Grief | Is Something Wrong With Me?


One of our group participants once asked, “Is grief a mental illness?” How might you answer that question? In your experience of loss, abandonment, loneliness, illness, death. ‘Your experience of the countless ways in which you may suffer unseen, un-named grief. In grief, it can feel like our minds (and hearts) have fallen ill. We are heartsick.

Layli Long Soldier‘s expression of this complex layer of human experience resonates. Beginning with the top line, “As we…,” choose a language path and follow it through to the end of the poet’s exploration

Obligations 2


(New Poets of Native Nations. Copyright © 2018 by Layli Long Soldier, as found at                                                                               As we

                                        embrace          resist

                          the future       the present      the past

             we work          we struggle          we begin          we fail

to understand       to find        to unbraid        to accept        to question

              the grief          the grief           the grief          the grief

                          we shift         we wield           we bury

                                    into light               as ash

                                             across our faces

What emerges in you as you spend time with this?

In the isolation of grief (you may know what it is to feel utterly, absolutely alone in your darkest hours?), may you find quiet heart. Quiet mind.

As you offer care to the ones you love in their stark and desolate moments, may you find quiet heart. Quiet mind.