A Humanity of Grief
“The journey of grief can seem bleak and lonely.
Look in front of you…
There are others encouraging and guiding you.
Look beside you…
There are others on the same journey.
Look behind you…
There are others encouraged by you.
We are not alone on this journey.”
-The Grief Toolbox
Grief is universal and sooner or later it will visit nearly everyone who is alive. It is so universal in fact, that right this moment, all over the world, millions upon millions of people are experiencing some stage of grief. According to www.wikipedia.com, of the 7 billion plus people on the planet, approximately 150,000 souls depart each day. That’s 54,750,000 souls every year or roughly 0.002% of the world’s population. And, this number is just the number of HUMAN lives lost. If we think about all of the friends and family members that just one person may leave behind and then multiply that thousands of times over, we come to understand grief on a massive scale. And these numbers reflect grief stemming directly from the death of a loved one. Imagine then, the millions of people who are immersed in grief and grieving stemming from some other type of loss!
And, sadly, as we have all come to understand---our grieving is fluid---there is no starting and stopping point. It can and often does take years to fully assimilate and integrate a loss, whatever the loss may have been. And grief stems not only from the loss of a loved one, but from the loss of anything that we loved, prized, and valued deeply---whether it be our health, our job, our business, our home, our money, our reputation, our possessions, a friendship, our youth, our looks, our marriage, our relationship, our cherished pet, or even the seeming loss of our collective humanity and regard for Mother Earth, grief is the necessary and inevitable byproduct and the price e pay for having been born.
So the next time a profound loss brings us to our knees, while we’re down there praying for our own salvation, perhaps we can extend a prayer to the millions of others all across the globe who are on their own grief journey. And if, as we are walking down what often is a very bleak and lonely road, we can reflect upon the old adage, “There is strength in numbers,” maybe this knowing that we are sharing the same experience with a multitude of others can instill us with greater strength and resilience, and help us to feel less alone.
There is something deeply sacred in this collective and communal sharing on a grand scale, of something that is so intrinsically human---the grief and grieving that stems from love and loss. This connection is the universal tie that binds all of humanity. Knowing that it is the gift of love that unites us all on our journey is a welcome and beautiful gift indeed.