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I'm going to give you my thoughts on grief, so if that is very raw for you, you might want to give it a miss - BUT - I'm going to invite you to stick around anyway.

Grief is a funny old thing. It's a big old thing.

When there is great collective grief, like when an important public figure dies, or there is a great tragedy, it's hard not to be swept up in it.

It can be sort of compulsive, too - have you noticed that?

There's a kind of pleasure in deep sorrow, especially when we feel it collectively - a sort of belonging together - being united in grief. It's sort of comforting.

It can also be a bit of a downward spiral. The 24-hour coverage is compelling - yet perhaps draining. It reminds us of the griefs we've personally experienced - or of the loved ones we'll one day have to lose.

I had the great misfortune to lose my best friend in 2022, and the journey of grief has been absolutely extraordinary. Fucking painful, I'm not going to lie - but I've also experienced some of the deepest, most incredible, most liberating learning of my life.

Here are my thoughts on grief - this is what I've learned so far:

  • It hurts. Like seriously, actually physically hurts.

  • There is no right way to experience grief. No right length of time to feel it or be 'over it'.

  • You don't get 'over it', you learn to live with it, like the silvery skin of a scar.

  • It can hit you at any time - BAM - as if it only just happened.

  • Some people will have to keep their distance from you.

  • Some people will become closer to you.

  • Both of these will likely surprise you.

  • You might feel furious, grateful, sorrowful, bitter, guilty, elated, hopeless, and any combination of these in one day. It's a rollercoaster.

  • You'll be tired.

  • Your body will hurt. Not necessarily straight away, but over time, perhaps. Backache, busted knees, painful lungs, irritated sinuses, injured feet and hands. I've heard/seen/experienced them all.

Now here are the gifts of grief:

  • Grief is undiluted love - just so. much. LOVE.

  • Not just love for the person who's moved on, but love for all the people in your life.

  • Grief is a shortcut to forgiveness - nothing can make you put down your 'stuff' more quickly or powerfully.

  • Grief brings deep gratitude and appreciation.

  • Appreciation for all the wonderful things about the person we've lost, for the extraordinary beauty of our lives, and for all the wonderful, loved people who are still here with us.

  • Grief creates positive, forward-moving energy. It makes us determined to experience life more fully, more joyfully.

  • Grief brings us closer to God, whatever your concept of that is - Source, the Universe, energy, love.

Once the acute pain of immediate loss is beginning to pass, grief invites us to decide: are you going to sink or swim? Are you going to collapse or rise?

How do you want to feel? Grief reveals to us that we get to choose.

That, for me, has been the greatest lesson. To absolutely allow all those big feelings. To embrace, accept and love every single part of myself in the grief journey - every sad thought, every confusing, mixed-up emotion. And then, to choose to feel good anyway.

To choose to acknowledge joy - not the joy yet to come, but the joy that is right here, right now.

It's all around, everywhere you look.

It has honestly been a staggeringly beautiful and endlessly valuable journey.

What do you think? What have been the greatest lessons of your journeys with grief? Sending you masses of love, whatever you're feeling.

Sophie x

P.S. You're allowed to feel whatever you feel - feel it ALL, and notice that joy is in there. Joy is an option.


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