

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