Wake me up when September Ends

"Summer has come and passed - The innocent can never last - Wake me up when September ends - Like my father's come to pass - Seven years has gone so fast - Wake me up when September ends - Here comes the rain again - Falling from the stars - Drenched in my pain again - Becoming who are - As my memory rests - But never forgets what I lost - Wake me up when September ends..."

....goes the Green Day song. This song is based on Billie Joe's  (Green Day lead singer) experience of living through seemingly interminable grief after his father's death. He longs for the pain to end. The grief hangs on him, his constant companion.

"Here comes the rain again...drenched in my pain again" are poignant lyrics describing the experience of grief. As time goes on, you seem to feel alright for a moment here and there, but suddenly you are "drenched" again in the heaviness of it all, and you're completely and totally helpless. Like a sudden thunderstorm, grief pours from the heavens. The feeling washes over you like a wave, and you simply cannot shake it, you ride it.

Grief and loss bring us to our knees. Very few things in life can provide suffering like losing someone close to us can. Grief is not only related to literal death. It also appears with other great losses, for example: the ending of a relationship (divorce) or the loss of one's innocence, youth, or agility (aging).

Grief can become heavy. We wish someone could "wake" us when it ends. But we cannot jump over grief, any more than we can skip the month of September. We have to walk through it. And September can feel like a very, very long month.

However, likewise, grief is also responsible for awakening, enlivening and individuating our persons. Individuation is a term clinicians often use to describe the process of becoming who we are, which is exactly what Billie Joe says in his song, "Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are". In walking through grief, in being present to the whole experience of it, amazingly, bizarrely, you somehow are molded; somehow you expand from grief? Grief can actually heal you.

CLICK HERE for definition of "individuation" on wikipedia and read the Carl Jung explanation.

Sometimes we have to live through September. Surrender to September. The dawn will come. If this is where you are, you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now. Have faith and continue to be present through September. September will end; it always does, every year.