Jesus wept.
                           —John 11.35

The loss of someone dear
is a sudden thing that happens over a long time.
Grief is not a feeling or a phase,
it’s a landscape we enter
as unwilling refugees,
and learn to find our way anew.

             •     •     

Grief is a visitor from the realm
where we are all one,
who gives us the gift of sorrow
which is divine,
for in it our hearts bear the torn pieces
of the fabric of all things,
and by holding, mend.

             •     •     

Grief is a wild animal that moves into your house.
It will never be tamed.
You learn to live with it,
its moods and hungers,
its sudden movements.
You learn to regard it with tenderness.

             •     •     

You never learn its language,
but sometimes, for the sake of the animal,
you go out on the back stoop,
overcome with love, and sit beside it
and howl.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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