I just finished watching a video knowing in advance that it would put my day into a new perspective. However, what my heart and mind didn't quite realise was what dramatic shift my spirit would take when it was over. Grief is a profound human experience and it is something I experienced in every reality of my existence from 02 July 2013 - 31 May 2014. It began in earnest with the death of my darling mother and was transformed on what would have been her 84th birthday. My relationship with my mother was special, our lives very different yet we were emotionally bound at the heart in ways that my mind still grapples to understand. Worse was that her death came the exact same day that a bond I made believing it to be true and life-long strong shattered.
I'm a member of a generation that was taught to obscure sorrow, a ‘Baby Boomer’ who grew up in a family where even saying “Goodbye” was not allowed. This supposed 'life-competence' was reinforced by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who refused to show the world her tears when JFK was assassinated. Far worse was watching her 3-year old son follow her instructions to salute his father’s coffin. Six short years later, Simon and Garfunkel topped the billboards of 1969 with their hit song, "I am a Rock", the lyrics further fortifying a message that was heard over and over and over again on the radio. “I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.”
Healing the binary loss of my Mom's physical presence, and love were not instantaneous. It took every day of an 11-month cycle that was filled with repeating cycles to come through. During this sojourn, three books were written and while they will be revised no doubt, the first editions are priceless to me as they caught and reflect my tears. These drops for the cosmic sea, recycling the amniotic fluid of the soul. Their falling was the breaking birth waters of wisdom. My tears washed away many illusions as their salt melted the frost of fear, the fear of never being loved again, or loving and losing.
On the other side of grief resolved we realise that our tears have the power to renew the mind. We understand they are a potent elixir that has the ability to heal and restore the heart. In my period of mourning glory, my Mother's passing, a loss that exceeds more than many might have the courage to imagine or examine, and the death of a relationship led to true progress. Links were found related to loyalty, compassion and the meaning of true friendship. Some were strong while other were weak but tragically more than a few proved bogus.
Today there’s a global pandemic of sorrow and loneliness. We have at our fingertips a remedy for heart shredding loss and disorienting grief.
Yes, all of this was brought to mind watching a short video on the harsh realities of life in North Korea. The truth is it is an endurance test that can never be confused as living. This is a video that all who inhabit a 'free' world should invest a few moments of time watching to put life, loneliness, loss, grief and purpose into a Renewed Perspective. In no way does this demean, deny or discount personal loss. What is true is that we have the right and privilege to share our lives and speak our truth while by simply sharing their experiences and allowing their faces to be shown on camera, no doubt they are exposed to an element of real jeopardy that puts their life at rise. I am sure in speaking however, that their inner burdens are more than halves.
After watching this video, ask yourself this karmic question: If crying at the death of a family member was punishable by death what would you do? If failure to conform led to unimaginable consequences, your sentence passed down to your grandparents, your parents and your children, what would you not say or do?
The freedom to live from authenticity is what allows all of us to evolve as humans.