Supportive Resources

There are lots of books and websites and people that claim to be supportive, but really just want to fix you so you stop talking about your feelings. It’s not their fault.

The good news is, there ARE good resources out there. Here are my go-to’s.

 

Websites

What’s your grief?

Refuge in Grief

Compassionate Friends (Support for families after a child dies)

Creative Grief Studio

 

Books

It’s OK that you’re not OK by Megan Devine

The Wild Edge of Sorry by Francis Weller

Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser

A Silent Sorrow by Ingrid Kohn and Perry-Lynn Moffitt  (about pregnancy loss)

The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

The Other Side of Sadness by George Bonanno

 

Poems

Poetry has been a guide throughout my life, and even though my relationship to it changed during times of acute grief, some of these poems have been constant companions. Like a friend I could turn to any hour of the day, I knew the poem would understand and hold me, asking nothing in return. May they offer the same to you.

 

On Pain
From The Prophet
by
Khalil Gibran

And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.
And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
 

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

 And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

 

On Death
From The Prophet
by Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of death.

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heath of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; and like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honor.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

 

Peace my heart…
by Rabindranath Tagore

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

Little Gidding (from Four Quartets)
by
T.S. Elliott

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, unremembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river

The voice of the hidden waterfall

And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness

Between two waves of the sea.

Quick now, here, now, always

A condition of complete simplicity

(Costing not less than everything)

And all shall be well and

All manner of thing shall be well

When the tongues of flame are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one.

 

Death
by
Rabindranath Tagore

Death, Your servant, is at my door.  He has crossed the unknown sea and brought Your call to my home.

The night is dark and my heart is fearful– yet I shall take the lamp, open my gates, and bow to him my welcome. It is Your messenger who stands at my door.

I shall worship him with folded hands and with tears. I shall worship him, placing at his feet the treasure of my heart.

 

 

Hold my hand
by
Rabindranath Tagore

Deliver me from my own shadows, O God, from the wreck and confusion of my days, for the night is dark and Your pilgrim is blinded.

Hold my hand.

Deliver me from despair. Touch with Your flame the lightless lamp of my sorrow.

Waken my tired strength from its sleep.
Do not let me linger behind, counting my losses.
Let the road sing to me of the house at every step.
For the night is dark, and Your pilgrim is blinded.

Hold my hand.

 

 

Accept Me
by
Rabindranath Tagore

Accept me, my lord, accept me for this while.

Let those orphaned days that passed without thee be forgotten.

Only spread this little moment wide across thy lap, holding it under thy light.

I have wandered in pursuit of voices that drew me yet led me nowhere.

Now let me sit in peace and listen to thy words in the soul of my silence.

Do not turn away thy face from my heart’s dark secrets, but burn them till they are alight with thy fire.