Shared Grief Quotes

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When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life)
Joy multiplies when it is shared among friends, but grief diminishes with every division. That is life.
R.A. Salvatore (Exile (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #2))
It’s what happens when two people become one: they no longer only share love. They also share all of the pain, heartache, sorrow, and grief.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Only mundanes say they're sorry when what they mean is "I share your grief,"' Jace observed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we'd shared, for the love I'd felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Grief can destroy you --or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
But what was there to say? Only that there were tears. Only that Quietness and Emptiness fitted together like stacked spoons. Only that there was a snuffling in the hollows at the base of a lovely throat. Only that a hard honey-colored shoulder had a semicircle of teethmarks on it. Only that they held each other close, long after it was over. Only that what they shared that night was not happiness, but hideous grief. Only that once again they broke the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Not only had my brother disappeared, but--and bear with me here--a part of my very being had gone with him. Stories about us could, from them on, be told from only one perspective. Memories could be told but not shared.
John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)
My grief was cold. It was nothing to share. It was nothing to speak about, nothing to feel.
Alice Hoffman (Green Angel (Green Angel, #1))
A home is not a place. It’s not a country or a town or a building or possession. Home is with the other half of your soul, the person who shares in your grief and helps you carry the burden of loss. Home is with the person who throughout it all never gives up on you and brings you eternal happiness.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Home (Sweet Home, #1))
He recognized her despite the uproar, through his tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her, and he looked at her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in half a century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath: “Only God knows how much I loved you
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
Nothing, in truth, can ever replace a lost companion. Old comrades cannot be manufactured. There is nothing that can equal the treasure of so many shared memories, so many bad times endured together, so many quarrels, reconciliations, heartfelt impulses. Friendships like that cannot be reconstructed. If you plant an oak, you will hope in vain to sit soon under its shade. For such is life. We grow rich as we plant through the early years, but then come the years when time undoes our work and cuts down our trees. One by one our comrades deprive us of their shade, and within our mourning we always feel now the secret grief of growing old. If I search among my memories for those whose taste is lasting, if I write the balance sheet of the moments that truly counted, I surely find those that no fortune could have bought me. You cannot buy the friendship of a companion bound to you forever by ordeals endured together.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
Are you one of those people who says on a first date, 'I'm really not in a hurry to meet somebody, I figure if it happens, it happens'? Because those are the most desperate people of all. I'm just saying this so that if you are this person, you aren't hiding it from anybody. There is no shame in being hungry for another person. There is no shame in wanting very much to share your life with somebody.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
Which would you choose if you could: pleasure for yourself despite your friends or a share in their grief?
Sophocles (Ajax (Translations from Greek Drama))
Did you ever know, dear, how much you took away with you when you left? You have stripped me even of my past, even of the things we never shared.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Whatever he goes through, I feel. Whatever I go through, he feels. It’s what happens when two people become one: they no longer only share love. They also share all of the pain, heartache, sorrow, and grief.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
You don't share a language, you think, and then you realise, grief is a language. We understand each other, people with troubled pasts.
Elif Shafak (The Island of Missing Trees)
To be loving is to be open to grief, to be touched by sorrow, even sorrow that is unending.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
[Grief] is everything. It is the fabric of selfhood, and beautifully chaotic. It shares mathematical characteristics with many natural forms.
Max Porter (Grief is the Thing with Feathers)
Maybe their sorrow over children that never came should have brought the two men closer. But sorrow is unreliable in that way. When people don't share it there's a good chance that it will drive them apart instead.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.
Clara Luz Zuniga Ortega
Come here, let me share a bit of wisdom with you. Have you given much thought to our mortal condition? Probably not. Why would you? Well, listen. All mortals owe a debt to death. There's no one alive who can say if he will be tomorrow. Our fate moves invisibly! A mystery. No one can teach it, no one can grasp it. Accept this! Cheer up! Have a drink! But don't forget Aphrodite--that's one sweet goddess. You can let the rest go. Am I making sense? I think so. How about a drink. Put on a garland. I'm sure the happy splash of wine will cure your mood. We're all mortal you know. Think mortal. Because my theory is, there's no such thing as life, it's just catastrophe.
Anne Carson (Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides)
Suppose that the earthly lives she and I shared for a few years are in reality only the basis for, or prelude to, or earthly appearance of, two unimaginable, supercosmic, eternal somethings.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
That might be the problem. A lot of the good stuff is from the past. The Jonas Brothers, High School Musical, our shared grief. Our friendship is based on memories. What do we have now?
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
Grief can't be shared. Everyone carries it alone, his own burden, his own way.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
...he prayed fundamentally as a gesture of love for what had gone and would go and could be loved in no other way. When he prayed he touched his parents, who could not otherwise be touched, and he touched a feeling that we are all children who lose our parents, all of us, every man and woman and boy and girl, and we too will all be lost by those who come after us and love us, and this loss unites humanity, unites every human being, the temporary nature of our being-ness, and our shared sorrow, the heartache we each carry and yet too often refuse to acknowledge in one another, and out of this Saeed felt it might be possible, in the face of death, to believe in humanity's potential for building a better world, so he prayed as a lament, as a consolation, and as a hope....
Mohsin Hamid (Exit West)
Can I see anothers woe, And not be in sorrow too. Can I see anothers grief, And not seek for kind relief. Can I see a falling tear. And not feel my sorrows share, Can a father see his child, Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd. Can a mother sit and hear, An infant groan, an infant fear- No no never can it be, Never, never can it be. - On Anothers Sorrow
William Blake (Songs of Innocence and of Experience)
Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands. In Christ we see God suffering – for us. And calling us to share in God’s suffering love for a hurting world. The small and even overpowering pains of our lives are intimately connected with the greater pains of Christ. Our daily sorrows are anchored in a greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Everyone has always said I look like Bailey, but I don't. I have grey eyes to her green, an oval face to her heart-shaped one, I'm shorter, scrawnier, paler, flatter, plainer, tamer. All we shared is a madhouse of curls that I imprison in a ponytail while she let hers rave like madness around her head. I don't sing in my sleep or eat the petals off flowers or run into the rain instead of out of it. I'm the unplugged-in one, the side-kick sister, tucked into a corner of her shadow. Boys followed her everywhere; they filled the booths at the restaurant where she waitressed, herded around her at the river. One day, I saw a boy come up behind her and pull a strand of her long hair I understood this- I felt the same way. In photographs of us together, she is always looking at the camera, and I am always looking at her.
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
Dr. Webb says that losing a sibling is oftentimes much harder for a person than losing any other member of the family. "A sibling represents a person's past, present, and future," he says. "Spouses have each other, and even when one eventually dies, they have memories of a time when they existed before that other person and can more readily imagine a life without them. Likewise, parents may have other children to be concerned with--a future to protect for them. To lose a sibling is to lose the one person with whom one shares a lifelong bond that is meant to continue on into the future.
John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)
Molly, a home is not a place. It’s not a country or a town or a building or possession. Home is with the other half of your soul, the person who shares your grief and helps you carry the burden of loss. Home is with the person who throughout it all never gives up on you and brings you eternal happiness. That, Molly dear, is your home sweet home.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Home (Sweet Home, #1))
She refuses to share her grief with me - or anyone. Even when she smiles, she isn't the girl she used to be.
Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends)
No matter how long it takes to heal...we share the same scars...
Daniel Yanez
Not everyone deserves to hear your grief. Not everyone is capable of hearing it. Just because someone is thoughtful enough to ask doesn't mean you are obliged to answer.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
Discipline I am old and I have had more than my share of good and bad. I've had love and sorrow, seen sudden death and been left alone and of love bereft. I thought I would never love again and I thought my life was grief and pain. The edge between life and death was thin, but then I discovered discipline. I learned to smile when I felt sad, I learned to take the good and the bad, I learned to care a great deal more for the world about me than before. I began to forget the "Me" and "I" and joined in life as it rolled by: this may not mean sheer ecstasy but is better by far than "I" and "Me.
Meryl Gordon
Wait.” Stefan’s voice was hard suddenly. Bonnie and Elena turned back and froze, embracing each other, trembling. “What is your—your father—going to do to you when he finds out that you allowed this?” "He will not kill me,” Sage said brusquely, the wild tone back in his voice. “He may even find it as amusant as I do, and we will be sharing a belly laugh tomorrow.
L.J. Smith (Midnight (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #3))
how dismal it is to have no one to go to in the morning to share one’s griefs and joys; how hateful when something weighs on you and there’s nowhere to lay it down. You know to what I refer. I often tell to my pianoforte what I want to tell to you.
Frédéric Chopin (Chopin's Letters (Dover Books On Music: Composers))
She turned suddenly, and before I could react, framed my face with her hands and pressed her lips to mine. I froze, mostly in shock, but after a moment my body uncoiled and I closed my eyes, relaxing into her. I remembered this; the feel of her lips on mine, cool and soft, the touch of her fingers on my skin. I remembered her scent, those long nights when we would lie under the cold, frozen stars, dreaming in each other’s arms. For a second, my body reacted instinctively. I started to pull us closer, to wrap my arms around her and return the kiss with equal passion…but, then I stopped. I remembered this perfectly; every shining moment with Ariella was forever etched into my mind. What we’d had, what we’d shared, everything. I’d built a shrine to her in my memories, carefully tended with grief and anger and regret. I knew every inch of our relationship, the passion, the feeling of emptiness when we weren’t together, the longing and, yes, the love. I had been in love with Ariella. I remembered what she’d meant to me once, what I’d felt for her then… …and what I didn’t feel for her now.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
The only thing worse than drowning in grief is sharing a lifeboat with other drowning people.
Courtney Cole (Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy, #1))
What we all share in common - the real reason for this book - is a desire to love better. To love ourselves in the midst of great pain, and to love another when the pain of this life grows too large for one person to hold. This book offers the skills needed to make that kind of love a reality.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. Tell a counselor how angry you are. Share it with friends and family. Scream into a pillow. Find ways to get it out without hurting yourself or someone else. Try walking, swimming, gardening—any type of exercise helps you externalize your anger. Do not bottle up anger inside. Instead, explore it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss)
Grief shared was grief lessened.
Karen Marie Moning (Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4))
The only thing worse than drowning in grief is sharing a lifeboat with other drowning people.  Besides, if anyone needs a grief group, it’s him.
Courtney Cole (Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy, #1))
But how can I learn to live in a world that doesn’t include my brother? All my life, I’ve always been my brother’s sister; it’s part of my identity, part of who I am. My brother is part of my past; we share a common history. And we had plans for the future.
T.J. Wray (SURVIVING THE DEATH OF A SIBLING: Living Through Grief When an Adult Brother or Sister Dies)
I watch my loved ones weep with sorrow, death's silent torment of no tomorrow. I feel their hearts breaking, I sense their despair, United in misery, the grief that they share. How do I show that, I am not gone... but the essence of life's everlasting song Why do they wee? Why do they cry? I'm alive in the wind and I am soaring high. I am sparkling light dancing on streams, a moment of warmth in the fays of sunbeams. The coolness of rain as it falls on your face, the whisper of leaves as wind rushes with haste. Eternal Song, a requiem by Avian of Celieria from Crown of Crystal Flame by C.L. Wilson
C.L. Wilson (Crown of Crystal Flame (Tairen Soul, #5))
Each person's grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn't mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.
David Kessler (Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief)
Serena Smith,” he began gravely. “From this heartbeat until my last, I share your blood and bone, joy and grief. No words or acts could make me turn from you. You are my pack, my kin, my home.” - AKOE
S.B. Nova (A Kingdom of Exiles (Outcast #1))
Furthermore, as the body suffers the horrors of disease and the pangs of pain, so we see the mind stabbed with anguish, grief and fear. What more natural than that it should likewise have a share in death?
