Pushing through

I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil –

J.R.R. Tolkien

Its been two weeks since our friend Colleen’s passing.  During this time I have had moments that have brought me tears.  Some moments stronger and longer than others, but moments.  I also have had moments of great comfort and revelation!  Here is a poem that speaks to the experience we might have with death.


Pushing Through
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

 I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.

You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.[1] 

In those last three lines, the author offered himself and his desperate grief to the Higher: “You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in.” The last two lines says to me, “Divine being, transform me and allow my great grief cry to transform something larger than myself.”  It takes me to a place of deep contemplation about life and afterlife, a place of faith and wonder.  It takes me to a place of comfort and peace, a place within me I might have temporarily forgot existed.

Rilke’s poem helps us endure the fierce darkness that descends after any major loss or heart-break. He suggests, and gives us words to offer our sorrow to something larger than ourselves. He helps us surrender and be transformed.  He, like I, give testimony that someone has been there and survived and someone has found beauty and gratitude in our human condition.

‘Blessings on your journey”


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