I have heard a poem called “The Courage of the Seed” twice over the last two weeks. It is truly a beautiful poem by Mark Nepo and would encourage you to read the whole thing. Both times I have heard it spoken, one of the last lines in the poem has struck a chord with me. “As a seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt imagine itself loved or at peace.” As I listened, I immediately was reminded about the grief journey. When we are in the depths of our grief journey, we cannot imagine life becoming better again. Life is muddy and we cannot see clearly through it. The thistles that once held places for flowers in our lives are thick and they need plenty of care.
Then I listened to the next line. “The courage of the seed is that once cracking, it cracks all the way.” It takes courage for us to help ourselves along in our grief, and this could look different for different people. Sometimes, it means starting a journal to help us start to process our grief. Some may need to seek counseling to have someone help them navigate their grief and what to do next. But it just takes that one moment of recognition and acceptance that our loved one is dead, but they also would not want us to suffer anymore. They would want us to pick up the pieces and continue our journey with their memory always close to our hearts.
One of the definitions of courage is “strength in the face of pain or grief.” Even the dictionary recognizes that people who are experiencing loss requires courage. It takes courage to continue to wake up every day, take a shower, and put on clothes. Just that much can take all of the courage we have, and that is ok. One day, you will wake up and you’ll add making yourself breakfast or driving yourself back to work. No matter where you are along your grief journey, I wish you courage. I wish you the courage to be like the seed, crack open, and crack all the way. I wish you the courage to blossom into your new life without your loved one while keeping them close to your heart. This week, I encourage you to try something courageous that you may not have been able to do since your loved one died. They would want you to blossom.