Lucretius (On the Nature of Things)
We are each alone in the bubble of our grief, and while it's true that misery loves company, sorrow is not reduced or diminished in any way when it's shared.
Bianca Marais (Hum If You Don't Know the Words)
Shine in any season of your life! Head on with confidence in your life’s pilgrim! In deep faith, countless hope and unconditional love blessed by the Almighty. Newness of each rising day, bringing forth colourful sunsets. Enkindle your soul once more with courage, joy and love, flowing in a river of awakening & sharing: with a heart who once knew that hurt, pain, loss… means to SHINE!
Angelica Hopes (Rhythm of a Heart, Music of a Soul)
Community is about sharing my life; about allowing the chaos of another’s circumstances to infringe on mine; about permitting myself to be known without constraint; about resigning myself to needing others.
Sandy Oshiro Rosen (Bare: The Misplaced Art of Grieving and Dancing)
But I understood, now, that we don’t live only for ourselves. We’re connected by millions of shared experiences and dreams and nightmares, all tied together with compassion. I learned that even when we’re going through our darkest winter, spring is waiting to appear.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Glass Girl (Glass Girl, #1))
My dearest friend Abigail, These probably could be the last words I write to you and I may not live long enough to see your response but I truly have lived long enough to live forever in the hearts of my friends. I thought a lot about what I should write to you. I thought of giving you blessings and wishes for things of great value to happen to you in future; I thought of appreciating you for being the way you are; I thought to give sweet and lovely compliments for everything about you; I thought to write something in praise of your poems and prose; and I thought of extending my gratitude for being one of the very few sincerest friends I have ever had. But that is what all friends do and they only qualify to remain as a part of the bunch of our loosely connected memories and that's not what I can choose to be, I cannot choose to be lost somewhere in your memories. So I thought of something through which I hope you will remember me for a very long time. I decided to share some part of my story, of what led me here, the part we both have had in common. A past, which changed us and our perception of the world. A past, which shaped our future into an unknown yet exciting opportunity to revisit the lost thoughts and to break free from the libido of our lost dreams. A past, which questioned our whole past. My dear, when the moment of my past struck me, in its highest demonised form, I felt dead, like a dead-man walking in flesh without a soul, who had no reason to live any more. I no longer saw any meaning of life but then I saw no reason to die as well. I travelled to far away lands, running away from friends, family and everyone else and I confined myself to my thoughts, to my feelings and to myself. Hours, days, weeks and months passed and I waited for a moment of magic to happen, a turn of destiny, but nothing happened, nothing ever happens. I waited and I counted each moment of it, thinking about every moment of my life, the good and the bad ones. I then saw how powerful yet weak, bright yet dark, beautiful yet ugly, joyous yet grievous; is a one single moment. One moment makes the difference. Just a one moment. Such appears to be the extreme and undisputed power of a single moment. We live in a world of appearance, Abigail, where the reality lies beyond the appearances, and this is also only what appears to be such powerful when in actuality it is not. I realised that the power of the moment is not in the moment itself. The power, actually, is in us. Every single one of us has the power to make and shape our own moments. It is us who by feeling joyful, celebrate for a moment of success; and it is also us who by feeling saddened, cry and mourn over our losses. I, with all my heart and mind, now embrace this power which lies within us. I wish life offers you more time to make use of this power. Remember, we are our own griefs, my dear, we are our own happinesses and we are our own remedies. Take care! Love, Francis. Title: Letter to Abigail Scene: "Death-bed" Chapter: The Road To Awe
Huseyn Raza
I swiftly realised how grief sorts out and realigns those around the griefstruck; how friends are tested; how some pass, some fail. Old friendships may deepen through shared sorrow; or suddenly appear lightweight.
Julian Barnes (Levels of Life)
Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom But thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind— But how could I forget thee? Through what power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss!—That thought's return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more; That neither present time, nor years unborn Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.
William Wordsworth (The Works of William Wordsworth)
If you had a table spread for a feast, and was making merry with your friends, you would think it was kind to let me come and sit down and rejoice with you, because you’d think I should like to share those good things; but I should like better to share in your trouble and your labour.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
Grief is quiet. Grief is a strangled cry. Tears we hide. A scream in a vacuum where sound doesn’t carry. And though we try to share it, grief is ultimately a burden each of us must carry alone.
Shaun David Hutchinson (The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried)
Sophia shrieked and fainted on the ground – I screamed and instantly ran mad. We remained thus mutually deprived of our senses, some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation – Sophia fainting every moment and I running mad as often. At length a groan from the hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of life) restored us to ourselves.
Jane Austen (Love and Freindship)
There is the scent too. Wonder follows it; wonder about how a boy can smell like that when he probably has no idea. He smells like the woods in the winter or the rain when it first falls, or maybe it’s just the way he always smells and there is no way to define it.
Christy A. Campbell (A Halo Sun (The Sharing Moon #2))
We all have gifts and talents. When we cultivate those gifts and share them with the world, we create a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Squandering our gifts brings distress to our lives. As it turns out, it’s not merely benign or “too bad” if we don’t use the gifts that we’ve been given; we pay for it with our emotional and physical well-being. When we don’t use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle. We feel disconnected and weighed down by feelings of emptiness, frustration, resentment, shame, disappointment, fear, and even grief.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown | Key Takeaways, Analysis & Review | Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Motivation & Inspiration))
When we share in each other's grief and pain, we lighten it. Or maybe we just give each other permission to feel it fully and, through that act of acceptance, the grief becomes more bearable. Because, like the rain, tears too have an end. And with deep emotions, we are open to each other in unexpected ways.
Karpov Kinrade (Kiss Me in Paris (Kiss Me, #1))
How cruel, that sharing someone else's grief did nothing to alleviate it for them. In physics, there were rules and forces, equal and opposite reactions, a balance. But emotions didn’t obey rules, and though sympathy settled over her like a blanket, it did nothing to help him. … Even her hands, which stole power, strength, and life itself. Were powerless to siphon off any of his suffering.
Emily Thiede (This Vicious Grace (The Last Finestra, #1))
This hatred and our anger are very different. Hatred is the fury of those who do not share our goals, and its object is death and destruction. Anger is a grief of distortions between peers, and its object is change.
Audre Lorde (The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House)
Joy multiples when it is shared among friends, but grief diminishes with every division. That is life.
R.A. Salvatore (Exile (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #2))
It's what happens when two people become one: they no longer only share love. They also share all of the pain, heartache, sorrow, and grief.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
This poem is very long So long, in fact, that your attention span May be stretched to its very limits But that’s okay It’s what’s so special about poetry See, poetry takes time We live in a time Call it our culture or society It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes A time where most people don’t want to listen Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire Waiting until we can speak No patience to listen But this poem is long It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things You could’ve called your father Call your father You could be writing a postcard right now Write a postcard When was the last time you wrote a postcard? You could be outside You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset Watch the sun rise Maybe you could’ve written your own poem A better poem You could have played a tune or sung a song You could have met your neighbor And memorized their name Memorize the name of your neighbor You could’ve drawn a picture (Or, at least, colored one in) You could’ve started a book Or finished a prayer You could’ve talked to God Pray When was the last time you prayed? Really prayed? This is a long poem So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute? Or told them that you love them? Tell your friends you love them …no, I mean it, tell them Say, I love you Say, you make life worth living Because that, is what friends do Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted And in this very long poem I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does: Make things simpler We don’t need poems to make things more complicated We have each other for that We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter To take time A long time To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment Or for many moments Cause we need each other To hold the hands of a broken person All you have to do is meet a person Shake their hand Look in their eyes They are you We are all broken together But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes To sit and listen to a very long poem A story of a life The joy of a friend and the grief of friend To hold and be held And be quiet So, pray Write a postcard Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them Turn off the TV Create art as best as you can Share as much as possible, especially money Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
It’s to do with knowing and being known. I remember how it stopped seeming odd that in biblical Greek knowing was used for making love. Whosit knew so-and-so. Carnal knowledge. It’s what lovers trust each other with. Knowledge of each other, not of the flesh but through the flesh, knowledge of self, the real him, the real her, in extremis, the mask slipped from the face. Every other version of oneself is on offer to the public. We share our vivacity, grief, sulks, anger, joy ... we hand it out to anybody who happens to be standing around, to friends and family with a momentary sense of indecency perhaps, to strangers without hesitation. Our lovers share us with the passing trade. But in pairs we insist that we give ourselves to each other. What selves? What’s left? What else is there that hasn’t been dealt out like a pack of cards? Carnal knowledge. Personal, final, uncompromised. Knowing, being known. I revere that. Having that is being rich, you can be generous about what’s shared – she walks, she talks, she laughs, she lends a sympathetic ear, she kicks off her shoes and dances on the tables, she’s everybody’s and it don’t mean a thing, let them eat cake; knowledge is something else, the undealt card, and while it’s held it makes you free-and-easy and nice to know, and when it’s gone everything is pain. Every single thing. Every object that meets the eye, a pencil, a tangerine, a travel poster. As if the physical world has been wired up to pass a current back to the part of your brain where imagination glows like a filament in a lobe no bigger than a torch bulb. Pain.
Tom Stoppard (The Real Thing)
... change and loss and sadness and grief are the shared lot of all human beings ... we are all making our way from one end of life to the other hoping--for whatever intervals of time we can manage it--to feel safe and content and strong and at ease. [p.40]
Sylvia Boorstein (Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life)
Grief can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. “And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
Does it ever get easier?" she asked. I nodded. "It does," I said. You reach a point where you realize that your life must go on regardless. You choose to live or you choose to die. But then there are moments, things that you see, something funny on the street or or a good joke that you hear, a television program that you want to share, and it makes you miss the person who's gone terribly and then it's not grief at all, it's more a sort of bitterness at the world for taking them away from you. I think of Bastiaan every day, of course. But I've grown accustomed to his absence.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Why are the photographs of him as a little boy so incredibly hard to look at? Something is over. Now instead of those shiny moments being things we can share together in delighted memories, I, the survivor, have to bear them alone. So it is with all the memories of him. They all lead into blackness. All I can do is remember him, I cannot experience him. Nothing new can happen between us.
Nicholas Wolterstorff (Lament for a Son)
Because in our pain we must find each other – mirror to mirror the grace of our shared humanity, the stunningly broken beauty of our shared grief. And you can let your grief see my grief and let our tears mingle into some kind of healing alchemy, and you’ll know what i know. That we are never alone. I promise. You and me? We are never, ever alone.
Jeanette LeBlanc
Hatred is the fury of those who do not share our goals, and its object is death and destruction. Anger is a grief of distortions between peers, and its object is change.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
The closest bond that we share with our brethren is that of grief. Every community knows sorrow.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Dr. Urbino caught the parrot around the neck with a triumphant sigh: ça y est. But he released him immediately because the ladder slipped from under his feet and for an instant he was suspended in the air and then he realized that he had died without Communion, without time to repent of anything or to say goodbye to anyone, at seven minutes after four on Pentecost Sunday. Fermina Daza was in the kitchen tasting the soup for supper when she heard Digna Pardo's horrified shriek and the shouting of the servants and then of the entire neighborhood. She dropped the tasting spoon and tried to run despite the invincible weight of her age, screaming like a madwoman without knowing yet what had happened under the mango leaves, and her heart jumped inside her ribs when she saw her man lying on his back in the mud, dead to this life but still resisting death's final blow for one last minute so that she would have time to come to him. He recognized her despite the uproar, through his tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her, and he looked for her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful that she had ever seen them in the half century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath: "Only God knows how much I loved you.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
There are places I cannot visit. Places of unbearable sadness, grief, mourning. They say places are made by people. I say places are defined by the memories they conjure—the lunge of a curse, a shared and shattered history, a loved one drowned and lost in the ocean of forgetting.
