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Monday Mourning: The Guest House

September 7, 2020

Welcome to a new series of connective information. Throughout the week, you’ll see posts about three aspects of life that I love to dive into: grief (Monday Mournings), self-strengthening (Thriveful Thursdays), and growing up (Family Fridays). As you read, you may find yourself nodding your head in agreement, pausing to consider something you haven’t thought of before, scrunching your face in disagreement, or taking a deep breath to sit with a particular emotion. If something strikes you, take a sec to like it or share it with someone else to keep the connections going strong.

Today is the first Monday Mourning post. Over the years, I’ve found that poems can be powerful in grief work. Since it’s sometimes hard to describe what’s happening internally, we can lean into someone else’s words until we have our own. I’m always searching around for poems new to me, but I have a collection of ones that always seem to say the right thing for me and my clients. In my top 5 grief poems collection is Rumi’s “Guest House.” The famous 13th Century Persian poet encourages us to open ourselves to the wide range of human emotion, to “welcome and entertain them all.” In my personal and professional experiences, grief never arrives alone. It brings with it an entourage of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations, each needing to be tended to for however long it visits and however many times it visits. Not all guests are pleasant and it can require a feat of patience to be a good host, but I’ve found that if the door is closed, they’ll just keep knocking. Think back to a time when you grieved a loss or a loss you are currently grieving (a death, a move, a breakup/divorce, significant illness, a major life change). Who was your most unexpected or persistent visitor? What was it like to invite them in?

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