A wise friend who understands that grief is cyclical—that it dives down deep and appears to disappear, then comes up gulping—shared this poem with me.
That’s what its been like for me these past months. Going beneath, sifting through the shipwreck of my sorrow. A trove is there, lying quietly, waiting for me.
The Thing Is | Ellen Bass
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.