Psyche Roxas-Mendoza
The dead are not so very far away when you really need them; they’re just on the other side of an invisible wall. Grief is only ever yours and so is guilt. It’s not something you can share.
Alice Feeney (Sometimes I Lie)
Simos said, “Grief work must be shared. In sharing, however, there must be no impatience, censure or boredom with the repetition, because repetition is necessary for catharsis and internalization and eventual unconscious acceptance of the reality of the loss. The bereaved are sensitive to the feelings of others and will not only refrain from revealing feelings to those they consider unequal to the burden of sharing the grief but may even try to comfort the helpers.” (97)
Charles L. Whitfield (Healing the Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families)
It seems counterintuitive, but the way to truly be helpful to someone in pain is to let them have their pain. Let them share the reality of how much this hurts, how hard this is, without jumping in to clean it up, make it smaller, or make it go away.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
In all my wanderings through this world of care, In all my griefs -- and God has given my share -- I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown, Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down; To husband out life's taper at the close, And keep the flame from wasting, by repose: I still had hopes, for pride attends us still, Amidst the swains to show my book-learn'd skill, Around my fire an evening group to draw, And tell of all I felt, and all I saw; And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue, Pants to the place from whence at first she flew, I still had hopes, my long vexations past, Here to return -- and die at home at last.
Oliver Goldsmith
Grief is not an event, my dear, but a passage, a pilgrimage along a path that allows us to reflect upon the past from points of remembrance held in the soul. At times the way is filled with stones underfoot and we feel pained by our memories, yet on other days the shadows reflect our longing and those happinesses shared.
Jacqueline Winspear (Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs, #4))
Here in the second beatitude, Jesus is making an important announcement to those who, instead of finding a means of avoiding personal pain and shared sorrow, have allowed themselves to be sculpted by pain and sorrow. Jesus seems to be saying that it is those who have given up being comfortably numb through shallow contentment and have instead engaged in the real work of grief—for there is much in this world to grieve over—who are the ones who will encounter the deep comfort of the kingdom of God.
Brian Zahnd (Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity)
Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.” Professor Neimeyer’s
Brené Brown (Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience)
You and I cannot really expect to glide through life . . . naively petitioning, 'Lord, give me experience but not grief, a deeper appreciation of happiness but not deeper sorrow, joy in comfort but not in pain, more capacity to overcome but not more opposition; and please do not let me ever feel perplexed while on thy errand. Then let me come quickly and dwell with thee and fully share thy joy.
Neal Maxwell
So who is better off, those who share love long enough to see which parts inevitably fade or those who lose their love when it is still pristine? I think each is lonely in a different place, though if you lose your love while it is still perfect you at least have a clear explanation for your grief, while if it gradually crumbles in your hands you do not.
Jonathan Hull (Losing Julia)
Outpouring of emotion—grief, love, affection, anger, distrust . . . fill in the blanks. Emoticons replaced words on the internet. Without words, cohesive thought was replaced by an impulse signified by a smiling or sad face. Where would it end? Driving him to need an outpouring of wine, he expected.
Vincent Panettiere (Shared Sorrows)
She pulls her hand away and Damian feels the sensation of falling, a somersault into a foreign abyss where a girl with eggplant hair and a hoop in her brow waits in the darkness.
Christy A. Campbell (A Halo Sun (The Sharing Moon #2))
Perfect joy could not be joy alone but must be a joy that somehow contains our past grief and sadness and longing.
Amy Alznauer (Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters)
It is everything. It is the fabric of selfhood, and beautifully chaotic. It shares mathematical characteristics with many natural forms.
Max Porter (Grief is the Thing with Feathers)
Grief is only ever yours and so is guilt. It’s not something you can share.
Alice Feeney (Sometimes I Lie)
One thing I have learned during these past few terrible years is that our grief and sorrow should be shared, not carried alone.
Lynn Austin (While We're Far Apart)
In the future, Martin will recall this night as the first time -- and one of the only times -- he ever saw Germans crying in public, not at the news of a dead loved one or at the sight of their bombed home, and not in physical pain, but from spontaneous emotion. For this brief time, they were not hiding from one another, wearing their masks of cold and practical detachment. The music stirred the hardened sediment of their memory, chafed against layers of horror and shame, and offered a rare solace in their shared anger, grief and guilt.
Jessica Shattuck (The Women in the Castle)
This was not a loss that could be shared. Grief was a place every person had to go alone, a lonely country populated by mistakes and a futile desire to turn back time for an impossible “do-over.
Vicki Pettersson (The Neon Graveyard (Signs of the Zodiac, #6))
Allow grief room to air itself,” Maurice had taught her.“Be judicious in using the body to comfort another, for you may extinguish the freedom that the person feels to be able to share a sadness.
Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1))
I have to ask myself how I can possibly expect to know Jesus as he would want to be known if my life remains unscathed by trouble and grief. How can I hope to grasp anything of God's heart for this broken planet if I never weep because its brokenness touches me and breaks my heart? How can I reflect his image if I never share in his sufferings? And how will any of us ever learn to treasure his hesed and grace if we never experience phases where these blessings seem absent?
Carolyn Custis James
Asshole. I don't get it. Was he trying to punish himself? No. He didn't punish himself. He punished his bandmates, his family, a whole school. A school that's had more than its fair share of grief. I pace the floor, my heart racing while I resist the urge to throw more stuff around. Finally, I put on my running shoes. I'll run until I can't run anymore.
Lisa Schroeder (Chasing Brooklyn)
Life is hard. It’s cruel sometimes. It’s merciless and unfair, but we all go through difficult times, one way or another. You’ve had more than your share of knocks lately, I’ll give you that, but it doesn’t mean you get to quit. No one gets to quit. You keep fighting, every day, and sooner or later, the grief fades a little. You grow stronger, find joy again, and everything gets easier. You come out of it more equipped to handle the next wave, which will come eventually. There will always be waves.
Julianne MacLean (The Color of Heaven (The Color of Heaven, #1))
It is an extraordinary world - full of love, grief, coincidence - and we shall never understand it. We should never try to. We should only be grateful for it. I reckon we should love, breathe, and say all will be well and believe it. And we should share our best stories, as often as we can.
Susan Fletcher (The Silver Dark Sea)
She blames herself. I hurt from knowing that I hurt her. Even when we know all of these other people are to blame. My friends. The media. Not her. Not me. I can’t help myself. I continue the cycle and I say, “I don’t want to hurt you.” Lily is quiet for a moment before she says, “I’m tougher than you think. You just need to believe in me. You know, like a fairy.” I do believe in fairies. I do. I do. The jubilant chorus from Peter Pan fills my ears. I look up at her, tears in both our eyes. Is that how we end this? I trust that I can share my grief with her and that she won’t crumble beneath the pain? She nods to me like go on. I can handle it.
Krista Ritchie (Long Way Down (Calloway Sisters, #4))
Sad to say, in my four-thousand-plus years, the times I'd felt most at home had all happened during the past few months: at Camp Half-Blood, sharing a cabin with my demigod children; at the Waystation with Emma, Jo, Georgina, Leo and Calypso, all of us sitting around the kitchen table chopping vegetables from the garden for dinner; at the Cistern in Palm Springs with Meg, Grover, Mellie, Coach Hedge and a prickly assortment of cactus dryads; and now at Camp Jupiter, where the anxious, grief-stricken Romans, despite their many problems, despite the fact that I brought misery and disaster wherever I went, had welcomed me with respect, a room above their coffee shop and some lovely bed linen to wear. These places were homes. Whether I deserved to be part of them or not - that was a different question.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
Until modern times, we focused a great deal of the best of our thought upon rituals of return to the human condition. Seeking enlightenment or the Promised Land or the way home, a man would go or be forced to go into the wilderness, measure himself against the Creation, recognize finally his true place within it, and thus be saved both from pride and from despair. Seeing himself as a tiny member of a world he cannot comprehend or master or in any final sense possess, he cannot possibly think of himself as a god. And by the same token, since he shares in, depends upon, and is graced by all of which he is a part, neither can he become a fiend; he cannot descend into the final despair of destructiveness. Returning from the wilderness, he becomes a restorer of order, a preserver. He sees the truth, recognizes his true heir, honors his forebears and his heritage, and gives his blessing to his successors. He embodies the passing of human time, living and dying within the human limits of grief and joy. (pg.95, "The Body and the Earth")
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Mrs. Levesque will put me to use as witness, as crutch, as Kleenex, as proxy for Jean-Pierre -- a temporary substitute for all the neighbors, church folk, friends, and family members who will soon come bursting through her door to share her grief. I am a transitional love object, an objet d'amour; I am Rab-Rab, Blankie, Jesus, Mama. What a strange privilege it is to be so used.
Kate Braestrup (Here If You Need Me)
Grief is personal. It isn’t something you can share, like a box of chocolates. It is yours and yours alone. A spiked steel ball chained to your ankle. A coat of nails around your shoulders. A crown of thorns. No one else can feel your pain. They cannot walk in your shoes because your shoes are full of broken glass and every time you try and take a step forward it rips your soles to bloody shreds. Grief is the worst kind of torture and it never ends. You
C.J. Tudor (The Hiding Place)
He wishes he could remember everything. Anything. He doesn’t sense a bone in his body that can feel compassion or worthiness. Self-pity hides away as well, the lowest form of emotion not even capable of resting in his wrecked mind.
Christy A. Campbell (A Halo Sun (The Sharing Moon #2))
It's not good to be alone when you feel bereft. It's better to be with people and share your grief, and not keep it locked up inside." She said this dry-eyed, with not a tear, but somewhere deep inside her she was crying, screaming.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
So when you left Hex Hall after Holly died, that wasn't because you were the grief-stricken fiance. You were going to The Eye." "Yeah. I told them that I thought Elodie and her coven had raised a demon, so we decided I should get close to her,see what was really going on." "And you decided to get really close to her." He laughed softly. "I can't see you, but I have a feeling you're cute when you're jealous,Mercer." Crossing my arms over my chest, I said, "It's not jealousy you're hearing, it's digust. You dated a girl you didn't even like just to get information out of her." His laughter died, and his voice sounded weary when he said, "Trust me, a lot of my brothers have done much worse." There was so much I wanted to ask him, but it's not like we could sit out here all night passing the sharing stick or whatever.Time to cut to the chase. "So did The Eye tell you to get all Mata Hari on me too?
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Listen to the words you say. The very words you say to them are the very words you need to hear. Humans tend to give each other what they themselves need. So tell them these important things and then turn around and tell them to your very own heart.
Kate McGahan (Only Gone From Your Sight: Jack McAfghan's Little Guide to Pet Loss and Grief)
Such terrifying powers we possess, but what a sorry lot of gods some men are. And the worst of it is not the cruelty but the arrogance, the sheer hubris of those who bring only violence and fear into the animal world, as if it needed any more of either. Their lives entail enough frights and tribulations without the modern fire-makers, now armed with perfected, inescapable weapons, traipsing along for more fun and thrills at their expense even as so many of them die away. It is our fellow creatures' lot in the universe, the place assigned them in creation, to be completely at our mercy, the fiercest wolf or tiger defenseless against the most cowardly man. And to me it has always seemed not only ungenerous and shabby but a kind of supreme snobbery to deal cavalierly with them, as if their little share of the earth's happiness and grief were inconsequential, meaningless, beneath a man's attention, trumped by any and all designs he might have on them, however base, irrational, or wicked.
