Christina Rasmussen

Grief’s Monastery

There is a place deep inside grief that can hold us without pain. 

The deepest most hidden place of the grief experience is a seat of Trinity to witness life from. 

I was trying to explain this to someone this week. She saw me looking sad and struggled believing me when I said I am very happy.

It is hard to explain that this feels good to me and not be seen as my suffering.

The nostalgia and sadness that stems from that corner is not the same as the mourning experience. 

It is not anxiety. Nor trauma or depression. 

It is a grounding and integrating of the self. 

When you have spent years in grief there is a spontaneous evolutionary experience that takes place but rarely noticed by others. 

We experience a feeling of depth, deep reflection and insight that sits in a quiet, silent elysian space. We carry that with us at work, in our craft and in our relationships. 

It is never talked about. 

When it is, it is presented as meditation, or a zen experience. 

It is not that. It is grief’s long term healing depth. 

It is grief’s version of a monk like experience. 

It is grief’s Monastery. 

Most people don’t know about the real magnitude of grief and why we need to find the precise words for it. 

I struggle when I get put in a box because it is the easiest way for someone to understand me. 

And why I light the way for the places within me and you that get by passed, dismissed and never seen. 

This tiny monastery that grief built inside of me and you is the deepest place of the soul. 

It is the most beautiful experience I have when I am there. 

The tears that stem from this place are bathed in a timeless existence of the self. 

This tiny monastery of grief inside of us is similar to a quiet church visit, a peak experience on top of a mountain. 

It is holy. It is transcendent. And universal. 

How does it look like from the outside? Sorrowful. 

How it feels from the inside? Ancient and divine. 

It is the face of our soul in human form. 

How do we get there? 

By crying all the mourning tears, all the healing tears. 

By not bypassing the magnitude of grief even when it feels like a tsunami. 

By being present in the aftermath. 

And by feeling all the pain before it. 

Grief’s monastery requires time. 

Years of pain and sorrow. 

Then moments of joy and gratitude. Life. 

When we merge it all together, going back and forth between the painful grief and the joyful life, we stumble upon that deepness of what may look like sorrow but it is not. 

It is an unspoken world of deep knowing of what it is like to live with both grief and joy. 

When you find that tiny corner of gravity where the monastery is built inside of you, don’t be fooled by the tears. 

It is your soul being seen by you. 

At long last. 


With monasteries,


P.S. This week’s Dear Life Podcast Guest is the one and only Anita Moorjani. Listen in here

P.P.S. Here is the blog version of this letter.

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