The keyhole we all must pass through

"Tamara's Grief" by Kathy Sprinkle
“Tamara’s Grief” by Kathy Sprinkle

Welcome to GRIEVE week. Seems kind of funny to put welcome and grieve in the same sentence huh? Well, please be assured I truly mean it. When it was first suggest that this should be one of our habits I wasn’t entirely sure but then I realized that too often we try to stuff sadness away without giving it it’s due. I have not known Tamara to be one of those people but even so there was some part of her grief over the loss of her mother that wasn’t available until the moment in this photo.

“I was visiting the white rose bush my mother had planted for me 22 years ago.
I had not returned to see it in 17 years.
The loss of my mother and the grief was still so present for me the day we visited.
I am still bereft of her love and friendship. No matter how much time passes I still miss her everyday.”

Grief asks us to pause, to take a moment and truly allow all that we feel, good and bad to have its day. January, in the midst of her own grief over the more recent loss of her mother puts it this way:

“I think if we pretend that some of our shadowed feelings don’t exist we miss that they are part of what makes the joy illuminated. Bringing those difficult emotions to consciousness, allowing them in self and others, turning toward them with curiosity and holding tenderly our tenderness, we embrace the wholeness of being- we become more human, and more humane.”

by January Handl

I stand with my face in the salty breeze
the October sunshine warming my back
while the white-noise song of the waves
swells my heart,
and the almost warm water sweeps sensuously
over my feet.
My eyes are constantly caught by
the seemingly randomly arranged beauty of
Sea grasses, stones, shells and sand.

I’m still in love with this world.
I almost forgot
Its been a year since my mama died
And a giant hole opened up
my heart ached in ways that
didn’t seem bearable

Only ever offered package deals,
my fingers were shouting about
the stinging pain the thorns offered
and I almost forgot to gaze at the miracle
of the budding beauty of spiraling rose,
the sweet heavenly fragrance
that heals and soothes,
the green-red promise of new growth.

Grief is the key-hole through which
we must pass, imbedded in
the solid door of what is,
releasing any deals we think we made,
any “no” we got when we wanted “yes”
any past debts or dramas
the true soft-bellied surrender
to allow sadness to wash with
tide after tide over
what can now never be,
and then forgiveness of
the darkness and shadow
of the world, finally, finally
allows the light and wonder
to reignite the vast honor
of perception
of relationship
of consciousness
of LOVE.

I’m still in love with this world.

Yes, grief IS the keyhole we must pass through. Whether it is the loss of a parent or child, or job or love; whether small or large our sadness requests its due. This week your bliss initiative is to allow your sadness. On the other side of grief is forgiveness and access again to the light of joy and love. Give in to the process and allow for it all.



Tamara and January are here each Monday to help set the mood for the week!

Tamara Magnitsky

My mission is fulfilling a lifelong desire to be a creative professional making a positive difference in the lives of those I encounter. Photographing unique personalities in a fun and relaxed environment. To challenge myself creatively, listen deeply and take a damn good picture.
See Tamara’s photography on her Facebook Page.



January Handl

January Handl is first and always a mother, has been a preschool teacher and parent educator for 25 years. She is currently lives in Aptos California AND simply in awe of existence.

She calls her photo “hot tub bliss”  🙂

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