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
They shared too much hurt between them. Too much grief. Jealousy. Spite. Even well-adjusted, the two would’ve been wrong for each other. Like water and oil.
Shelby Mahurin (Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove, #3))
How does it happen that a person with whom you have shared your most intimate moments—greatest love, greatest pain, joy, also grief—can become a stranger?
Joyce Maynard (Count the Ways)
I, his mistress, mad with grief, shall follow him...I shall share his glory. You speak of widowhood and deny me the white gown - the mourning of queens.
Jean Genet (The Maids)
Yet I desperately wanted to share the news, as if grief were a heavy burden to be spread out among those who must bear it.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3))
The mystery of other individuals, señor caballero, is ordinarily grief we neither share nor understand.
Carlos Fuentes (Terra Nostra)
Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That
Brené Brown (Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience)
I see life as a shared gift, received from others and passed on to others, living and dying as one process, in which lies both our suffering and our reward. Without mortality to purchase it, how can we have the consciousness of eternity? I think the price is worth paying.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3))
Imagine this: imagine you discover that for many years another person intimately shared your life without your knowing it. Oh, you had your suspicions – the indented pillow beside you, the toothpaste with a thumbprint that wasn’t yours. Now it all fits, you know it’s true, but during all that time you never actually saw this person. And so it is with me. She was my shadow-self, unknown to me. She knew passion where I knew only inhibition, then grief where I knew guilt, then terror where I knew anger. She monitored my every thought, manipulated my actions, aided my survival and sabotaged my dreams, for she was I and I was she. (228)
Sylvia Fraser (My Father's House : Memoir of Incest and Healing)
For long minutes we cried, our grief inconsolable. We mourned the innocence of our childhood love; we grieved as parents of our own children. We agonized in the unfairness of the haphazard and tumultuous world we’d been pushed out into through our mothers' flesh. We wept for the first time, one among many firsts we’d shared, for the sheer emotional pain of bedrock loss.
Larry J. Dunlap (Night People (Things We Lost in the Night, #1))
he was always so brave. So resilient, I suppose—that seems to be the word du jour. It wasn’t that he didn’t feel things—many’s the time I saw him weep—but he dealt with his disappointment, with his hardship and grief; he picked himself up and went on, every time. And not like a mad person who refuses to recognize adversity, but like someone who accepts that life is inherently unfair. That the only truly fair thing about it is the randomness of its unfairness.” She topped up their glasses. “I’m telling you all this not because I feel like a stroll down memory lane or because I like to tell my young friends sad stories on sunny Friday evenings; I just— I wanted you to understand. I wanted you to see what a balm love is. What it is to share one’s life, to really share it, so that very little matters outside the certainty of its walls. Because the world is very noisy, Elodie, and although life is filled with joy and wonder, there’s evil and sorrow and injustice, too.
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
When I speak at universities, in colleges, I share these statistics. I tell them that even as we are labeled criminal, we are actually the victims of crime. And I tell them there are no stats to track collateral deaths, the ones that unfold over months and years spent in mourning and grief: the depression that becomes addiction to alcohol that becomes cirrhosis; or else addiction to food that becomes diabetes that becomes a stroke . Slow deaths . Undocumented deaths. Deaths with a common root: the hatred that tells a person daily that their life and the life of those they love ain't worth shit, a truth made ever more real when the people who harm you are never held accountable.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
The grief you feel is parallel to the love you’ve shared. Those who love deeply, hurt deeply too. But if they don’t let fear get in the way, they chance to gain all the beauty this life has to offer.” He
Kimberly Krey (Reese's Cowboy Kiss: Witness Protection - Rancher Style: Blake's Story (Sweet Montana Bride #1))
I'll probably regret saying this, but...for me kin have always been bad news. Warmth and hope came from strangers as they became friends, mentors, allies, etc., while family is the shared trait of those who diminish my happiness and augment my griefs. I know in my bones that blood is not thicker than water.
David Berreby (Us and Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind)
I remember my wife in white. I remember her walking toward me on our wedding day, a bouquet of red flowers in her hand, and I remember her turning away from me in anger, her body stiff as a stone. I remember the sound of her breath as she slept. I remember the way her body felt in my arms. I remember, always I remember, that she brought solace to my life as well as grief. That for every dark moment we shared between us, there was a moment of such brightness I almost could not bear to look at it head-on. I try to remember the woman she was and not the woman I have built out of spare parts to comfort me in my mourning. And I find, more and more, as the days go by and the balm of my forgiveness washes over the cracked and parched surface of my heart, I find that remembering her as she was is a gift I can give us both.
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
This ritual brought us face-to-face with the reality of losing those we love. Letting go is a difficult skill to acquire, and yet we are offered no option but to practice. Every loss, personal or shared, prepares us for our own time of leaving. Letting go is not a passive state of acceptance but a recognition of the brevity of all things. This realization invites us to love fully now, in this moment, when what we love is here.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
I thought upon the way in which we'd always shared each other's happiness, believing it would make the moment burn brighter and longer, but sadness can be shared too, perhaps sharing makes is burn briefer and less bright.
Tom Rob Smith
It was time to let go. That day on the Shadow Fold, Mal had saved my life, and I had saved his. Maybe that was meant to be the end of us. The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we’d shared, for the love I’d felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again. That grief flooded through me, dissolving a knot that I hadn’t even known was there. I closed my eyes, feeling tears slide down my cheeks, and I reached out to the thing within me that I’d kept hidden for so long. I’m sorry, I whispered to it. I’m sorry I left you so long in the dark. I’m sorry, but I’m ready now. I called and the light answered. I felt it rushing toward me from every direction, skimming over the lake, skittering over the golden domes of the Little Palace, under the door and through the walls of Baghra’s cottage. I felt it everywhere. I opened my hands and the light bloomed right through me, filling the room, illuminating the stone walls, the old tile oven, and every angle of Baghra’s strange face. It surrounded me, blazing with heat, more powerful and more pure than ever before because it was all mine. I wanted to laugh, to sing, to shout. At last, there was something that belonged wholly and completely to me. “Good,” said Baghra, squinting in the sunlight. “Now we work.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
This was our grief and pain at our deepest. This was our hearts and souls scraped raw. This was desperation so intense I felt it in my bones, in the broken places of my soul. And that my children shared this grief made it so much worse.
Rachel Higginson (The Five Stages of Falling in Love)
Existences and events occurring without any relationship to myself, occurring at places that not only appealed to my senses but were moreover denied to me— these, together with the people involved in them, constituted my definition of “tragic things.” It seemed that my grief at being eternally excluded was always transformed in my dreaming into grief for those persons and their ways of life, and that solely through my own grief I was trying to share in their existences.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
Human existence is temporary and all the knowledge of the universe we acquire will in time be forgotten because there will be no humans left to benefit from any of the stuff we learned. And yet, this doesn't invalidate scientific exploration to me. We seek to understand the universe because it makes our lives better and more rich. Similarly, we tell stories (and think about why and how to tell stories) because it makes human existence richer. Made-up stories matter. They bring us pleasure and solace and nurture empathy by letting us see the world through others' eyes. They also help us to feel unalone, to understand that our grief and joy is shared not just by those around us but by all those who came before us and all those still yet to come.
John Green
If you work with or around children, you often hear a lot about how resilient they are. It's true; I've met children who've been through things that would drive most adults to the brink. They look and act, most of the time, like any other children. In this sense – that they don't succumb to despair, that they don't demand a space for their pain – it's very true that children are resilient. But resiliency only means that a thing retains its shape. That it doesn't break, or lose its ability to function. It doesn't mean a child forgets the time she shared in the backyard with her mother gardening, or the fun they had together watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks at the Astro. It just means she learns to bear it. The mechanism that allowed Lisa Sample to keep her head above water in the wak of her mother's departure has not been described or cataloged by scientists. It's efficient, and flexible, and probably transferable from one person to another should they catch the scent on each other. But the rest of the details about it aren't observable from the outside. You have to be closer than you really want to get to see how it works.
John Darnielle (Universal Harvester)
And that was the worst thing about this grief – not just knowing that she was gone, but knowing that eventually new memories and experiences would layer on top of them, making the distance between us ever wider. The days we’d spent swimming and fishing at the beach, the first time I’d kissed her, the dreams we’d shared – I was now the only keeper of these memories, and that was the truest sort of loneliness.
Andrea Stewart (The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1))
Bernard was to remember this moment for the rest of his life. As they drank from their water bottles he was struck by the recently concluded war not as a historical, geopolitical fact but as a multiplicity, a near-infinity of private sorrows, as a boundless grief minutely subdivided without diminishment among individuals who covered the continent like dust, like spores whose separate identities would remain unknown, and whose totality showed more sadness than anyone could ever begin to comprehend; a weight borne in silence by hundreds of thousands, millions, like the woman in black for a husband and two brothers, each grief a particular, intricate, keening love story that might have been otherwise. It seemed as though he had never thought about the war before, not about its cost. He had been so busy with the details of his work, of doing it well, and his widest view had been of war aims, of winning, of statistical deaths, statistical destruction, and of post-war reconstruction. For the first time he sensed the scale of the catastrophe in terms of feeling; all those unique and solitary deaths, all that consequent sorrow, unique and solitary too, which had no place in conferences, headlines, history, and which had quietly retired to houses, kitchens, unshared beds, and anguished memories. This came upon Bernard by a pine tree in the Languedoc in 1946 not as an observation he could share with June but as a deep apprehension, a recognition of a truth that dismayed him into silence and, later, a question: what possible good could come of a Europe covered in this dust, these spores, when forgetting would be inhuman and dangerous, and remembering a constant torture?
Ian McEwan (Black Dogs)
As Rebeca reveals what scraps of story she does have to Luca, he starts to understand that this is the one thing all migrants have in common, this is the solidarity that exists among them, though they all come from different places and different circumstances, some urban, some rural, some middle-class, some poor, some well educated, some illiterate, Salvadoran, Honduran, Guatemalan, Mexican, Indian, each of them carries some story of suffering on top of that train and into el norte beyond. Some, like Rebeca, share their stories carefully, selectively, finding a faithful ear and then chanting their words like prayers. Other migrants are like blown-open grenades, telling their anguish compulsively to everyone they meet, dispensing their pain like shrapnel so they might one day wake to find their burdens have grown lighter. Luca wonders what it would feel like to blow up like that. But for now he remains undetonated, his horrors sealed tightly inside, his pin fixed snugly in place.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
You reach a point where you realize that your life must go on regardless. You choose to live or you choose to die. But then there are moments, things that you see, something funny on the street or a good joke that you hear, a television program that you want to share, and it makes you miss the person who’s gone terribly and then it’s not grief at all, it’s more a sort of bitterness at the world for taking them away from you.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Grief,” she writes, is “a whisper in the world and a clamor within. More than sex, more than faith, even more than its usher death, grief is unspoken, publicly ignored except for those moments at the funeral that are over too quickly.” - Sandberg sharing Anna Quindlen's take on how society conceals grief
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
Molly, a home is not a place. It's not a country or a town or a building or possession. Home is with the other half of your soul, the person who shares in your grief and helps you carry the burden of loss. Home is with the person who throughout it all never gives up on you and brings you eternal happiness.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Home (Sweet Home, #1))
Molly, a home is not a place. It’s not a country or a town or a building or possession. Home is with the other half of your soul, the person who shares in your grief and helps you carry the burden of loss. Home is with the person who throughout it all never gives up on you and brings you eternal happiness.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Home (Sweet Home, #1))
Or a ghost is a knot in the otherwise smooth flow of time, an electrical storm in a jewelry box, grief perfectly aligned. And sometimes a ghost is a shared thing; sometimes the entire population of a city or country will just happen to look in the mirror at the same time, and from then on there was a city in the sky, as all cities are if we consider that the sky reaches to the ground, and this city, too, thought it was alive, and the candles walked off by themselves.
