When we grieve -- and we do so only because we love -- the dimensions of that grief differ for each death without one being greater or lesser than another; we grieve from different parts of our heart for different reasons. The heart is not a cliche. People experiencing grief can distinguish its impact from momentary sadness. True grief brings with it a physical tension gnaws at us from the heart center. At various times of day when memories are triggered by different sensations,, none of them predictable. We experience an emotional pain with an identifiable physical center. Those who have lost loved ones be they human or animal, consider the and recognize the different pallets of grief you carry. If you Just as we don't love each person or animal in our lives the say way, we don't grieve for them from the same place. That doesn't mean we grieve in different measure; we actually grieve from different places, regardless of how long we've been in a relationship or how challenging that relationship may have been. One parent may have carried us through our early years with great devotion, only to succumb in mid-life to financial strains and workloads that put us at greater distance. Or our own living demands may have moved us farther away physically and correspondingly emotionally. The fact that we were needier in our earlier years, the love and therefore the grief we experience for our parents emanates from a more primal place. Was it dad who taught you to fly a kite or a ride a two wheeler? Did Mom take you clothes shopping and make festive birthday parties when you were four, five, six? The grief we feel in parental loss will sweeps us backwards to those images; their love resides in the oldest and most formative places in part of our consciousness. Grief over parents, grandparents, and siblings can be framed in flickering sequences of childhood images, much like an early 20th century silent film. Here we are at Christmas. Here we are at the beach. Here were are at graduation. If we were blessed enough to be present at the passing of a loved one, we might retain images and sensations of their last breath, their last word, their last gesture, squeezing our hand in the last moments of life. They seem to erupt unannounced as we progress through our mundane days. Some losses – particularly those of our animal companions -- equate to the loss of a cherished best friend or partner. The grief over the death of the stalwart, elderly faithful dog or cat flows from a deep and serious center. We were both protectors and protected, a role we did not play with our parents. The loss of a rescue dog is a sorrow connected to the loss of a sweet child seeking refuge. We wrapped them in the blanket of our love and now they’re gone; now our hands our empty. As humans, we find discomfort in voids. And grief over the loss of a child? This is the unspeakable grief. This is the hole in our center that never fills. Although we experience different forms of grief from different origins, each is in some way the same as the next. We have to plow through it (but we never “get over” it) It would be easier if we were not such emotionally driven beings. But there are lessons and opportunities for us in the loss of those we love. We just don’t always understand them until much later.

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