The podcast resonated with me as I think about my mum's anniversary recently and as two very dear friends go through their own grief in its rawest form. Megan contends that when faced with a grief-struck person, people are reminded that life can really suck! This makes them feel unsafe and so they may say stupid things. Or worse, they cross the street rather than have to interact with them.
Grief is an open wound and people don't want to see it. And the more 'unusual' the grief (child death, accident, cancer, murder) the stronger this reaction, because the stronger the message is of being unsafe. We don't like to think about it, but we can do everything right – eat a healthy diet, keep fit, avoid danger – and yet still be taken out by events beyond our control. (Thinking with great sadness about the recent shooting in Las Vegas). We are fragile and that is the way life is. Sometimes in their need to 'feel safe' people can even say hurtful, judgemental things. Things like 'Well, she lost the child because of x,y,z' (inner message being: 'It won't happen to me cos I am extra careful when I'm pregnant') or 'So she's childless – I wouldn't have given up so easily' (inner message: 'I don't have to talk about the possibility of the grief of childlessness, because I did things right or because I will try harder and it won't happen to me') or 'He shouldn't have been driving when tired, swimming in that lake, smoking for all those years.... (inner message: 'Me and my loved ones will be ok cos we are very careful and we never take risks'). Bullshit!!! There is no cure, remedy, solution – we all die and life is unpredictable. When a loved one dies, we will carry that grief. You can't 'fix it'. It won't miraculously evaporate. At best, it will be integrated into our being. And the deeper the love or the more sudden and inexplicable the death, the longer that process may take.
Let's be truthful and kind with each other. Let's stand in this uncertainty and say it's ok to be uncertain; it's ok to not have control over everything. The truth, as Megan Divine says, is this: 'You are not safe, but you are not in danger either.' It's not one or the other. Life is complex and to live to the full is not to be fearless, or courageous, but truthful. Be present in your life as it is. Meet others where they are.
This approach to life, going with the flow and accepting 'what is', is very much in keeping with the Tao. It's also in keeping with mindfulness.
Live in truth. It's the closest to safe you are ever going to get.
Namaste. Connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.