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.

Reverent and Unresolved

“…have a reverence always for the immensity that is inside of you.”

John O’Donohue

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart,
and try to love the questions themselves 
as if they where unlocked rooms
or books written in a very foreign language.
Do not search for the answers,  which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. 
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, 
you will gradually, 
without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

~Anais Nin~

I will not live an unlived life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit. ~  Dawna Markova

Listening care is intended for all. We welcome all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and abilities.