Cole Swensen
In a reverse way, sharing my mother's long, slow dying consumes my creative energy. I manage one angry and bitter story, and feel better for it, but most of me is involved in Mother's battle. Watching her slowly being snuffed out is the opposite of pregnancy, depleting instead of fulfilling: I am exhausted by conflict.
Madeleine L'Engle (The Summer of the Great-Grandmother (Crosswicks Journal, #2))
Reading private correspondence is in poor taste, Lord Ackerly.” “Unless it is terribly interesting,” Eleanor says, “which Jessamin’s letters are not. Mine, however, are lurid tales of my near-death experience and subsequent sequestering against my will in the home of the mysterious and brooding Lord Ackerly. I fear I may have given you a tragic past and a deadly secret or two.” “Are we staying in a decaying Gothic abbey?” I ask. “Naturally. When I’m finished, there won’t be a person in all the city who isn’t writhing with jealousy over the heart-pounding drama of my life.” She pauses, tapping her pen thoughtfully against her chin. “I don’t suppose you have a cousin? I could very much use a romantic foil.” Finn shakes his head. “Sorry to disappoint.” “Alas. As long as I’m not the friend who meets a tragic end that brings you two together forever through shared grief.” Her line meets dead silence, and a sly grin splits her face. “Oh wait, I nearly was.
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
I was ravenous for my child and took to gorging myself in the boneyard, hoping that she might possibly meet me halfway, or just beyond, one night, if only for an instant—step back into her own bare feet, onto the wet grass or fallen leaves or snowy ground of the living Enon, so that we could share just one last human word.
Paul Harding (Enon)
Empathy teaches this lesson; it is one of the feelings we are put on Earth to learn, a key aspect of our preparation for immortality. It is difficult lesson in that we must experience it not only in our mind but in our physical bodies, and in the mind and body we have pain, dark emotions, difficult relationships, enemies, loss and grief. We thus tend to forget others and concentrate on ourselves. But we also have love, beauty, music, art, dance, nature, and air, and we long to share them. We cannot transform negativity into the positive without empathy, and we cannot truly understand empathy without experiencing it in our present life, in our past, and in our future.
Brian L. Weiss (Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives through Progression Therapy)
Years ago I read that grief is the place where love and pain converge. For a long time they stood there and simply clung to each other. They didn't feel the need to kiss, and she believed that was because what they shared transcended the physical. This understanding-that they'd both lost what they'd treasured most-brought them together in a more profound way than mere attraction. But I don't know what my instinct's saying, she muttered. Yes, you do. Just relax, sit back and listen to your inner voice.
Debbie Macomber (A Turn in the Road (Blossom Street, #8))
I wonder how, among the Fremont, mothers and daughters shared their world. Did they walk side by side along the lake edge? What stories did they tell while weaving strips of bulrush into baskets? How did daughters bury their mothers and exercise their grief? What were the secret rituals of women? I feel certain they must have been tied to birds.
Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place)
When you miss your loved one, remember the beautiful moments you shared. And when your heart swells, cuddle your pillow and let tears soothe the pain.
Anoir Ou-chad (The Alien) man was spared. What all had borne, each could bear. He shared their sorrow, and they became a part of his, and the sharing spread their grief a little, by thinning it.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (The Yearling)
I feel a sharp stab of regret as I remember that I can’t share anything with him anymore.
Gill Mann (A Song Inside)
While our life remains more chaotic than not, we continue to land on our blistered feet, drag each other out of the quicksand, beg for forgiveness as we wander out of the doghouse, and dig for the humor beneath our grief. So our family, four-pawed members included, continues to bound forward celebrating our canine connection and sharing hope with all who need healing.
Donnie Kanter Winokur
I know what you are thinking. You can’t now fathom ever forgetting to think about me. You’re afraid that if you move forward, it will take you further away from me. This is a common misconception shared by many people and it delays their healing... It keeps you stuck in you grief and it’s only because you are still clinging to me. You think if you stop grieving that you will lose me. Maybe you even feel if you let go of me that you are abandoning me; maybe you feel that you will hurt my feelings because if it were the other way around you would not ever want me to forget about you. You are afraid that if you love again that you will grow away from me. I am Here! I am here, waiting to run to you when the time comes. It’s unconditional. It’s forever.
Kate McGahan (Only Gone From Your Sight: Jack McAfghan's Little Guide to Pet Loss and Grief)
A week later, I walked to Gwyneth’s house. She and Dorothy and I shared tea and we wept for Jacob. We talked. We smiled a little. Then I left and waited for Cullah, and thought what a great emptiness was left by Jacob’s passing. At last, I sat at the front door, on the chair where Patience had died. I held my hands folded at my heart, and ached for all who had passed from my world
Nancy E. Turner (My Name Is Resolute)
Allow grief room to air itself,” Maurice had taught her. “Be judicious in using the body to comfort another, for you may extinguish the freedom that the person feels to be able to share a sadness.
Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1))
A memory comes up and you brace yourself. What will it be? Something that makes you cry? So what if it makes you cry? Why do you judge your tears? That’s another lie that someone told you. That tears are bad. That tears are a sign of weakness. Tears are a sign of life and love and like the spring rains that wash away the harshness of winter they nourish and clear the way for regeneration. Tears are a part of life. Sadness and sorrow are a part of life. Are you willing to cut off the life we shared together simply because you do not want to feel your sorrow or the wet tears upon your face?
Kate McGahan (Only Gone From Your Sight: Jack McAfghan's Little Guide to Pet Loss and Grief)
I steer clear of telling. I can't come out with it. The outlandish truth of me. How can I reveal this to someone innocent and unsuspecting? With those who know my story I talk freely about us.... But with others I keep it hidden, the truth. I keep it under wraps because I don't want to shock or make anyone distressed. But it's not like me to be cagey in my interactions.... But now I try to keep a distance from those who are innocent of my reality. At best I am vague. I feel deceitful at times. But I can't just drop it on someone, I feel--it's too horrifying, too huge. It's not that I should be honest with everyone, the white lies I tell strangers I don't mind. But there are those I see time and again, have drinks with, share jokes, and even they don't know. They see my cheery side. And I kick myself for being a fraud.... I can see, though, that my secrecy does me no favors. It probably makes worse my sense of being outlandish. It confirms to me that it might be abhorrent, my story, or that few can relate to it.
Sonali Deraniyagala (Wave)
We tell the story of our grief for two reasons: first, to solidify in our brains and hearts that life without our loved one is our new reality; and second, to realize that we are not alone. Just as grief is not a one-time event, telling the story of our loss is not a one-time event, either. We must share the story of what happened, to make sense of it for ourselves and to connect with others who are experiencing similar pain.
Shelby Forsythia (Your Grief, Your Way: A Year of Practical Guidance and Comfort After Loss)
Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.
Meghan Markle
The vast universal suffering feel as thine: Thou must bear the sorrow that thou claimst to heal; The day-bringer must walk in darkest night. He who would save the world must share its pain. If he knows not grief, how shall he find grief’s cure? If far he walks above mortality’s head, How shall the mortal reach that too high path? If one of theirs they see scale heaven’s peaks, Men then can hope to learn that titan climb. God must be born on earth and be as man That man being human may grow even as God. He who would save the world must be one with the world, All suffering things contain in his heart’s space And bear the grief and joy of all that lives. His soul must be wider than the universe And feel eternity as its very stuff, Rejecting the moment’s personality Know itself older than the birth of Time, Creation an incident in its consciousness, Arcturus and Belphegor grains of fire Circling in a corner of its boundless self, The world’s destruction a small transient storm In the calm infinity it has become. If thou wouldst a little loosen the vast chain, Draw back from the world that the Idea has made, Thy mind’s selection from the Infinite, Thy senses’ gloss on the Infinitesimal’s dance, Then shalt thou know how the great bondage came. Banish all thought from thee and be God’s void.
Sri Aurobindo
Believe me, I had my share of "why" questions. I turned my eyes upward again and again, and in my heart I asked why I, an ordinary human, should be bearing such an extraordinary burden of pain and grief. Why I was the one picked to deal with such a tortuous twist of fate? It all seemed so unjust. I had reached a point where I had to get answers to some questions that were inside me. Shutting myself into the world of my heart and mind, I wondered, "Why? Why? Why?
Art E. Berg (The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer: Living with Purpose and Passion)
Padre nuestro, bless these children with your love and grace. Protect them from any further harm, God, and provide them with comfort in their time of unspeakable grief. May Jesus walk the road with them and repair their broken hearts. May Mother Mary sweep all dangers from their road ahead and lead them safely where they’re going. Padre nuestro, these two faithful servants have shouldered more than their share of life’s burdens already. Please, God, may you see fit to relieve them
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.1 It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy. They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families, their tribe, their class, their nation, their race or even their species, and not upon others. I know about this moaning because I have done my share. Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them? Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems. What makes life difficult is that the process of confronting and solving problems is a painful one. Problems, depending upon their nature, evoke in us frustration or grief or sadness or loneliness or guilt or regret or anger or fear or anxiety or anguish or despair. These are uncomfortable feelings, often very uncomfortable, often as painful as any kind of physical pain, sometimes equaling the very worst kind of physical pain. Indeed, it is because of the pain that events or conflicts engender in us all that we call them problems. And since life poses an endless series of problems, life is always difficult and is full of pain as well as joy.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
What does it mean to be Indigenous and to have ties to the person of Jesus without being tied to the destructive, colonizing institution of the church? It is a constant decolonizing. It is a constant longing for interaction with others who, following the Universal Christ, as Richard Rohr calls it, can take on the hope of a decolonizing faith. It is sharing space with Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color, and letting our experiences shape each other. It means interacting with my white friends, having really difficult conversations, and facing my own privilege in that conversation as well. Deconstruction and decolonization can be partners, along with grief and truth-telling. May we learn from this community that we are called to the bigger work ahead of us, so that, together, we know what it means to return to Mystery that has always wanted all of us. May we do this work together so that, each day that we move on, we are building a future that is made for everyone.
Kaitlin B. Curtice (Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God)
The more difficult it is for us to articulate our experiences of loss, longing, and feeling lost to the people around us, the more disconnected and alone we feel. Of the coping strategies my research participants have shared with me, writing down experiences of heartbreak and grief have emerged as the most helpful in making clear to themselves what they were feeling so they could articulate it to others. Some participants did this as part of their work with helping professionals; others did it on their own. Either way, the participants talked about the need to write freely, without having to explain or justify their feelings. It was these interviews that led me to look more closely at the idea of writing SFDs as part of the rising strong process.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
Grief is personal. It isn't something you can share like a box of chocolates. It's yours and yours alone, a spiked steel ball chained to your ankle, a coat of nails around your shoulders, a crown of thorns. No one else can feely your pain. They cannot walk in your shoes because your shoes are full with broken glass and every time you take a step forward, it rips your soles to bloody shreds. Grief is the worst kind of torture and it never ends. You have dibs on that dungeon for the rest of your life.
C.J. Tudor (The Hiding Place)
When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares. HENRI J. M. NOUWEN
Melanie Shankle (Nobody's Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship)
Loneliness It's Hell for us to draw the fetters Of life in alienation, stiff. All people prefer to share gladness, And nobody - to share grief. As a king of air, I'm lone here, The pain lives in my heart, so grim, And I can see that, to the fear Of fate, years pass me by like dreams; And comes again with, touched by gold, The same dream, gloomy one and old. I see a coffin, black and sole, It waits: why to detain the world? There will be not a sad reflection, There will be (I am betting on) Much more gaily celebration When I am dead, than - born.
