Edited to add: Lindsey pointed out that I missed the final line when I retyped the poem. I wonder if that speaks to my state of mind today? I'll take you, life, but that's about as far as we're going to get today. The poem has now been corrected and posted in its entirety!
A friend shared this poem with me last week and lines of it have been flickering through my mind ever since. It's an entry that I will be adding to my grief notebook. This poem was read at a memorial for my friend's daughter, and it's a beautiful tribute to what has been lost and what has been left behind. I think it's all about making a life you can love, even if it's not the gorgeous life you once thought was yours.
The Thing Is
The thing is
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat fills with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
When grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you.
I will love you, again.