poem – Heeter 2.20.2020

Wild Grief

by Chris Heeter

Start up close and from the back side.
Don’t reach for the long view yet.
It’s too much to ask of your grieving heart.

Look close up, to the silhouette of seed heads on Wild grass.
Stand behind a sunflower, on the back side,
where each extended petal glows with sunlight.

When Wild grief envelops you
from the loss of something or someone beloved.
It is not something to get over
or that will wear off with time.

Wild grief is what walks beside you.
A wholly unwelcome guest turned companion.
The only one who truly understands.
Who bears witness to the depths of sadness
but also sees the glint of light in your eyes.
That small part of you that dares to hope.

For now, start up close and from the back side.
Look with lidded eyes on the smallest
of what is breathtaking in our world.
Let that stand, for now,
as your nourishment and your promise.

Wild grief is full of contradictions.
It guides your eyes to the empty places
that once were inhabited,
but then whispers ‘All is well.’

My advice?
Let Wild grief have its Weh with you.
Clear anything that is clearable from your time.
Make room so it can move,
not through you, but with you.

Feel what must be felt.
Wherever that takes you.

There is no running from this one.
Nor, with time, would you want to.

I have found that it is in my deepest anguished cry
when I feel most broken open
that Wild grief turns to grace;
shows its contradictory nature,
thins the veil,
and lets love speak.

The intent is not to get over or through.
The dappled sunlight path of Wild grief
is the discovery that carrying your grief is light—
far lighter than the burden of setting it down.

I know you don’t believe me yet,
but joy grows like a seed—
watered by tears
and warmed by the love of those with you in the garden.
It will blossom with heart-stopping beauty.
When you are ready.
Only when you would welcome such a thing.
And I get that you might not.

For now, start up close and from the back side.

Be gentle with your tender heart
that dares to love without reservation
in a world that is impermanent.


One thought on “poem – Heeter 2.20.2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s