Very often, grief is expressed most poignantly in poems. The capacity for vivid description, for transmitting feeling, is central to poetry, and thus the poets of grief are given outlets to express both hope and pain in such a way that allows for readers to enter into the experience.
I am not much of a poet, but I offer the poem below, written about 6 months after my wife Jennifer died. It is my hope that someone experiencing grief, right now, may enter into the poem and find themselves not alone. It is my prayer that we grieve with hope, that the “anchor holds.”
Like the crashing waves upon the seashore,
Call to me through the fog and haze,
Drawing my thoughts toward the deadly rocks.
Like a dream they come,
A silent specter through the gloom.
Dim, and long ago they seem,
As in a dream disturbed too soon.
In times of want, they ought bring hope,
And yet they bring despair.
Every thought draws this listing vessel toward the depths,
Every memory drags this drowning soul down.
“Through the glass” I see the years of innocence,
Years of countless joys.
I crave them as one without sustenance,
I call to them, but see them as clouds, destroyed by the sunlight of truth.
Pain, and endless pain, seems to me the future now.
I stand upon the threshold, looking back, yet peering forward.
Behind me stand memories, once sweet, but now riddled with pain.
Before me stands the pit, the future without hope.
And yet, through some strange work,
The memories bring strength.
“She’s gone, she’s gone,”
And yet this vessel’s anchor lives on, “Love never quits.”
Now before me stands a path,
Darkened by the fog of loneliness.
Yet through this life I travel on,
Finding strength in memories, long past and painful.
And so the anchor holds, despite the rising waves.
The memories of pain, through sweet sanctification,
Now stand as memories of life, yet to come,
Endless life to be lived, once the path of memories is walked.
Please share how you have dealt or helped someone deal with grief by submitting a comment below. Let’s expand the discussion.
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