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Grief – A universal language

Picture this:

A 5 a.m. wake-up for hockey-mom duties and a mad dash to secure the coveted spot as first in line for our passport renewal. Cold concrete stairs, coffee jitters, and two chatty morning comrades who quickly become my first-in-line buddies.

When my alarm went off, I had no idea I was headed for a two-hour chit-chat extravaganza with a bank investor, a journalist, and yours truly, an acupuncturist. Oh boy, did we ever have a blast! By the time we made it inside, the passport officers were convinced we were family, even though we assured them we had just met.

We delved into intense conversations about grief, addictions, cancer, loss, fear, family, infertility, surrogacy, Las Vegas, parenthood, sports, arts, private jets, and even U2. Honestly, it was the best two hours with strangers I’ve had in a long time. Grief stories flowed freely, heavy but connecting three complete strangers in ways only vulnerability can, in a moment that felt like universal alignment.

I’m no stranger to these cosmic moments; they’re what my acupuncture practice is made of. We begin as strangers and embark on a healing journey that links us together in the cosmos forever. 

Grief, my dear friends, is a universal language. They say time makes grief easier, but I call BS. Time can stand still, and you can miss someone so deeply it feels like you might shatter. 

I embarked on my grief work long before 2019. Two books helped me change my perception of grief so profoundly that it was almost a foreshadowing of the wet blanket of grief that was to be my companion for years to come.  

  1. The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses by John W. James and Russell Friedman
  2. It’s Okay That You’re Not Okay: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine


What I learned from these books is that grieving is not about five steps and you’re done. It’s about love so deep you have to feel it.

So, in the relentless new-year buzz about change, fad diets, fountain of youth and the like, I’m gonna hold space for you and your grief. You’ve always got a safe place to land with me when you’re ready. 

And to the two perfectly timed strangers in the passport line, thank you. Thank you for being vulnerable, for sharing, and for ushering in hope for this new year. Cynic mode can hit me hard, but with new passports and unlimited opportunities to meet awesome people, 2024 looks like it has the potential to be filled with fantastic encounters.

Bring it on!


Sara Ward

Sara Ward

Step into my world, where the momentum of our combined energies makes healing contagious.



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