Reflection, Contemplation, Hope



From Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver 

That time 
I thought I could not 
go any closer to grief 
without dying 

I went closer, 
and I did not die. 
Surely God 
had His hand in this, 

as well as friends. 
Still, I was bent, 
and my laughter, 
as the poet said, 

was nowhere to be found. 
Then said my friend Daniel 
(brave even among the lions), 
“ It’s not the weight you carry 

but how you carry it--- 
books, bricks, grief— 
it’s all in the way 
you embrace it, balance it, carry it 

when you cannot, and would not, 
put it down.” 
So I went practicing. 
Have you noticed? 

Have you heard 
the laughter 
that comes, now and again, 
out of my startled mouth? 

How I linger 
to admire, admire, admire 
the things of this world 
that are kind, and maybe 

also troubled— 
roses in the wind, 
the sea geese on the steep waves, 
a love 
to which there is no reply? 


Grief is like a ball of string, you start at one end and wind. Then the ball slips through your fingers and rolls across the floor. Some of your work is undone but not all. You pick it up and start over again, but you never have to begin again at the end of the string. The ball never completely unwinds. You've made some progress.

-Author Unknown


A Mother

By Beth Ellithorpe 
Reprinted from Heartbeats: A Collection of Poems compiled by the Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB), Inc. 

Am I? 
Was I? 

When people ask, 
“ Do you have any kids?” 
Did I? 

Do I explain this horrible tragedy? 
I was a mother for 20 minutes. 
Was I? 

I gave birth to babies, 
Does that make me a mother? 
Or do I simply know in my heart 
that I had babies and I am a Mom 
to my twins? 

They know. 
I know.


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