Grief, naturally, has its own way of transpiring within each of us. While every experience is unique—loss, at any point during motherhood—undoubtedly hits hard. When it comes to challenges in life, some say the only way out is through, a notion that does little to offer solace to someone who’s in it. As we reflected on that philosophy, we realized that sometimes, a certain sentiment, at just the right moment, can spark meaning for someone in mourning. For greater perspective, we contacted renowned Integrative Grief Guide and founder of Fall Up, Jasmin Jenkins, who has found her life’s purpose in helping others grasp love, meaning—and even beauty—through the grieving process. When we asked her to share some of her sentiments on grief, Jasmin was impassioned by the opportunity to share her wisdom with our community. As we recognize that grief is a part of life—this one’s certainly for all of us.
My philosophy on grief is really pretty simple—I believe that how we meet our grief is a mirror for how we are relating to life. Unfortunately, when we shut down to grief, we shut down to life. But the beautiful thing is, when we’re loving and curious towards our grief, we’re more mindful and present with the strange and beautiful gift that it is to be here, as spiritual beings, having this human experience.
“To heal is to touch with love that which was previously touched by fear.”
This is one of my favorite quotes to reference—attributed to the late, and enduring, Stephen Levine. Ultimately, grief reminds all of us that we’re here temporarily, and through our unique grief processes, we are invited to meet the places within our grief that we’ve been afraid of, with love.
In my work as an Integrative Grief Guide, I often remind my clients that grief is the most normal, natural part of this human journey. In the same way that we’re all touched by love, we’re all touched by grief. Further, the framework I use to support my clients, The Fall Up Method, offers a supportive structure to the often intense and overwhelming layers of one’s grief journey. My sessions frequently begin with mindful breathing, followed by the sharing of intentions and active processing. Then we close with identifying the places where my clients are being invited to become more present with life.
I am willing to meet my grief with love, instead of fear.
I am willing to meet my grief with curiosity, instead of judgment.
I am committed to honoring my heart, and all that she feels, related to my grief journey.
I am open to letting my grief lead me into deeper co-creation with life.
Honoring the Experience of Grief
First thing’s first—pause and connect with your heart, knowing that while you may feel alone in your grief, you are not. Secondly, an invitation to release any judgment you may be holding towards yourself or any part of the process, as the releasing of judgment allows you to be more free to feel what is there for you to feel, and, in turn, to become more connected to the healing that is available to you.
Be gentle with your grieving hearts. Know that healing is a process, and, unfortunately it’s not linear. Identify one or two spiritual practices to support yourself in your healing journey—time in nature, meditation, and journaling are a few examples.
Creating an altar to both honor the experience of pregnancy loss and the soul, is a powerful way to support the healing of the grieving parents’ hearts. As Marianne Williamson has said so beautifully, “what we put onto the altar is altered.”
Not to get too woo woo, but eight is the number of infinity. Thus, I suggest creating and leaving an altar up in your home for 8 days—to honor you, the grieving parents, and the soul whose physical absence you are grieving. While you may have only been temporarily connected in the physical, the spiritual connection you had with that soul is indeed—like love—infinite.
Some ideas for what to place upon your altar—anything that represents the connection between you and the soul you were carrying, prayer or blessing for this soul—and for you and your partner, a small vase of flowers, a candle, cards you’ve received from a loved one in light of your loss, and anything else that feels supportive or meaningful to have nearby.
Let this experience remind you that grief is a co-creation, inviting you to become more present with your heart, and more tender and alive to the fullness of life.
Rituals and Mindsets to Support Healing
I encourage tea making and journaling. Welcome the making of a cup of tea as an invitation to become more present with your heart, and with what is feeling most present within your grief journey. Put your phone on airplane mode and allow the making and drinking of the tea to usher you into greater presence with your heart. If it feels aligned, reflect upon either or both of these prompts: what is feeling most present within my grief journey today? and what is one thing that I can do to support myself in my healing today?.
Remember that you are not alone. Remember that meeting your grief with love and curiosity is what will support you in your healing. Remember that it is a deeply courageous act to ask for help and to let your heart express the fullness of the feelings present within your unique grief journey.
ON GRIEVING WITH A PARTNER
Know that we all heal on our own timelines.
Communicate and check in with compassion, intentionality, and consistency.
If it seems like your partner needs professional support, encourage one another to get that support.
Check in with questions like, “Is there anything I can do to make you feel more supported?”, “Is there anything you would like to do together to honor this grief?”, and “Is there anywhere that would feel supportive to go, as we move through this grief together?”.
As Mother Theresa said, “Do small things with great love,” which is to say, if you’re the partner, you may want to write the grieving mother a card, buy her a beautiful candle or a plant, name a star after the soul you’re grieving.
Remind the grieving mother that she is deeply loved, worthy, and that feeling her feelings will lead her into healing.
Remember that while you’re both grieving the same loss, your grief is unique to each of you—comparing your grief will only hinder your healing.
If you’re the partner in this instance, stay present with your grief, as your grief is just a valid as the grieving mother’s—diminishing your grief does a disservice to you and your partnership.
Be proud of your heart for its capacity to feel the weight of love.
Jasmin Jenkins is a spiritual guide, in service to the collective as an Integrative Grief Guide and the founder of Fall Up. It is Jasmin’s greatest honor and joy to co-create in healing with her clients—supporting them in the full spectrum of falling up, with 1:1 Sessions, Mentorships, and Healing Ceremonies. She recently guided attendees of the Yellow Co. Conference 2023 through her Grief as Celebration™ ceremony.