The death of a loved one can quickly become very damaging to even the tightest woven social fabric of a solid family, and destructive to already worn thin social fabrics of less close families and circles of friends.
For visualization, I like the metaphor that a community or family is a social fabric woven from the invisible pathways of love connecting our soul to others that we share love with, a group of people of our own choosing (friends, lovers, career and community) and of our blood (relations). The threads we use to weave these social fabrics gather and concentrate the flows of love’s life energy and make us feel secure and accepted, they bring the light energy of love to our community and our family.
This social fabric is alive with the energy of love from many places, sources of love big and small. We weave it where we have safety and security of communal love and it becomes both strong and very elastic. When a member of our community of love gets pulled down or off center, it is this fabric that helps pull us back to the surface or back to center.
The pathways of our flows of love are filled and plumped up when love flows, stabilizing and locking them into our plush comfortable social fabric. When someone dies, their pathways deflate and disconnect, and the pathways we shared our love with them also deflate because they are no longer connected to a living soul but leaking love from our soul into the torn void of the loss.
The person dies, and all of the pathways of love’s energy that were connected to that person both into us and out of us are now disconnected at that end. Until we, the survivors, collectively anchor and attach these loose ends of our social fabric, our fabric will easily fray and unravel. The more involved and connected that person was, the more our once solid social fabric is torn and threatened by grief.
In this view of grief, we can explain the fear we feel from grief by the instability that we feel when a small or large group of our supporting threads of love are suddenly no longer connected. We are afraid to fall under, have lost our sense of center, and we feel a lack of foundation and stability that makes us uncomfortable and fearful.
The process of repairing our soul’s fabric is akin to darning a wonderful comfortable old sock that we just can’t let go of. We use threads from our own love, we tie down the loose ends, we weave patches across the holes, and we rebuild the fabric to stabilize it for the rest of our lives, and we wear the sock less but know that it’s always there if we want to wear it again.
The healing process of grief is where we repair all of the loose ends of a connection of love that was valuable to our life. We will seek out the ends of our connections, anchor them as memories, and tie them together. We weave the loose ends and our own love into a repaired fabric that our soul will grow around.
This process of metaphysical healing mimics our body’s healing, and there will always be a scar left behind, the repair will never be perfect. When I say that grief must change us, the scars it will leave behind and our reaction to them is a representation of how well we have healed. Some will remain fragile and tear again and again, some will be more visible and some will be invisible to those around you. The ideal repair allows us to visit comfortably, without pain, without fear of falling, so we may sit at the center of all of those connections and feel the love that we have shared and the love that we still share for that life.
The denial of changes that grief brings will make you resent those scars, but ultimately you will resent and become more diminished if you leave those loose ends to fray further, to leak more of your love, to destroy more of your own love’s fabric. The damage that you don’t repair will slowly spread towards your own center and continue to destabilize your own reservoirs of love.
There are points in the journey of grief where we are precariously walking around the hole left in our love, picking up and anchoring loose ends. At some point, we have walked around the entire damaged part and we then start to build bridges between the loose ends that we have now firmly tied and anchored.
There is great fear in grief that we will forget the loved ones we lose. If we don’t build those bridges across the holes in our soul’s fabric, we will one day fall into them. Sinking back into the sadness and pain, we will struggle every time we seek to visit the central part of the love that we shared so well in life. If we fall and struggle enough, we will stop visiting the love that we shared, we will begin to forget.
While we are tying down the loose ends of our grief, we will naturally connect with the loose ends of other’s grief. Some of these new common connections are important, because once tied together love can flow between our two living souls always flowing through the love that each of us shared separately. Through these connections we continue to learn about the person that we have loved and how their love has enriched other’s lives as well as our own.
Humans are not solitary animals; we are lovers of community and the sharing of love with those of our choosing. These flows of love become essential to our feelings of well being, of wholeness, of comfort, and are central to the great joy of loving life.
The invisible fabric we weave with shared love is the essential difference between existing and loving living. A death has damaged that fabric, grief warns you of this by fear of greater loss, and grief is the call to action to begin the repair to that fabric comfortably.
Healing is a conscious choice. We must give our soul permission to heal, to become strong and comfortable again. We will repair this hole in our soul using our own love to anchor and connect the loose ends of loss. This is the magic of a soul, in the worst loss; all your soul needs to begin is love and your permission to heal.
Start visualizing the fabric that you had woven with the one you lost. What love flowed to that person from you, what loved flowed from them to you? Then begin seeking the loose disconnected ends of that love. You will connect some of the broken pathways back to your soul, and some to others who also loved this person. You will weave more of your love into this repair and form a beautiful scar that somehow makes you comfortable when you see it or feel it. The comfort comes from understanding how you loved and knowing how your soul heals. Future losses will bring less fear, and you will become expert at weaving repairs to your soul, from big losses, but also from the inevitable small wounds of daily life.
Be well, seek peace and weave or re-weave your social fabric of love each and every day.