The Well of Grief

It has been a long time since I have written a post, in part because life has been so full.

As always, I can feel this churning inside when it is time to write.  It is a nagging, bubbling sense to see what might come out if I sit down and focus for a bit.

I am forever grateful for our family, and the past year of wonderful experiences with the kids.  I am aware of how lucky we are to have Mimi.  She has been such a delight for all of us.  When I see her and Wes playing, reading together, snuggling…there really isn’t anything finer in life.

I also know (as I did from the beginning) that she isn’t Hannah, and will never replace our sweet, sweet girl.

Mimi is a light that warms my heart and provides much needed illumination.  I see the world clearer because of her, and I have joy beyond measure from our family.

And yet I still have these waves hit – the grief, and heartache.  The longing for what can’t be and in some very poignant ways, the guilt of being unable to fix the situation.

The poet David Whyte is someone that I have admired since I had the opportunity to hear him read a number of years ago at IslandWood.  He uses nature as metaphor, and so beautifully captures the human spirit.  I get a Facebook feed from his site, and today he posted the poem below.  It is this grief that I feel…grief that will forever be a part of me.

I am richer because of Hannah.  I thank her every day for the gifts she gives me – the strength and confidence I have in myself because of her.  I care less about the superficial, and am kinder to myself and others.  I give myself permission to pause in ways I never would have before our lives together.

I don’t often cry anymore, but when I do, it still hits me like a wall of water – knocks me down and is unrelenting.  These waves require my full attention…there is no turning away or pushing them aside.  Sometimes I can feel them brewing, but it isn’t something I can stop when it hits.  It happened last week at a time and place that I wouldn’t have imagined and couldn’t control.  And all I can do is to be kind to myself.  Know that this is me, and I am vulnerable.

THE WELL OF GRIEF

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,

turning down through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe,

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering,
the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else.

The Well of Grief
From ‘River Flow’
New & Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press © David Whyte

Photo: © David Whyte 2014:
Woodland Pond, Far Easedale, Cumbria.

Photo: THE WELL OF GRIEF

Those who will not slip beneath
        the still surface on the well of grief,

turning down through its black water 
       to the place we cannot breathe,

will never know the source from which we drink, 
       the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering, 
       the small round coins,
            thrown by those who wished for something else.

The Well of Grief
From 'River Flow'
New & Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press © David Whyte

Photo: © David Whyte 2014: 
Woodland Pond, Far Easedale, Cumbria.

 

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4 Responses to The Well of Grief

  1. Anne Sommer says:

    I saw the poem, too, just before I got to your email. I love him, his poetry and you and your writing/sharing.

  2. Pam Perry says:

    Allyson, in 2009 my “soul mate” dog died. I was away in remote Thailand when I got word that she was in a veterinary ICU. I bought a ticket to come home the same day, but on my way to the airport I got the call that she had already passed. The grief that I felt was so very deep and real to me. I say this because it is my only relatable experience… I can not imagine the grief of losing a child. Children are supposed to outlive us, and no one (even aunts) is prepared for the idea that they might go first. I always look for a silver lining in situations that seem to have no purpose, and it’s clear that you’re words are helping others deal with their own loss. Thank you for sharing. Hugs~

    • Allyson says:

      Thanks, Pam. I really appreciate your thoughts. Grief comes in so many forms, doesn’t it? So nice to see you on Saturday. I hope I get to see more of you through the Owen’s Playground work.

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