by Megha Nancy Buttenheim
Welcome to the continuation of this blog series, Finding Grace within Grief: Seven Healing Ways. In this series, I offer Positive Psychology and Let Your Yoga Dance tools to help those experiencing loss and dark times. If you’re just starting out on this journey of Finding Grace Within Grief, please go to the introduction and begin from there. My story will make much more sense.
Finding my unique way to honor the life, death, and meaning of my daughter has been instrumental in my healing process. She changed me forever; because of her, I became a mother.
Throughout the years I’ve devised a myriad of ways to mother her. When I graduate a new group of Let Your Yoga Dance instructors, I picture all the milestones Sarah Grace would have had, from learning to roll over in her crib, to her first day at school, to her first kiss, and onward.
I have learned that grief is an ocean: The waves come when they will. I can either ride them, or get washed under. But if I don’t honor the wave, it’ll smack me harder the next time it comes. When I ride the wave, allowing the sensations to be there and remembering to breathe, relax, feel, watch, and allow (BRFWA), eventually the wave will crest; I can ride it to shore, integrating and completing the moment of grief.
I no longer experience as many waves of grief around Sarah Grace, but sometimes one will hit me from out of the blue. Recently, during the Certificate in Positive Psychology graduation week at Kripalu, I was contentedly witnessing a student presenting her final project. Her presentation was in honor of her three-month-old daughter, Grace. She showed pictures of her beautiful baby, whom she conceived at the same age I had been when my daughter was conceived.
For the duration of her talk, I cried inwardly, yet I was also present. Afterward, I practiced BRFWA, and sought out a friend to hold my heart for a moment. And then I went on with my day, eventually helping to lead a graduation ritual that included my signature Dance Prayer, the Grace Sculpture Garden of Hearts and Souls.
Time has passed, but there are moments when the loss feels as fresh as if it happened yesterday. When the waves come, I need to remember BRFWA, feel my feelings, and then dance into the next moment.
Click here to learn more about the Certificate in Positive Psychology.
Megha Nancy Buttenheim, MA, E-RYT, Megha Nancy Buttenheim, MA, E-RYT 500, is the founding director of Let Your Yoga Dance® and a faculty member for Wholebeing Institute’s Certificate in Positive Psychology. letyouryogadance.com