“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” ~ Rumi
That is a radical thought. It is also, for the person struggling with grief, somewhat trite and quite a put down.
This is a quotation I would never give to someone who is in the first few years of grieving the loss of a loved one.
What is this quotation really saying?
The first sentence is that Sorrow prepares you for Joy.
Not something you wish to hear when you are grieving.
But there is more to it than the first sentence suggests.
Sorrow violently sweeps everything out of your life. Rumi suggests that this creates a vacuum that allows a space for new joy to enter.
Sorrow shakes the old dead and dying leaves from the bough of your heart and makes room for new leaves, fresh and green, to grow.
Sorrow pulls up the roots in your life that are rotten. It allows the new roots room to grow.
Sorrow shakes much from your heart and allows better things to take their place.
I have mentioned I would never give this quotation to a person in the first few years of grieving.
But I might consider giving it to someone who has come to the point of spending more time on the tasks of living than on the tasks of grieving.
Such a time is inevitable. There will come a time when you start to feel you are living again. A time when the love of the person you have lost is less likely to feel like a knife through the heart.
There is a point in the journey of grief when the griever wonders if there will every be a life lived in the sun again.
This quotation is a beautiful reminder of life after grief.
Yes, you will want to laugh again and not feel guilty.
Yes, you will want to make plans and do new things.
You may even be able to love other people again.
Your life will continue and far better things will take the place of the pain and sorrow.
You will always miss that person, but you will live again.
When the road of grief has been long and tiring and you just want to know there is a point where it will not be so hard, remember this. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.
If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with finding life after bereavement, please contact me on 0409396608 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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