Walking Through the Fire of Grief

My guest blogger today is Uma Girish. Uma is a Grief Guide, Dream Coach and award-winning author. Her eBook “Understanding Death: 10 Ways to Inner Peace for the Grieving” is available on Amazon and iTunes. She hosts a weekly radio show for the Creating Calm Network called The Grammar of Grief. You can find her archived shows at

When my beloved Amma (mother) transitioned on January 27, 2009, my world went dark in one terrifying instant. After wallowing in the Why’s for weeks—why me, why this, why now—pinpricks of light began to penetrate the darkness. Slowly, realization dawned on me that I had to change my vocabulary. In fact, I had to learn a whole new language.

Surrender. Acceptance. Purpose. Meaning. And, finally, I could begin to taste true Joy.

Moving forward was impossible without acceptance. Amma died. I had to swallow those words, digest them and make them a part of my very being. This wasn’t about punishment. It wasn’t about being singled out by an angry God. It was simply about being on a human journey where duality is reality: light/dark, sadness/happiness, life/death. 

I surrendered to the pain of grief. I allowed myself to be a vessel for feelings to wash through: sadness, hurt, envy, resentment. I felt them all at different times along the grief journey.

When I entered deeply into the experience of loss, I knew in the deepest part of my being that it was inextricably linked to my purpose. My transformation was impossible without this event. “Crisis ignites evolution” says Michael Bernard Beckwith in his book Life Visioning. This was my crisis, my butterfly-emerging-from-the-cocoon moment.

I’d walked through the fire of loss. I was changed when I came out the other side. I could never go back to being who I used to be. And, on some levels, I don’t even want to. Transformation brings with it gifts, but only if we’re open to receiving them. You have to open the doors of your heart and allow complicated feelings in—loss, fear, sadness, pain and abandonment. Joy lives alongside them. How much joy you experience is directly dependent on how much pain you allow yourself to feel.

Inside every painful experience lives meaning. It’s the only reason we have pain in this life. We can let pain stop us in our tracks, or venture boldly into the exploration “How is this death relevant to my journey? What am I meant to do with this pain?”

When I discovered the answers to those questions, my pain alchemized into purpose. From that place was born my Chapter Two. My twin loves, teaching and writing, had more depth, meaning and passion. I was lit up every time I was asked to share my experience of loss—as I’m feeling this moment, writing these words. That is the purpose of my pain. To reach out a hand and connect with you. To let you know that you’re not alone. To help heal your heavy heart as a fellow soul-traveler.

One thin strand of light is all it takes to pierce the blackness. Allow your soul to welcome the transformation. Your life matters—no matter how deep your pain. Your life has meaning—if you look for it inside your heart. Your life is not about you—but the lives of everyone you touch.

To buy Uma's transformational memoir “Losing Amma, Finding Home: A Memoir About Love, Loss and Life’s Detours” published by Hay House, visit

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