Note to readers: Welcome to Part 6, the final WAY of this blog mini-series, Seven Ways of Finding Grace Within Grief. In this piece, I offer Positive Psychology and Let Your Yoga Dance tools to help those experiencing loss and dark times. If you are just starting out on this journey of Finding Grace within Grief, please go to the introduction and begin from there. My words will make much more sense.
Way 7: Honoring the Passage of Time
Finding my unique way to honor the life, death, and meaning of my daughter, has been instrumental in my healing process.
I have learned throughout my life that grief is an ocean; the waves come when they will. I can either ride them, or get washed under it. But if I don’t honor the wave, it’ll smack me harder the next time it appears. When I ride that wave, remembering to breathe, relax, feel, watch, and allow the sensations to be there, eventually the wave will crest; I can ride it to shore, integrating and completing the moment of grief.
I no longer experience that many waves of grief around Sarah Grace. But when I do, I still ride them. Long ago, I made a commitment to respect and never judge wave riding. I experience tremendous joy in my life and have thrilling work in this world. The chakras are my roadmap; they keep me aligned and as congruent possible. Sarah Grace entering my life changed me forever. I became, because of her, a mother.
Throughout the years I’ve devised a myriad of ways to mother her. When I graduate a new group of Let Your Yoga Dance instructors, I picture all the graduations/ commencements Sarah Grace would have had:
- Learning to roll over in a crib
- Discovering the blissful baby pose for the first time, legs waving in the air and holding onto her feet
- Taking that remarkable first step
- Going to school for the first time
- First kiss
- Possible marriage
- Possible child of her own
Rarely, but sometimes, a wave will hit me from out of the blue. My most recent unexpected wave of grief happened when I was teaching in the Positive Psychology certification at Kripalu, I was contentedly witnessing a woman presenting her final project. She announced that her presentation was in honor of her three-month-old daughter, Grace. She showed pictures of her beautiful baby, whom she conceived at the same age I had been when my daughter was conceived. For the duration of her talk, I cried inwardly, yet I was also present. As soon as I could, I went off to the bathroom and sobbed quietly for a few minutes, as if my daughter had died the day before. I practiced BRFWA, and then sought out a friend, my beloved accountability buddy, Phoebe Atkinson. I asked her to hold my heart for a moment. She did, graciously and quietly. And then I went on with my day, eventually helping her lead a graduation ritual that included my special Dance Prayer, the Grace Sculpture Garden of Hearts and Souls.
I’ve learned that there is no time limit to the waves of grief that occasionally come in. When they do, I need to remember BRFWA, feel my feelings, and then dance into the next moment.
Lastly, one of the biggest joy boosts I know is Let Your Yoga Dance! I could happily teach classes – or take classes - with Let Your Yoga Dance instructors around the world. Dancing yoga and Positive Psychology are major celebrations of life and healing.
I hope these Seven Ways of Finding Grace Within Grief words have been helpful and useful. Look below to see all of the Healing Ways together. In the final entry, the appendix, you will see a list of all the books and films I mentioned here that helped me through grief.
Our Let Your Yoga Dance practice is all about living in, healing through, and expanding joy. Our teachers span the globe. Now we have a number of instructors who have also been trained in the Certification in Positive Psychology through the WholeBeing Institute. A perfect wedding! Many blessings on your path.
Seven Healing Ways of Finding Grace within Grief
Way 7 - Honoring the Passage of Time
Megha-Nancy Buttenheim, M.A., is the founder of Let Your Yoga Dance: Grace in Motion®. An international presenter and corporate trainer, Megha is a 27 year teacher-trainer at Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She is also a faculty member at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Guanacaste, Costa Rica and Kind Yoga School in Cape Cod, MA. She brings her passion and expertise as a lifelong dancer, actress, singer, yogi, and educator in experiential learning to all her workshops and trainings.