Mikhail Lermontov
I can never say it, I can barely even think it, but I know that I am crying because I am afraid that when Aaron is gone, there will still be parts of him I do not know, little things like this that he forgot to share with me. I'd felt that from the moment I met him, before we knew he was sick, but I feel it more urgently now: like I want to just stick a little USB drive into his arm and download everything about him. I want every memory, every feeling, every thought from baby Aaron and child Aaron and punky teenage Aaron, who pierced his ears multiple times.
Nora McInerny Purmort (It's Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too))
She knew a part of her would always be waiting for Stuart. Even if life went on and she found someone to share her days and nights with, there would forever be a candle for him. He would always visit her in her dreams. How strange that knowledge felt, that someone who had just been in her life a handful of months could stay in her heart forever. Shouldn’t the memories last only as long as the moments had? But no, she was learning. Memories were made of something stronger than time could easily erode. It was so disproportionate, absurd even, but true all the same.
Corinne Beenfield (The Ocean's Daughter : (National Indie Excellence Award Finalist))
The Silence of the Final Goodbye I knew you best from the silences, The time and space in between, The moment before our lips touched, The way your arms went up in the air before you laughed, The smile that we shared before we talked, The redness on your face before your tears, The sensation of your arms around me after you released the embrace. The look you gave me before you walked away, Nothing had ever been so painful, No words could say what your eyes told me, When I wake in the morning without you, It’s the first thing I hear… The silence of the final goodbye.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn
People referred to the symbolism of the empty Cross more than once on its journey. It would seem obviously to point to our faith in Jesus’ resurrection. It’s not quite so simple though. The Cross is bare, but in and of itself the empty Cross does not point directly to the Resurrection. It says only that the body of Jesus was removed from the Cross. If a crucifix is a symbol of Good Friday, then it is the image of the empty tomb that speaks more directly of Easter and resurrection. The empty Cross is a symbol of Holy Saturday. It’s an indicator of the reality of Jesus’ death, of His sharing in our mortal coil. At the same time, the empty Cross is an implicit sign of impending resurrection, and it tells us that the Cross is not only a symbol of hatred, violence and inhumanity: it says that the Cross is about something more. The empty Cross also tells us not to jump too quickly to resurrection, as if the Resurrection were a trump card that somehow absolves us from suffering. The Resurrection is not a divine ‘get-out-of-jail free’ card that immunises people from pain, suffering or death. To jump too quickly to the Resurrection runs the risk of trivialising people’s pain and seemingly mapping out a way through suffering that reduces the reality of having to live in pain and endure it at times. For people grieving, introducing the message of the Resurrection too quickly cheapens or nullifies their sense of loss. The empty Cross reminds us that we cannot avoid suffering and death. At the same time, the empty Cross tells us that, because of Jesus’ death, the meaning of pain, suffering and our own death has changed, that these are not all-crushing or definitive. The empty Cross says that the way through to resurrection must always break in from without as something new, that it cannot be taken hold of in advance of suffering or seized as a panacea to pain. In other words, the empty Cross is a sign of hope. It tells us that the new life of God surprises us, comes at a moment we cannot expect, and reminds us that experiences of pain, grief and dying are suffused with the presence of Christ, the One Who was crucified and is now risen.
Chris Ryan MGL (In the Light of the Cross: Reflections on the Australian Journey of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon)
Shame ruptures our connection with life and with our soul. It is, indeed, a sickness of the soul. When feelings of shame arise, we pull back from the world, avoiding contact that could cause or risk exposure. The last thing we want in times of excruciating self-consciousness is to be seen. We find ourselves avoiding the gaze of others, we become silent and withdrawn, all in hopes of slipping under the radar. I remember sharing with the audience that the goal of the shame-bound person was to get from birth to death without ever being an echo on the radar of life. My tombstone was going to read “Safe at Last.” Gershon Kaufman, one of the most important writers on shame, has said that shame leaves us feeling “unspeakably and irreparably defective.”29 It is unspeakable because we do not want anyone to know how we feel inside. We fear it is irreparable because we think it is not something we have done wrong—it is simply who we are. We cannot remove the stain from our core. We search and search for the defect, hoping that that, once found, it can be exorcised like some grotesque demon. But it lingers, remaining there our entire lives, anxious that it will be seen and simultaneously longing to be seen and touched with compassion.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
In the absence of this depth of community, the safe container is difficult to find. By default, we become the container ourselves, and when this happens, we cannot drop into the well of grief in which we can fully let go of the sorrows we carry. We recycle our grief, moving into it and then pulling it back into our bodies unreleased. Frequently in my practice patients tell me that they often cry in private. I ask them whether, at some point in this process, they ever allow their grief to be witnessed and shared with others. There is usually a quick retort of “No, I couldn’t do that. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone else.” When I push it a little further and ask them how it would feel if a friend came to them with his or her sorrows and pain, they respond that they would feel honored to sit with their friend and offer support. This disconnection between what we would offer others and what we feel we can ask for is extreme. We need to recover our right to ask for help in grief, otherwise it will continue to recycle perpetually. Grief has never been private; it has always been communal. Subconsciously, we are awaiting the presence of others, before we can feel safe enough to drop to our knees on the holy ground of sorrow.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
Have You Prayed” When the wind turns and asks, in my father’s voice, Have you prayed? I know three things. One: I’m never finished answering to the dead. Two: A man is four winds and three fires. And the four winds are his father’s voice, his mother’s voice . . . Or maybe he’s seven winds and ten fires. And the fires are seeing, hearing, touching, dreaming, thinking . . . Or is he the breath of God? When the wind turns traveler and asks, in my father’s voice, Have you prayed? I remember three things. One: A father’s love is milk and sugar, two-thirds worry, two-thirds grief, and what’s left over is trimmed and leavened to make the bread the dead and the living share. And patience? That’s to endure the terrible leavening and kneading. And wisdom? That’s my father’s face in sleep. When the wind asks, Have you prayed? I know it’s only me reminding myself a flower is one station between earth’s wish and earth’s rapture, and blood was fire, salt, and breath long before it quickened any wand or branch, any limb that woke speaking. It’s just me in the gowns of the wind, or my father through me, asking, Have you found your refuge yet? asking, Are you happy? Strange. A troubled father. A happy son. The wind with a voice. And me talking to no one.
Li-Young Lee (Behind My Eyes: Poems)
It is not simply that God has arbitrarily made us such that He is our only good. Rather God is the only good of all creatures: and by necessity, each must find its good in that kind and degree of fruition of God which is proper to its nature. The kind and degree may vary with the creature's nature: but that there ever could be any other good, is an atheistic dream. George Macdonald, in a passage I cannot now find, represents God as saying to men, 'You must be strong with my strength and blessed with my blessedness, for I have no other to give you.' That is the conclusion of the whole matter. God gives what He has, not what He has not: He gives the happiness that there is, not the happiness that is not. To be God - to be like God and to share His goodness in creaturely response - to be miserable - these are the only three alternatives. If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows - that only food that any possible universe ever can grow - then we must starve eternally.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
That day on the shadow fold, Mal had saved my life, and I had saved his. Maybe that was meant to be the end of us. The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we’d shared, for the love I’d felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again. That grief flooded through me, dissolving a knot that I hadn’t even known was there.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
And while he spoke of my mother often and fondly to me, he always did so incompletely, in a strangely peripheral way, so that I grew up with a picture of her that was really little more than an outline. Was this unfair, an injustice to me? It must seem so, and I suppose in a way it was. And yet we all have within ourselves those private spaces that are uniquely our own and that we cannot share. This was my father's: the heart of his grief, which he chose not to expose. It was only now, in these last months before his death, that the outline was filled in, that without preliminary or explanation, my father suddenly began to talk of my mother as he had never talked before, in words and phrases lit with a bursting lyrical warmth and love that had been stored up and held within him all this time, and that was now released because, I think, he knew his own time was so short, and because he did not for a moment doubt that very soon now he would be joined to her again... So there was a feeling of joy here.
Edwin O'Connor (The Edge of Sadness)
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
How long would our poem be? How much would it weigh? The first verse would be yours, of course− Age before beauty, you'd say. You would not rush so much as crest, a wave that spreads and breaks across the eyes and ears to fill some deeper, inner space. The next verse would be mine, self-conscious, yes, it's true, and full of fits and starts but bits of music too. Would we share some lines then, just we two? Here's a place for my words; here, only yours will do, And would it matter, really, after all is said and done, who made which piece of glory? Who, this moon? Who, that sun? The pen drops from my hand, but there's still more to say. So I must write our final line, which is simply stay.
Louise Hawes (The Language of Stars)
But instead of letting me see any ray of hope, God afflicted me with a most grievous martyrdom which lasted for three days. It brought sharply home to me the bitter grief felt by the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph as they searched for the Child Jesus. I was alone in a desert waste — or rather, my soul was like a fragile skiff tossing without a pilot in a stormy sea. I knew that Jesus was there, asleep in my craft, but the night was too black for me to see Him. All was darkness. Not even a flash of lightning pierced the clouds. There’s nothing reassuring about lightning, but, at least, if the storm had burst, I should have been able to glimpse Jesus. But it was night, the dark night of the soul. Like Jesus during His Agony in the Garden, I felt myself abandoned and there was no help for me on earth or in heaven. God had abandoned me. Nature herself seemed to share my misery. The sun never shone once during those three days and the rain fell in torrents. I have noticed that, at all the important moments of my life, nature has mirrored my soul. When I wept the sky wept with me, and when I was happy the sun shone without a cloud in the sky.
John Beevers (The Autobiography of Saint Therese: The Story of a Soul)
Armies possessed traditions, and these had less to do with discipline than with the fraught truths of the human spirit. Rituals at the beginning, shared among each and every recruit. And rituals at the end, a formal closure that was recognition – recognition in every way imaginable. They were necessary. Their gift was a kind of sanity, a means of coping. A soldier cannot be sent away without guidance, cannot be abandoned and left lost in something unrecognizable and indifferent to their lives. Remembrance and honouring the ineffable. Yet, when it’s done, what is the once-soldier? What does he or she become? An entire future spent walking backward, eyes on the past – its horrors, its losses, its grief, its sheer heart-bursting living? The ritual is a turning round, a facing forward, a gentle and respectful hand like a guide on the shoulder.
Steven Erikson (Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3))
Merger Evers/John F. Kennedy/Malcolm X/Martin Luther King/Robert Kennedy/Che Guevara/Patrice Lamumba/George Jackson/Cynthia Wesley/Addie Mae Collins/Denise McNair/Carole Robertson/Viola Liuzzo It was a decade marked by death. Violent and inevitable. Funerals became engraved on the brain, intensifying the ephemeral nature of life. For many in the South it was a decade reminiscent of earlier times, when oak trees sighed over their burdens in the wind; Spanish moss draggled blood to the ground; amen corners creaked with grief; and the thrill of being able, once again, to endure unendurable loss produced so profound an ecstasy in mourners that they strutted, without noticing their feet, along the thin backs of benches: their piercing shouts of anguish and joy never interrupted by an inglorious fall. They shared rituals for the dead to be remembered.
