Thursday, March 19, 2015

Poem #37


Dante’s Inferno,
come close
the pain
my child’s

No Hell
by man,
by God,
me more.

The restrictions against grieving are numerous and powerful, and start very early in the socialization of children.  I think that those taboos are there because the art of grieving changes a person, from one state of existence to another, like boiling water into steam.  But steam can be condensed back into water; the changing people isirreversible and permanent.  I am awed by the powerful taboos against grieving.  I know about this from my work with people and my own struggles to grieve openly. 
People have often expressed a deep, abiding fear that if they start grieving they will never stop—or worse, just be stuck in a funk. I have never worked with a person that didn’t continue with his or her life as usual while going through this healing process. I have deep respect for those who make that choice. I see how much strength and courage it takes to be that vulnerable and exposed.
What I would like to see happen with my book is the creation of safe places for people to grieve without being interrupted or scolded. The only partially safe place is a cemetery. It would be nice to bring back the notion of the ancient Wailing Wall. The only thing I have ever experienced that even comes close to what I would hope for is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in DC. Loved ones are permitted to bring little memorials and at least weep quietly. I would wish for every bereaved person a safe place for deep, healing grief and reflection, in the daunting work of rebuilding a life.
I hope my book will helped you make some sense of your journey, and let a little sunshine in through the clouds.