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When’s the last time you grieved? If it’s been a while, you’re probably overdue. Grief is an essential emotion for long-term happiness. During a time of loss, it offers us the shelter to stay put and the freedom to move on.

But it doesn’t always feel that way, does it? I know from experience that it’s terrifying to experience loss and then feel the ensuing weight of grief pulling me into its seemingly dark abyss. Many of us don’t allow ourselves to feel the heaviness of grief. Instead, we try to ignore it, push it down, or seal it off.

If you’re one of those—a grief stuffer—then the video below is for you. I spent years as an expert stuffer. I didn’t have time for grief. I didn’t want to be weak. I was afraid to really feel anything, let alone allow myself to be consumed by sorrow.

But once the floodgates of my grief opened, I found the respite beauty of being human. I realized that it’s not only okay to grieve astronomical losses like death and health, but the Universe welcomes grieving smaller ones too. Like not getting a promotion. Your friends getting a divorce. Not being able to travel or see your grandkids. Every loss has value and deserves to be honored.

So much these days is uncertain and strange, to say the least. But life is still happening, and gifts are being bestowed on us even when we don’t think they are. If you allow yourself to grieve, even the smaller losses, you’ll shift into clear gratitude for what’s left behind and more importantly for what lies ahead.

With resilience, grace, and love,

KK

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Karena Kilcoyne

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