Alice Walker
We trust that acknowledging and releasing grief, pain and other unmentionable feelings is a most healing and blessed function, since it allows emotions to serve as compost for the world we intend to create for ourselves and the next generations to come. In a holistic world there are no personal or individual emotions. Pain comes as a result of perceiving separation and identifying oneself as the cause or the victim of pain. Massive emotional pain has been recycled since ancient times. We believe this pain cannot be held or released by any single individual. We trust instead that it can be collectively released and that those sharing the same trust can join and release together. This is the risk that we can take, that as we collectively expose and release our deepest wounds they can either destroy us or become the gateway into our highest dreams.
Franco Santoro
Judgment is the death of trust, vulnerability, and openness. When others judge us in our grief, they consciously or unconsciously signal to us that they are not safe places for us to share everything we’re thinking and feeling. It’s natural in the aftermath of loss, as in life in general, to gravitate toward people who are nonjudgmental and receptive. We all need witnesses to our stories, especially when we lose someone we love.
Shelby Forsythia (Your Grief, Your Way: A Year of Practical Guidance and Comfort After Loss)
I must exist in shadows, while you live under exquisitely blue skies, and yet I don't hate you for the freedom that you take for granted-although I do envy you. I don't hate you because, after all, you are human, too, and therefore have limitations of your own. Perhaps you are homely, slow-witted or too smart for your own good, deaf or mute or blind, by nature given to despair or to self-hatred, or perhaps you are unusually fearful of Death himself. We all have burdens. On the other hand, if you are better-looking and smarter than I am, blessed with five sharp senses, even more optimistic than I am, with plenty of self-esteem, and if you also share my refusal to be humbled by the Reaper. . . well, then I could almost hate you if I didn't know that, like all of us in this imperfect world, you also have a haunted heart and a mind troubled by grief, by loss, by longing.
Dean Koontz (Seize the Night (Moonlight Bay, #2))
I loved him not; and yet, now he is gone, I feel I am alone. I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak, Alas! I would not check. For reasons not to love him once I sought, And wearied all my thought To vex myself and him: I now would give My love could he but live Who lately lived for me, and, when he found ’Twas vain, in holy ground He hid his face amid the shades of death. I waste for him my breath Who wasted his for me! but mine returns, And this lorn bosom burns With stifling heat, heaving it up in sleep, And waking me to weep Tears that had melted his soft heart: for years Wept he as bitter tears. Merciful God! such was his latest prayer, These may she never share. Quieter is his breath, his breast more cold, Than daisies in the mould, Where children spell, athwart the churchyard gate, His name and life’s brief date. Pray for him, gentle souls, whoe’er you be, And oh! pray too for me!
Walter Savage Landor
The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we’d shared, for the love I’d felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again. That grief flooded through me, dissolving a knot that I hadn’t even known was there. I closed my eyes, feeling tears slide down my cheeks, and I reached out to the thing within me that I’d kept hidden for so long. I’m sorry, I whispered to it. I’m sorry I left you so long in the dark. I’m sorry, but I’m ready now. I called and the light answered.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1))
Individually and collectively, we will have to be the resistance—offering daily, bold, defiant pushback against all that feels wrong here. This pushback will come as we loudly and unapologetically speak truth where truth is not welcome. It will come as we connect with one another on social media and in faith communities and in our neighborhoods, and as we work together to demand accountability from our elected officials and pastoral leaders. It will come in the small things: in the art we create and the conversations we have and the quiet gestures of compassion that are barely visible. It will come in the way we fully celebrate daily life: having dinner with friends, driving through the countryside, playing in the yard with our children, laughing at a movie we love. It will come as we use the shared resources of our experience and our talents and our numbers to ensure that our children inherit a world worth being here for. It will come as we transform our grief into goodness.
John Pavlovitz (A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community)
I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I have been delivered by the power in His name, the power of the Blood. God has shown Himself mighty on my behalf; no evil befalls me. I am victorious in Christ Jesus – I am the beloved of the Lord. I walk in love, I walk in His light. My path is set in the brightness of the lamp, and I will not stumble. My eyes behold the sun, and the Sun of righteousness arises over my household with healing in His wings. I am redeemed from affliction, depression, grief, ailments, sicknesses, diseases, death, and destruction. I have life eternal, I have life abundant, I have peace with God, and my ways are pleasing to Him. I am favoured by God; I break through on every side, and I am not restrained by any force. My days are prolonged. The pleasure of the Lord will prosper in my hand. I have my portion with the great and my share of the spoil with the strong. I walk about in His name. This is my season of possibilities, in Jesus’ name. I believe and I say amen.
'Goke Coker (God'fessions 2: Daily Confessions of God's Word and promises over your life volume two)
Prayer to an Unseen Friend My special friend, thank you for listening to me. You know how hard I am trying to fulfill your faith in me. Thank You, also for the place in which I dwell. Let neither work nor play, no matter how satisfying or glorious, ever separate me for long from my precious family. Teach me how to play the game of life with fairness, courage, fortitude and confidence. Provide me with a few friends who understand me and yet remain my friends. Allow me a forgiving heart and a mind unafraid to travel though the trail may not be marked. Give me a sense of humor and a little leisure with nothing to do. Help me to strive for the highest legitimate reward of merit, ambition and opportunity, and yet never allow me to forget to extend a kindly, helping hand to others who need encouragement and assistance. Provide me with the strength to encounter whatever is to come, that I be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in anger and always prepared for any change of fortune. Enable me to give a smile instead of a frown, a kindly word instead of harshness and bitterness. Make me sympathetic to the grief of others, realizing that there are hidden woes in every life, no matter how exalted. Keep me forever serene in every activity of life, neither unduly boastful nor given to the more serious sin of self-depreciation. In sorrow, may my soul be uplifted, by the thought that if there were no shadow, there would be no sunshine. In failure, preserve my faith. In success, keep me humble. Steady me to do the full share of my work, and more, as well as I can, and when that is done, stop me, pay me what wages Thou wilt, and permit me to say, from a loving heart... A grateful Amen
Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World, Part II: The End of the Story)
We take happiness when and where we can get it. One has nothing to do with the other. you know that. Intellectually, you know that is the truth. One can still be grieving and yet have a moment of shared laughter or passion. There is no guilt in living when you have lost so much. You live for them. You make your life count. You live to keep their memory alive. You live for yourself. It's all wrapped up together. We are part of the universe and it is vast. We are small, insignificant in the tapestry, yet we are there. A part of something larger. One false pull of that thread and everything could unravel.
Christine Feehan (Dark Sentinel (Dark, #28))
In 2017, I was invited to lead a mindfulness workshop and guide a live meditation on Mingus Mountain, Arizona, to over 100 men and women at a recovery retreat. On the eve of my workshop, I had the opportunity to join in a men's twelve-step meeting, which took place by the campfire in Prescott National Park Forest, with at least 40 men recovering from childhood grief and trauma. The meeting grounded us in what was a large retreat with many unfamiliar faces. I was the only mixed-race Brit, surrounded by mostly white middle-class American men (baby boomers and Generation X), yet our common bond of validating each other's wounds in recovery utterly transcended any differences of nationality, race and heritage. We shared our pain and hope in a non-shaming environment, listening and allowing every man to have his say without interruption. At the end of the meeting we stood up in a large circle and recited the serenity prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me". After the meeting closed, I felt that I belonged and I was enthusiastic about the retreat, even though I was thousands of miles away from England.
Christopher Dines (Drug Addiction Recovery: The Mindful Way)
Muscles contract somewhere above the roof of my mouth, pumping venom into her bloodstream. Kelly cries out, a gasp of pain that turns suddenly to moans of euphoria as the carotids rush the narcotic serum directly to her brain. Her knees buckle, and I reach down to steady her — one arm over her breasts, the other around her waist as I hold her tightly to myself. Then the blood begins to flow, seeping out of the wounds I have made, and I put my lips to her skin and drink. There are no words adequate to describe it. My mind explodes with a wash of light and color, swirling and dancing before my eyes. Then the Sharing truly begins, and I can see inside her: images of her memories, her thoughts, her hopes and dreams, the way she remembers her past and how she imagines her future. Her joys; her grief; that which she loves and that she despises, what stirs her fire and chills her bones. And through it all, I feel the touch of her presence, and I know that she sees the same things inside of me. Blood is more than matter, more than plasma and hemoglobin. Blood is life, the river on which the spirit flows. And as Kelly's blood flows into me, it carries her life with it, until my soul entwines with hers. She has given a part of herself to me, and from this day forth we are bound to each other.
Chris Lester (Huntress (Metamor City, #2))
Fir, cedar, pines, oaks, and maples densely timbered this section. But it was the redwoods that never failed to fill him with awe. Their feathery-looking needles and reddish bark. The way they stretched up to incredible heights and the sheer magnitude of their circumferences. How long ago had God planted their seeds? Hundreds of years? Thousands? As he stood amongst those mighty giants, he realized the land wasn’t his at all. It was God’s. God had formed and planted the seeds. He’d tended the soil and caused it to rain. He’d needed no man. Least of all Joe. Yet over and over Joe had thought of this as his own. My land. My logging camp. My house. My woman. My everything. Picking up his ax, he returned to his work. But in his mind, he reviewed a list of men in the Bible who’d left everything they held dear for parts unknown. Abraham. Jacob. Joseph. Moses. Even a woman. Esther. In every case, their circumstances were much more severe than his. God hadn’t commanded Joe to leave his land, though he’d prayed for guidance. Fasted. Read his Bible. But God had remained silent. Joe simply assumed God was letting him choose. But no matter what he chose, none of it was really his. It was all God’s. And God was sharing it with him. So which did he want? Both. Like a spoiled child, he definitely wanted both. But if he could only have one, wouldn’t he still be a man blessed? Yes. And he’d praise God and thank Him. But that didn’t immediately make the grief shrivel up and blow away. Eyeing where he wanted the tree to fall, he adjusted his stance. I want Anna, Lord. I choose Anna. Yet as long as he lived, he’d always miss this land. He’d miss the Territory. He’d miss the logging. He’d miss his friends. The cypress began to pop and splinter. Jumping away, he braced his feet, threw back his head, and shouted with everything he had. “Timber-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r!” The tree wavered, then crashed to the forest floor. Noise resounded through the copse. The ground shook. Debris flew. Before any of it settled, Joe fell to his knees, doubled over, and sobbed.
Deeanne Gist (A Bride in the Bargain)
How clear she shines ! How quietly I lie beneath her guardian light; While heaven and earth are whispering me, " To morrow, wake, but, dream to-night." Yes, Fancy, come, my Fairy love ! These throbbing temples softly kiss; And bend my lonely couch above And bring me rest, and bring me bliss. The world is going; dark world, adieu ! Grim world, conceal thee till the day; The heart, thou canst not all subdue, Must still resist, if thou delay ! Thy love I will not, will not share; Thy hatred only wakes a smile; Thy griefs may wound–thy wrongs may tear, But, oh, thy lies shall ne'er beguile ! While gazing on the stars that glow Above me, in that stormless sea, I long to hope that all the woe Creation knows, is held in thee ! And, this shall be my dream to-night; I'll think the heaven of glorious spheres [Page 104] Is rolling on its course of light In endless bliss, through endless years; I'll think, there's not one world above, Far as these straining eyes can see, Where Wisdom ever laughed at Love, Or Virtue crouched to Infamy; Where, writhing 'neath the strokes of Fate, The mangled wretch was forced to smile; To match his patience 'gainst her hate, His heart rebellious all the while. Where Pleasure still will lead to wrong, And helpless Reason warn in vain; And Truth is weak, and Treachery strong; And Joy the surest path to Pain; And Peace, the lethargy of Grief; And Hope, a phantom of the soul; And Life, a labour, void and brief; And Death, the despot of the whole !
