• Tricia Karp

The path home

There are times when the rug that felt so warm, soft, comfortable and stable will be pulled from under our feet.

The relationship, career, a way of life, a friendship, a dream... shattered into invisible shards.

The useful response is to graciously accept the invitation to our chilly grief as it arrives in our hands, with its promise of a path home.

We don't need to be perfect. We don't need to know how. There isn't anywhere we have to go or even anything we need to do other than accept the invitation. To simply say yes, to open our front door and invite grief to warm its shivering body by our fire, to offer it a cup of tea, to get down on our knees and surrender at its feet, is as much as it takes to be our useful best.

Grief welcomes us in our fullness and never judges. All our sadness and hurt, our questioning, wondering and wandering, our regret, our bargaining, our pretending, our refusal, our anger, our depression, our hopelessness and helplessness too.

We don't need to know how. It is enough to come exactly as we are. A willingness to hold and comfort ourselves helps, or at least to dip our toes in the water to try if we're not sure exactly how. Then we sit. We allow grief to have its way with us. And we remember that, just like the tree that sheds all its leaves and stands bare amidst howling winds and frosts, new growth will shoot when spring returns, and we will discover a new world too once our old world has been given all that was needed for it to honourably end.

We say yes. We sit. We trust. We allow. That is the path.

That is home.

Those who will not slip beneath

the still surface on the well of grief,

turning down through its black water

to the place we cannot breathe,

will never know the source from which we drink,

the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find darkness in the glimmering,

the small round coins,

thrown by those who wished for something else.

~ The Well of Grief, by David Whyte

Visit here to find out about working with Tricia Karp, including private sessions, group programs, workshops and retreats

Photo by Erico Marcellino