©2018 by CELIA WATSON SEUPEL, WRITER

A POEM FOR PEOPLE WHO SUFFER GRIEF DURING THE HOLIDAYS

December 23, 2018

 

Just because the holidays are supposed to be so happy, so filled with family and close loved-ones, these days are particularly hard for those of us who feel alone. How sharply we feel the loss of our beloved ones who have left us. How important it is now to reach out and connect to everyone we can, in love and gratitude. How important it is now to embrace the gorgeous nature of the living world. And to embrace the beauty of our vibrant memories, as well, however much they may burn.

 

Here is a poem I wrote that some of my friends have found helpful:

 

MAKE IT THAT I DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE 

 

Please, God, make it so

   that I don’t give up hope

Even if I no longer know what to hope for

 

Please, God, make it so

   that I do not give up courage

Because courage is what it takes to survive

 

Please make it so that I can accept the losses

  even though I do not understand them

Please make it that I don’t feel so alone

  even though I have been left behind

 

By the waters of the creek, I wait

   as the freshets across the grass go

   still, as clear as glass, I wait

 

as the green-black current slows

   and river stones again catch the surface,

   tossing fillips of white spray.

   I can say I accept

 

the grace of a low-hanging limb

   reflected in water, its first leaves falling

   into a nodding, yellow drift, I can accept

 

the ant laboring in the piles of soil, the hawk

   floating on air, fishing, and the fish, having labored

   upstream, caught and flashing

   momentary silver in the light of the sky. I can say

 

I accept the courage of the doe on the road

   as she stands in the dark trying to parse

   the light and the sound of what she

   cannot comprehend. I can accept

 

that the human is a solitary beast, dumb and blind

   as it blunders on, a visionary only

   in retrospect, where love keeps its tryst

 

with time-past, and longing, that swart offspring,

   conjures doubt even as I break,

   speechless, toward the vast and flashing day

 

 

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