Grief and Praise in times of pandemic

We often speak about the two wings of the bird in grief tending – an image that comes from Martìn Prechtel. The two wings represent grief and praise, the pain of life and the joy of life. In the teaching as I’ve come to understand it, a full life means one where both wings are strong. We cannot love deeply without deep grief. We cannot celebrate beauty, open to the joy of the moment, let ourselves be free with laughter or creativity without also meeting those moments when the loved one is gone, the laughter and beauty is finishing. Impermanence means every sources of joy comes to an end, everything living dies, every moment passes.

I’ve been with these two wings as I hear people who are either with increasing loneliness, stress or hardship themselves, or are witnessing others in that state. In a recent grief sharing someone spoke of those who have died of lockdown. Not dying from COVID, but from the diminishing of life under the conditions of lockdown.

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