Yesterday I went to the memorial service for my Uncle Jack. He was buried at the Veterans cemetery in Rhode Island.  He was 86 years old and suffered a lot in the end. The cancer had invade his bones.  Growing up he was a character larger than life, with a heart to match.  He survived the horrific battle at the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War.  He never understood why he survived when so many others did not.  He loved my sister and I was if we were his own. He had a quick wit and always made me smile.

He passed away more than two weeks ago, but it was at the cemetery when they began the marine military honors that the fact that he is gone for good hit me.  Grief has a way of sneaking up, grabbing hold, and wringing one’s heart. Grief can clarify and it can cloud one’s vision. Grief can strip life bare, so we are left exposed and vulnerable, confused, and wondering what this life is really all about. Grief can knock us to our knees and it can reveal our shared humanity.  Grief can makes us hide in the darkness and it can urge us forward towards that which soothes our soul, that which knows our joy.  Grief can shrink us. Grief can make us grow.  Grief can reveal our love.- Jen

The Well of Grief

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief

turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.

— David Whyte
from Where Many Rivers Meet
©2007 Many Rivers Press

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