Grief and Abundance: Two Sides of the Same Coin

As many of you know, my dear companion, business partner and beloved comedian Marzie, my dog of many years, died recently due to an aggressive form of cancer. She had let me know she didn’t want any form of treatment to cure it. It would simply be her time to go when the tumour would bleed out. She did agree with me to benefit by the healing medicines of Chinese medicine, reiki healing, homeopathic remedies, osteopathic and tonal chiropractic to keep her health and immune system as healthy as possible in light of the stress on the body this cancer could take. At the same time, she and I began the journey of healing any karma or wounds that may have been part of our relationship or anything else and/or have existed from other times and places. The psychological and spiritual wounds quickly healed as we changed our lifestyle and our way of service that better reflected the joys and inner needs of our spirit.

With the support of these medicines and her retirement from Feathers, Rainbows & Roses, her health improved and she became a very energetic, happy and “live fully in the moment”, precious heart for another 6 months. We walked together daily, often with my sister and Marzie’s soul friend Chelsea (rottie dog), with purpose and complete awareness of our special time we had. We ‘talked’ a lot about her love for me and my love for her. We had two amazing mini vacations where she and I and my friends, both canine and human, played in the bush and along Lake Ontario and relaxed well with great food, warmth and good sleeps. Marzie and I took the time to enjoy each other and we became deeply attuned to one another in our hearts. Such opportunities are the graces of abundance where love nurtures itself even more completely.

Her death and transition into Spirit were filled with miracles and moments of laughter. I told child clients who asked about her that she was an angel now and that whenever they needed her, they simply needed to open their hearts and ask her to help them or be with them and she would be there. And she is. She always loved children. Another act of true abundant love. She loved big people and helped them remember the abundance of love in the simple faith found in the true heart of a child.

So why are we then left with the sadness of grief in what may equally be happy transitions? Marzie’s death was a happy occasion for her. I felt the sheer joy, pleasure and freedom of her spirit in the next realms. Grief, like abundance is simply a natural part of life. Perhaps in our modern ways of thinking and new scientific, metaphysical discoveries, we are yet again trying to eliminate the natural human response to loss and transition. Grief does not necessarily mean we are suffering, but it does require the presence of our hearts, bodies and souls to acknowledge the release of that which we love and had deep and profound meaning for us, whether in death or in the diverse transitions we all encounter in our lives. In the system of Chinese medicine, grief is understood to be ever present in some form or another in our lives. With that acknowledgement this medicine says, we must keep our bodies, lives and minds in balance and nurtured with other natural expressions of joy and abundance that equally and perhaps paradoxically, are apart of our existence. We cannot escape grief because we fear it, deny it or wish it didn’t exist. Nor are we to render it our complete ‘god’ by holding fast to it in the face of abundance that shows up at the same time as does grief. So why are we then left with the sadness of grief in what may equally be happy transitions

I am aware that in the midst of my grief of lost loving, partnership, spring is coming to life with all the buds and flowers, wild and domestic, beginning to bloom. I am aware of how Nature and the return of the birds are singing the songs of spring. I am aware of the furry friends in my life that yet remain and who continue to share their love and wonderful characters with me. I am aware of the abundant notes, well-wishes and gifts that people have sent me in this time of re-organization of my life. They have genuinely and without hesitation shared their love with me and for Marzie. I relish in the delights of newborn children coming into the world that also has occurred over the past weeks.

Life flows on and on. In grief, we may join the flow more slowly, but the flow of life continues. Abundance simply keeps the flow of life active and engaged. Where life ends another begins. It is not our task to eliminate grief to only experience abundance. Grief and abundance are two sides of the same coin. Embracing them both and allowing them to shape who we become and increase our joy and love for one another is the task of being human. Abundance means that even in my grief, or your grief, we will be taken care of and loved. There is just that much love and compassion and nurturing available to us in this human experience. Holy Love does not forget us. Human beings can often forget each other, forget ourselves and everything around us, leaving us empty of the compassion, nurturing and deep company which we most need and desire.

Keeping our hearts open in the midst of grief requires not just our own spiritual discipline, but requires the presence of a loving and caring community. We heal grief in community, I believe, because we loose and release the profound connection in the midst of community. A loss of one person, or pet or identity, or job, or home, a loss of a person, a marriage….etc. affects more than one person. Such loss has an organic, ripple effect. Healing grief thus needs the loving, caring heart of the community to heal. I believe the Divine orchestrated such wisdom so that in this communal caring and love, we remember the Abundance of Life that permeates all existence.

Abundance means there is always new life. Always. The rain always comes. The sun always rises the next day. Grace is ever present. The mercies of the Divine are equal and more than the grief that is given. We are asked to trust that faith so we can share that faith and share the bounties of our planet and the relationships we hold dear.

©Shirley Lynn Martin