SHINE: Joy by the Spirit — Room to Grieve

SHINE … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Room to Grieve

© 2012 Tonya M. Evans

April 11, 2012

“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Dr. Earl A. Grollman

In case you’ve been wondering why I’ve been M.I.A. at this month it’s because I’ve been dealing with the final transition of my grandmother, Celeste Lee Jones Borden (a/k/a Nana), on March 30, 2012.

We celebrated her Homegoing Service on Saturday, April 7, 2012 and although her passing was not unexpected, I am still adjusting to the reality that her physical presence as I knew it is gone forever.

[I wrote about her fearless spirit in a February 15, 2012 post “Resolve. Commit. Just do it!]

I celebrate her life well lived and the amazing times we’ve shared not only throughout my life but especially at the end of her life. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to ensure that nothing was left unsaid or undone (a true gift!). I also celebrate her spiritual freedom from a body that was in rapid decline. Yet still, I miss her physical presence immensely.

I have and continue to experience the full range of emotions that surface in the midst of the grieving process; the bitter, the sweet, the heaviness, the light. I’ve experienced joyful visitations by her loving presence that created pure miracles, especially when I felt alone and in need of encouragement. And I intend to share those personal and reflective moments in the weeks and months to come as I unpack their significance and influence. But for now, I choose to lean into and surrender to the process.

After her transition I committed to maintaining space to breathe and room to grieve. I have been intentional about creating opportunities for silent reflection, tears, remembering, forgetting, communing with nature, family and friends and for accepting what is.

I’ve been protective of my time and energy, my emotions and my process, choosing to spend time in solitude or with those who have the divine ability to honor the emotional space I am in. Those light workers and “soul” mates in my life gifted with the ability to honor where I am without trying to fix me. They “hold the space” by holding me, they listen while I repeat myself and lose my train of thought, allow me to come undone, and energize and support me in my process.

I am not focused on a result. There is no destination, plan or agenda for my grief. I’m open to the journey because I know that the only way to is through. On this journey, I celebrate and acknowledge my Nana’s life, legacy and transition into a different plane of existence. And I accept that grief is a necessary process of transition; as necessary and inevitable as death itself. Grief is the beginning and the end.

And most importantly, “grief is a sign that you loved well.” [Unknown]

For more spiritual food for thought from Tonya, visit


One Response

  1. May the Peace of God which defies human understanding be with you on this journey.

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