preparing the ancestors

preparing the ancestors

by Jessica McKimmie

to grieve is to feel
the depths of love
drowning
inside
the depths of loss
grasping for
one last breath,
smile,
or
touch.

to grieve is to honor
what we had,
what we long for,
what we think
we can not
live without,
while honoring
what we have,
who we are,
and what we
must learn
to live without.

to grieve is to admit
helplessness
in ways we wish
we could help,
foolishness
in ways we wish
we had wisdom,
hopelessness
in ways we once
had hope.

to grieve is to fight
dangerously
with the sharp edges
of reality
or to become worn
by life’s persistent
relentless
rub.

to grieve is to surrender
to exhaustion
despair
anger
loneliness
sadness
fear
and finally
to rest
because
there is
just
no
other
option.

to grieve is to unite
with ancestors
who have grieved
before,
and to prepare
those
who will grieve
after,
connecting
with all who were,
are, and ever
will be.

to grieve is to empty
these lungs
of breath,
only
to inhale
again,
meaning I,
“I”
am alive,
if only
in this moment,
which is
enough
to grieve.

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