Today I woke up sobbing. I was dreaming of Jorge – I was with him again, he was young or ageless, and beautiful, peaceful, full of light, and so himself. But it was short-lived – he had to return – he could only be with me, he explained, for 3 days, and those days slipped away in dream time, and then he left. And I am out of control in grief again, sobbing and sobbing, out of a deep well of grief…

It was soooo wonderful to see him, to be with him again. And then when he had to leave – there is the blessing of tears, the blessing of grief, it puts the seal on my love – holding it there for eternity – as blessed and sacred as it is, never dying.

It seems to me that grief is a sacrament, a sacrifice that is bound to daring to love on earth.

Why would he come – why would I call him – just now as I am finally opening up to the possibility of another love? Perhaps to remind me of how glorious he is, how he is still there, alive, and will be there for me forever no matter what I do – no matter whom I love… Yes! And to remind me how it is to love on earth – what a great grief awaits everyone who loves, whether we are the one going or staying – though I imagine the one going experiences it differently…

He is beyond that now. I think that his visit was his message and his kiss, his blessing on this new adventure of mine – my daring to open up to a new love, and to bravely challenge the necessity of possessiveness. What could be better?

But even if I manage to forge my way upstream, battling the surging torrent of the Niagara Falls of Possession – even so, even if I truly learn to love without possession, grief will still come, for grief is physical, and the physical is spiritual – where is the dividing line? Grief is right and unavoidable – we need to accept it as sacred, and fill it with light. Sacred grief is not the same as terror and desperation at being alone and lonely – it is recognition of a great and holy love – for a being who has moved on but is eternally in our hearts.

On Grief

Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards, writer and poet-bard of Silo’s Message, is the author of Confessions of Olivia; On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo; Soft Brushes with Death; Fish Scribbles; and Experiences on the Threshold. In the pre-internet past she published Human Future, an independent review published from 1989-96 in San Francisco, CA; and was co-founder of La Mamelle, a San Francisco arts publication from the '70s. A graduate of Stanford University, she is the mother of five grown kids/stepkids and five step grandkids. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.