Good Grief, A Poem for the Bereaved

imageGrief, who invited you?

You were an undesirable guest, yet you made yourself at home just the same. And you felt free to use my heart as your footstool.

The day awoke me with heaviness, crippling despondency hung in the air.

I scowled at your presence when you showed up unannounced, and robbed me of my hope.

I felt your dense breath behind me when I walked towards the coffin that held my son… so still.

They said your days were numbered, and that I would have to wait them out. But nobody knew just how many they’d be.

I’ve heard you take your leisurely time with each heart you tread on, and that you forever take a piece of that heart with you when you finally decide to leave. I soon found that to be true.

Your unpredictable moods took me through ranges from flatness to suffocation.

No matter how loudly I played music to drown you out, your voice was louder yet. You refused to be ignored.

No matter how busy I stayed to keep you at bay, you disturbed my thoughts by reminding me of things I’d rather forget.

You showed no reluctance in making yourself conspicuous.

You dare to visit every living being.

With some, your visit is stronger; with others it is longer.

The fact that you are not a respecter of persons is overwhelmingly fair and unfair all at once.

The kings, the peasants.

The wealthy, the poor.

The jubilant, the heartbroken.

The proud, the humble.

The kindhearted, the cruel minded.

The generous, the greedy.

The dignified, the simple.

The living, the dying.

They’re all the same to you.

But your hand was intended to be in mine for my journey of surviving the vast experience of loss within.

As much as I wanted you to leave me alone, I needed you to stay for the sakes of my restoration.

I needed to walk with you through the solitary and stony bleakness of my heart’s winter nights.

I was forced to embrace you at a time my heart felt the most barren and inhospitable.

God gave you to me to walk with me. You became a partner and a confidant as the hollow years passed. Getting to know you so intimately led me to choose to remember the good things of life, and to be thankful for what I have had and what I now have.

Your companionship directed me to Him.

You were appointed to march with me and set my hand in God’s, in the same way the father of the bride sets her hand in the hand of her betrothed. You reminded me that I am truly His. That He is my comfort and that it is only in Him that I find real peace.

God has been patient with me, even while I have repeatedly regressed into the dimness of dispassionate ambiance.

It has not been quite three years, but now I recognize I genuinely needed your help to walk through my loss, my valley of the shadow of death; and that for that very reason you were created.

I am surprised now at my acceptance of you as if we were longtime friends, and sometimes I even welcome your short visits only because they stir thoughts of Him, His love and His serenity in the end.

God refreshes my soul with worthy memories and tranquility. He reminds me that my son is in the heavens with Him, and has been there all along.

Thank you Grief, I’m glad you walked with me after all. Thank you for stopping by. You were indeed a Godsend.

Thank you God, now I understand there is such a thing as Good Grief.

By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2014 ©


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Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Everythingelse, Loss, Loss of a Child, Poetry

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