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  • Writer's pictureDr Jo

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

and sunsets

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.

Treat grief

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

to remember.

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.

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