My journey with grief has changed immensely over the past 20 years. I wrote this original poem to try and capture how it has evolved.
The River of Grief
The river of grief flowed along,
A place familiar to many,
I was unaware of its existence,
And didn’t need to visit then.
Time passed by and soon it was my turn to come,
To walk right up and look at murky waters,
I was too young to fathom its depths,
Scared that danger lurked down there.
A freezing, numbing, endless place,
Devoid of hope, full of darkness,
I chose to turn away instead,
Pretending it did not exist.
Years passed by and several visits later,
The time had come to wade right in,
To take the plunge and go beneath the surface,
To swim among the pain and loss.
Immersing myself in forgotten memories,
And legacies of those I held dear,
I stayed below a while,
Finding peace and healing at last.
Then came the moment to swim back up,
And rest a while sitting on the bank,
The river of grief no longer held fear,
No power to drown or keep me there.
I looked anew at my reflection,
A different, freer face looked back,
I smiled and gave a word of thanks,
To the river of grief, for soothing my wounds,
And helping me find a place full of love.