Monday, February 1, 2010


Lots of literature pairing winter and grief
Here's a piece of a poem from a book called Medieval English Verse:

Winter rouses all my grief.
Branches strip til they are bare,
And sighing in sorrow, I despair
That earthly pleasures come to nothing.

Fleeting joys, now here, now gone!
True it is, as many say,
Except God's will, all fades away.
Willy-nilly, we shall all die.

Gotta hand it to those medieval Brits. Love that last line. Can you believe that they were saying willy-nilly way back in medieval times?

And then there is this paragraph from the foreword of Winter Grief, Summer Grace by James E. Miller (the title is longer but I can't remember it at the moment.)
A few generations ago, a book like this would have been unnecessary--unthinkable in fact. People knew about grieving because it was a natural part of life. It was both understandable and understood. People of all ages lived with it and honored it. But ours is a different time. And because so many of us are ill-informed about and ill at ease with dying and death and grief, your task is even more difficult.

You can say that again! Oh, to be in a culture that could understand and honor my forgetfulness, my lack of focus, my micro cries, my outbursts, my anything having to do with missing Maura. How I wish I could just wear a color or a garment or something so people would know and I wouldn't have to feel awkward or embarrassed or explain myself or apologize! Why do I apologize? That's just ridiculous.


Kathy said...

Just as you cannot escape life's problems, you cannot avoid
painful feelings and emotions. What can you do with sorrow and grief?
You can accept them into your life the way water is accepted into the ground
and taken up by the tree. Let these emotions become a part of your life
without asking why. Accept life and death, experience the rituals
of grief and sorrow, and free yourself to live. Grief and sorrow bring forth
the tears that are the water the soul needs to survive. If you feel no sorrow
and no grief, you will dry up and wither away as the tree does in a time of drought........Bernie Siegel

Oftentimes, society has no idea how to handle the grief of someone else but that is not your issue and it's not even important if someone else accepts your grief. It's important that you work through it and accept that you feel what you feel when you feel it. Don't put added pressure on yourself to feel anything else or be anywhere else but where you are or you will not heal.
Love ya Erin... and I'm here if you need anything.

Sue G said...

Erin, you don't have to feel awkward or embarrassed or explain yourself or apologize. Those are choices you make. Choices. And I suspect you choose them because you are so sensitive to the needs of others that you try to help them understand or alleviate what may be some discomfort on their parts.

Why not be a bit more sensitive to yourself. Give no explanations. Offer no apologies. Just give people an opportunity to reach out to put a hand on your shoulder and offer a hug or a just hold your hand as they try to understand as much as they can. Those that can, will. Those that can't will most likely pretend they didn't notice.

This is YOUR journey, Erin And you will get through it your way...whatever that means.

There is no roadmap for you to follow, no start and stop dates to grief. It flows freely and it ebbs at will. And you are the sojourner on this rolling sea. No rules.

To me, you are an exceptional woman walking a difficult path with grace, dignity, integrity, honesty, and an example of love in all its forms.