“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.”-Ovid
Fallowing is a farming practice whereby a field is left unsown for a period of time to let the soil recover its nutrients and restore its moisture content. This recovery time later allows that same soil to grow a larger and better crop when next planted.Read more: Monday Meditation: Lie Fallow
The “rest” time granted to grievers by friends, family, and even bereavement policies amounts to a few days “off”. Grievers are supposed to fall back into formation, after this short break, without missing a beat like nothing much happened.
A weekend or even a week isn’t enough to deal with a loss; it’s not enough time to process what happened or adjust to the new life grievers are thrust into without their permission.
Instead of just resting, we might do better to give ourselves time to lie fallow, to give up being sown for a season, to stop feeling pressure to produce for a cycle, and instead just…be. By remaining fallow, we not only give ourselves rest, we also give ourselves time to recover. We give ourselves a better chance to thrive when we reenter the planting cycle.
We can’t stop doing everything in a fallow period (we still need to eat, pay bills, take care of children,etc.); but we can fall back on the basics, put ourselves in a more private and selective environment that allows us to gather good supporters around us, reprioritize our needs and wants, and reflect on how this massive shift has changed us, and to decide who we want to be in this new world.
Whether it has been one day since your loss or one thousand, take time to lie fallow, to rest with purpose and intention. Throw away the idea that you are being lazy and unproductive. You are readying yourself for the next “planting season” wherein you will rise and thrive.