Sacred is Our Grieving

Katherine Grace
5 min readDec 22, 2019

Sacred is Our Remembering

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” ― William Shakespeare

How short your life seems…

“Once ritual lament would have been chanted; women would have been paid to beat their breasts and howl for you all night, when all living things are silent. Where can we find such customs now? So many have long since disappeared or been disowned. That’s what you had to come for: to retrieve the lament that we omitted.

Can you hear me?

I would like to fling my voice out like a cloth over the fragments of your death, and keep pulling at it until it is torn to pieces, and all my words would have to walk around shivering, in the tatters of that voice; if lament were enough….

I want to form an angel from that sense and hurl him upward, into the front row of angels who scream out, reminding God….

For this is wrong, if anything is wrong…

We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”

Rainer Maria Rilke’s Requiem for a Friend

Today is Brighid’s birthday, or would have been her birthday? How does this work now? Is this day not supposed to matter now? That can’t be true.

82 days ago. Gone…stolen by a ferocious cancer that slammed into her life without fair warning.

Is there ever any fair warning when it comes to cancer?

I doubt it.

It took her so fast none of us had a chance to catch our breath before it happened — least of all, her.

I was blessed to be one of the friends able to care for her during her last days in the hospital. This excerpt from Christine Valters Paintner of Abbey of the Arts breaks me open to read — because it is mine, it is what I experienced during my last visit to care for her:

I took a deep breath and I began to pray those feverish prayers of desperation as death whispered in my ear. When you suddenly hope the way you have lived your life somehow earns the right to a miracle even though you no longer even believe in miracles and deep down you

Katherine Grace

NeuroDivergent and Disabled Writer. Editor. Survivor.