Emily Brontë (The Complete Poems)
You smell nice,’ she said. ‘Chanel,’ he said. ‘Wasted on you,’ she said and he reached into his bag and pulled out an almond tart. ‘Look what I’ve got,’ he said triumphantly as he lowered it under her nose. ‘Almonds,’ she said, ‘just like Paris.’ ‘For us to share,’ he said, ‘just like Paris.’ I never knew if she had any real appetite or not for she hadn’t eaten solids for days. But he broke a piece off and held it to her mouth and she ate hungrily for it was the memory she was tasting again and the memory tasted good. I moved a chair close to the bed for him and he sat down and held her hand. his own death he’d made peace with years ago but everyone else’s still frightened him and so he held her hand to not let her go. He held her hand because he wasn’t ready to let her go.
Sarah Winman (When God Was a Rabbit)
But I have told you, Ariadne, that the other gods are not like me. I have walked among mortals for many years and I know the dizzying joys of humanity: the fragile, ferocious power of human love and the savage force of grief. When I share wine with mortals, we celebrate together and I feel the clustered hopes and yearnings, the pain and fears that you all share. In those sacred rites, as simple and ancient as the world itself, we raise a cup and we drink together, and our souls are freed from the constraints of the everyday. We find what unites us, what we have in common with one another. I have felt the gaping wound and the bruised, ragged edges of grief. I know that human life shines more brightly because it is but a shimmering candle against an eternity of darkness, and it can be extinguished with the faintest breeze.” He leaned toward me, fastened my hand in his. His eyes
Jennifer Saint (Ariadne)
…There is some firm place in me which knows that what happened to Wally, whatever it was, whatever it is that death is as it transliterates us, moving us out of this life into what we can’t know, is kind. I shock myself, writing that. I know that many deaths are anything but gentle. I know people suffer terribly…I know many die abandoned, unseen, their stories unheard, their dignity violated, their human worth ignored. I suspect that the ease of Wally’s death, the rightness of it, the loving recognition which surrounded him, all made it possible for me to see clearly, to witness what other circumstances might obscure. I know, as surely as I know anything, that he’s all right now. And yet. And yet he’s gone, an absence so forceful it is itself a daily hourly presence. My experience of being with Wally… brought me to another sort of perception, but I can’t stay in that place, can’t sustain that way of seeing. The experience of knowing, somehow, that he’s all right, lifted in some kind process that turns at the heart of the world, gives way, as it must, to the plain aching fact that he’s gone. And doubt. And the fact that we can’t understand, that it’s our condition to not know. Is that our work in the world, to learn to dwell in such not-knowing? We need our doubt so as to not settle for easy answers. Not-knowing pushes us to struggle after meaning for ourselves…Doubt’s lesson seems to be that whatever we conclude must be provisional, open to revision, subject to correction by forces of change. Leave room, doubt says, for the unknowable, for what it will never quite be your share to see. Stanley Kunitz says somewhere that if poetry teaches us anything, it is that we can believe two completely contradictory things at once. And so I can believe that death is utter, unbearable rupture, just as I know that death is kind.
Mark Doty (Heaven's Coast: A Memoir)
Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions--the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself. I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections. We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both. We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices. You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel. I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude. I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable. When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life. Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it. We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here. As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly. I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Once, on the road, Prim met a meditating sage who had spent most of his life on top of a flat rock. They had black bread and shared some ajash, as was custom. The sage was thankful, as the road was not very frequently traveled in those days and he was very near the point of starvation. During his conversation, he was delighted to learn of Prim’s extensive mastery of Empty Palms and the fifty five earthly purities. Delighted, and as payment for his meal, he taught Prim the meaning of watchfulness. This was the old breathing and cold-atum technique often used by warrior monks in those days. It ran through the following methodology: Build a tower, and make it impregnable. Make every stone so tightly sealed that no insect can squeeze through, no grain of sand can make it inside. Your tower must have no windows or doors. It must not accept passage by friend or foe. No weapon, no act of violence, and not one mote of love may penetrate its stony interior. “Why build the tower this way?” said Prim? “It will make you invincible,” said the sage, “This is the way of Ya-at slave monks. Their skin is like iron, and so are their hearts. They are inured to death and fear. Grief shall never find them, and neither shall weakness.” Prim thought a moment, and came upon a realization, for she was wise, obedient, and an excellent daughter. “If a man built a tower this way, he would quickly starve, no matter how strong he became.” The sage was even more delighted. “Yes,” he said, “There is a better way, and I will teach it to you: Once you have built your tower, you must deconstruct it, brick by brick, stone by stone. You must do it meticulously and carefully, so that while you leave no physical trace of it remaining, your tower is still built in your mind and your heart, ready to spring anew at a moment’s notice. You can enjoy the fresh air, and eat fine meals, and enjoy a good drink with your friends, but all the while your tower remains standing. You are both prisoner and warden. This is the hardest way, but the strongest.” Prim saw the wisdom in this, and quickly made to return to the road, but the sage stopped her before she left. “As you to your earlier remark,” the sage said, “The man who builds his tower but cannot take it apart again – that man is at the pinnacle of his strength. But that man will surely perish.” – Prim Masters the Road
Tom Parkinson-Morgan (Kill 6 Billion Demons, Book 1)
But now, inside the gallery, something happens to him. He finds his emotions gripped by the paintings, the huge, colorful canvases by Diego Rivera, the tiny, agonized self-portraits by Frida Kahlo, the woman Rivera loved. Fabien barely notices the crowds that cluster in front of the pictures. He stops before a perfect little painting in which she has pictured her spine as a cracked column. There is something about the grief in her eyes that won't let him look away. That is suffering, he thinks. He thinks about how long he's been moping about Sandrine, and it makes him feel embarrassed, self-indulgent. Theirs, he suspects, was not an epic love story like Diego and Frida's. He finds himself coming back again and again to stand in front of the same pictures, reading about the couple's life, the passion they shared for their art, for workers' rights, for each other. He feels an appetite growing within him for something bigger, better, more meaningful. He wants to live like these people. He has to make his writing better, to keep going. He has to. He is filled with an urge to go home and write something that is fresh and new and has in it the honesty of these pictures. Most of all he just wants to write. But what?
Jojo Moyes (Paris for One)
When Bill died, I was for the first time faced with the loss of a friend, and what I initially felt when I read the news of his death in the New York Times—he had died suddenly of a heart attack—was numbness and shock. I kept thinking I should have felt more pain or sadness or grief or something. I kept trying to figure out how to grieve properly. While I was trying to sort out my response to Bill’s death, I had a conversation over lunch with my ex-boyfriend Keith, who had remained a good friend after we’d split up. He’d always been a great sounding board and an uncommonly clearheaded source of wisdom and advice. “I don’t know what to do about all this,” I told him. “I don’t know how to process it.” “Well,” he said, leaning forward intensely, as he always did when he talked, his right hand chopping the air, his boyish face bobbing up and down, “the thing is, the thing is, when you have someone you know who’s died, you have to grieve, of course, but really, there are different things you have to grieve.” “What do you mean?” “Well, you know, you have to grieve the loss of the person, you know, the fact that the actual person won’t be there anymore to talk to, to laugh with, to share memories with, that sort of thing.” “Right.” “And then you have to, you have to mourn the loss of who that person held you to be. Because that dies with them. Their vision of you no longer exists. And a whole world of who you are is gone. So you have to mourn that, too.” I sat there and took that in, an electric current of recognition coursing through my body. “That…makes sense,” I said. Keith nodded vigorously. “Yeah, it does. It does.” I shook my head. “How do you know all this stuff?” It was a question I often asked Keith; he and I were the same age, but his insight into profound human matters often outshined my own. He laughed a high-pitched giggle. “I don’t know.” That was always his answer.
Anthony Rapp (Without You)
Because,' he said, 'I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you, especially when you are near me, as now; it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situation in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and the nI've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, you'd forget me.' 'That I never would, sir; you know -,' impossible to proceed. [...] The vehemence of emotion, stirred by grief and love within me, was claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway and asserting a right to predominate - to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last; yes, and to speak. 'I grieve to leave Thornfield; I love Thornfield; I love it, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life, momentarily at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright, and energetic, and high. I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence; with what I delight in, with an origin, a vigorous, and expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you forever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.' 'Where do you see the necessity?' he asked, suddenly. 'Where? You, sir, have placed it before me.' 'In what shape?' 'In the shape of Miss Ingram; a noble and beautiful woman, your bride.' 'My bride! What bride? I have no bride!' 'But you will have.' 'Yes; I will! I will!' He set his teeth. 'Then I must go; you have said it yourself.' 'No; you must stay! I swear it, and the oath shall be kept.' 'I tell you I must go!' I retorted, roused to something like passion. 'Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automation? a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty, and much wealth, I should have made it hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh; it is my spirit that addresses your spirits; just as if both had passed through the grace, and we stood at God's feel, equal - as we are!' 'As we are!' repeated Mr. Rochester - 'so,' he added, including me in his arms, gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips; 'so, Jane!' 'Yes, so, sir,' I rejoined; 'and yet not so; for you are a married man, or as good as a married man, and we'd to one inferior to you - to one with whom you have no sympathy - whom I do not believe you truly love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her. I would scorn such a union; therefore I am better than you - let me go!' 'Where, Jane? to Ireland?' 'Yes - to Ireland. I have spoke my mind, and can go anywhere now.' 'Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild, frantic bird that is tending its own plumage in its desperation.' 'I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.' Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him. 'And your will shall decide your destiny,' he said; 'I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.' 'You play a farce, which I merely taught at.' 'I ask you to pass through life at my side - to be my second self, and best earthly companion.' [...] 'Do you doubt me, Jane?' 'Entirely.' 'You have no faith in me?' 'Not a whit.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Our story begins on a sweltering August night, in a sterile white room where a single fateful decision is made amid the mindless ravages of grief. But our story does not end there. It has not ended yet. Would I change the course of our lives if I could? Would I have spent my years plucking out tunes on a showboat, or turning the soil as a farmer’s wife, or waiting for a riverman to come home from work and settle in beside me at a cozy little fire? Would I trade the son I bore for a different son, for more children, for a daughter to comfort me in my old age? Would I give up the husbands I loved and buried, the music, the symphonies, the lights of Hollywood, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live far distant but have my eyes? I ponder this as I sit on the wooden bench, Judy’s hand in mine, the two of us quietly sharing yet another Sisters’ Day. Here in the gardens at Magnolia Manor, we’re able to have Sisters’ Day anytime we like. It is as easy as leaving my room, and walking to the next hall, and telling the attendant, “I believe I’ll take my dear friend Judy out for a little stroll. Oh yes, of course, I’ll be certain she’s delivered safely back to the Memory Care Unit. You know I always do.” Sometimes, my sister and I laugh over our clever ruse. “We’re really sisters, not friends,” I remind her. “But don’t tell them. It’s our secret.” “I won’t tell.” She smiles in her sweet way. “But sisters are friends as well. Sisters are special friends.” We recall our many Sisters’ Day adventures from years past, and she begs me to share what I remember of Queenie and Briny and our life on the river. I tell her of days and seasons with Camellia, and Lark, and Fern, and Gabion, and Silas, and Old Zede. I speak of quiet backwaters and rushing currents, the midsummer ballet of dragonflies and winter ice floes that allowed men to walk over water. Together, we travel the living river. We turn our faces to the sunlight and fly time and time again home to Kingdom Arcadia. Other days, my sister knows me not at all other than as a neighbor here in this old manor house. But the love of sisters needs no words. It does not depend on memories, or mementos, or proof. It runs as deep as a heartbeat. It is as ever present as a pulse. “Aren’t they so very sweet?
Lisa Wingate (Before We Were Yours)