The Demon of Grief
Updated: Mar 3
I'm not sure why but grief has come to sit with me this week. You never know when it's going to visit. You can be plugging away at life in a fairly neutral emotional condition, and then grief slowly filters in. It usually starts as a small memory, perhaps even bringing a smile to my face, but that smile quickly turns to tears and ALL the memories start flooding at once. It can be overwhelming, debilitating and wholly paralyzing.
I've lived with grief over the death of my son for almost four years now, so I know the telltale signs of its unwelcome visit. It falls like a heavy cloak on me. But I am powerless to stop it. Rather, I accept it, sit with it, make it talk to me and express itself so it will move on faster. Grief demands to be heard, so it's no use trying to squelch it or push it away. On the contrary, shoving at it makes it that much stronger and more willful in its desire to envelope you.
There is an excellent book entitled "Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict" by Tsultrim Allione. The book describes a mental exercise whereby one summons their demons, envisions what they look like, and ask them what they want. You try to "feed" the demon by giving it what it wants, and then you make it your ally once it's satisfied. That's what I've done with grief. I've allowed it to let me grow emotionally and mentally. It's been a practice, one at which I work every day.
In the beginning, grief is crushing. It's very easy to be consumed by it, allow it to overpower you. Our desire can run so deep that there is only darkness. But we cannot dwell in darkness forever. Life is to be lived. Therefore, we must seek the light, take grief by the hand and say, "if you must stay, you're coming with me," and then swim for that light.