Talking to Grief

When an enemy dies, grief can be especially difficult. Some of us feel guilty for having feelings of sadness about Osama Bin Laden’s death. Not that one of the world’s most dangerous men is no longer a threat, but because of all the other confusing layers about violence and justice. Thankfully, neither grief nor any of our other messy feelings need to be justified. They simply are – and fearing, fighting, or ignoring them will waste your life energy. Like every other difficulty in life, the best way through is to pick up your boots and wade on through. So, take a few moments and “friend” your grief with this beautiful poem by Denise Levertov.

TALKING TO GRIEF

Ah, grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.

I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.

You think I don’t know you’ve been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider my house your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.
— Denise Levertov

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