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Breathing through Grief in the Darkest Nights

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

How do we talk to our children about Climate Change?

I was recently been hit by a tidal wave of grief. My 14 year old son asked me just before bed "Mom, do you think we can stop climate change?" The question hung in the air like a pollution cloud that I feared would choke us all if we inhaled the likely answer too deeply.

Yet that is what I did, I took a deep breath of all the pain that question brings, and remembering my Tonglin meditation practice, I exhaled the pain out through my open heart with a breath of compassion for all who eventually will have to face that question and especially for the children who are now forced to contemplate it.

A few more breaths later, I found my voice and reassured him that we would do all that we can, and that there are many, many people in the world working tirelessly to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The next day while my son was away at school, I sat on the couch with my husband and let loose a deep wail of grief, followed by sobs and many tears. Then I just rested, just watched as the snow fell outside.

Just watched my breathing, and felt deep gratitude for life, for the life that this planet has given me, my family, my community and all beings on earth.

Image: North Circle by Beth Fairservis

I felt the mothering energy of Gaia, reassuring me that my emotions are received by the universe as an act of gratitude and love.

I felt that no matter what happens, a great beauty is unfolding and has been for billions of years, and will continue to arise and pass through an infinite continuum.

In these darkest nights before the Solstice in the year 2019, we have much to contemplate and grieve as the voice of Gaia moves through us. Our tears will make space for the new sun to rise.

We can rise with JOY in our sacred work of rebalancing our planet's bio-system, building compassionate communities, and dancing, singing, and creating a new world based in love and gratitude, trusting that the unknown has potentials far beyond our imaginings.

As you parent or care for children remember that the innocence inside them needs to time to transform into compassion and creativity for their sacred work in the future. Let children ask the questions, be strait forward about what you know, and show them that getting active about the solutions is the best way to be with the problems!

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