The Well of Grief


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

turning down 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

woman floating

I wasn’t there when my father lay taking his last hard breaths.  My mother and some of my siblings were with him.  My sister told me that my brother, who has also since shed this body, leaned into Dad and told him that they were there with him.  She said a single tear fell from his eye.  I think of him often and ask his advice.  He gives wonderful advice.  I think of my little grandson, whose birthday was today.  I know this is Memorial Day, a day set aside for those who died at war.  My heart goes out to anyone at all who has lost a piece of their heart, which is all of us, isn’t it?  Sooner or later.  I’ve lost other relatives and friends, but these losses cut me the deepest.  Some days I find I must rest at the well.  Tomorrow we go to the funeral of a dear old friend of Matt’s, taken unexpectedly and quickly from this earth.  Death is heavy on me today, pulling me down below the surface.  I have decided not to resist its pull, opting instead to rest into the dark water and taste its bitter and its sweet.