Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sometime Healer, All-time Friend

When a loved one dies, we need to give grief a chance, allow love a healing process of sorts so that its wounds can be tended rather than be left to congeal and possibly leave the body physically as well as emotionally damaged for the duration.

Love must be allowed to run the gamut of regret, anger, bitterness, disillusionment, even guilt so that it can emerge from the long, dark tunnel of loss refreshed and strengthened. There will be scars, of course, yet we should let grief clean them with our tears so they, too, are not left weeping, but become landmarks of love to guide us through the time we must spend without the loved one, help us see that where a door closes on our lives, a window really will open for us if we’ll only it.

I have seen people spend the rest of their lives behind that closed door, rarely letting anyone in; for those of us permitted even limited access, it is painful to witness what is essentially a process of disintegration.

We can keep faith with love, and still move on if only because our loved ones would have it no other way. Besides, love’s place is among the living; only there can it thrive and preserve its losses.

'Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.' -
Edgar Allan Poe

This poem is a kenning.


I bend like a flower in a cruel wind,
sing sad songs learned from the trees,
sink to my knees among shadows
like monks in shabby cowls kneeling
in prayer urging me to do the same,
but I cannot pray for the only feeling
left in me is a pain that is all my own,
yet there is another as much to blame
for leaving me here alone, so alone

I prostrate myself at the altar of Time
that sees all, spares nothing and no one,
cold within the folds of winter’s dark,
angry at the cheerful song of a skylark
circling above, predisposed to celebrate
the natural world, precious little thought
for the fragile nature of a human heart,
broken, as mine, into insignificant pieces
no one will spare a second glance

What would you have me do, skylark,
get up and dance? How dare you deny me
this moment of cut-throat bliss that is
(they say) but the other side of happiness?
Leave me! Let your sweet song beguile
ears anxious to hear, not mine, closed now
to cheery sounds and smells of summer
where autumn has shed its tears and long,
lonely winter days sure to last for years

Call me Grief, a healing (of sorts) within
living memory's self-appointed guardian

Copyright R. N. Taber 2009; 2018

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