My beloved friend, Grief
Dear Grieving One,
Treat grief, welcome her
as you would a cherished friend,
one who keeps your secrets
and stays up all night with you,
one who stands by you
no matter what
and holds your fearful
hand to cross the street
one who reads with you
books of lamentations
and weeps with you
through love songs
which now are too sad for words.
Such a friend is rare and irreplaceable.
Such a friend is worthy
of your tenderness and attention.
Over time, you will see, that grief
softens her edges.
Her eyes relax, her fists unclench
once she trusts you with her heart
and she feels safe
you will grow to know
and love her back
like few others.
as an old friend
and she will offer you respite
from a meaningless life.
It is not, of course
the life you loved and wished for
and should have had.
That life cannot return in this place
in that way.
And so grief, like a beloved friend
stands in stead
waiting patiently for your readiness.
And, one day grief will help
to break all our hearts open
to the sorrow and the longing
the anguish and the questioning
But in our heart's shattering,
we open not just to the pain but also
to all the beauty of the world
and the inimitable love that will always remain.
And would we have it any other way?
Grief is loyal
and she will always remember with us
even when others turn away
Because this is why she was born
And this is the job of a beloved friend
walking with our heart
gently, in her hands,
even when we wish
we never knew her.
- Joanne Cacciatore
Z asked me to help her "see" grief, not as the enemy but, as a friend. She felt exhausted, "hopeless" and "helpless" trying to "overcome" and resist her grief. I started to explain my concept of 'fully inhabited grief' and it resonated with her. So she asked if I could write something for her to put on her refrigerator.
So, this is for her and her precious son and husband who died three months ago in a terrible crash. And remembering Misty Dawn today with her mama.
I hope this also resonates with some of you reading.