Writings
By
Jane Ault

“Grief is not neat and orderly”

“Grief is not neat and orderly”


Quote from the poem “Undignified”
by Jane Ault
in ‘Songs of Joy in the Valley of Tears


"Let me show you something," my husband said, pointing to a message on his cell phone. What I read went something like this--

"I don't know if you've heard, pastor, that my wife_______is close to death." 

I put down the phone. Tears formed in my eyes. 

I sighed and started walking, wiping away the tears. Feeling frustrated by them. As I remembered this friend's faith and eagerness to learn when I shared life with her, my sadness increased. I loved her. I will miss her.

I haven't seen her for years. I won't be able to visit her again. I still miss my sister who passed away in 2020. If I'm able to attend this friend's memorial service, I will likely cry again.

Questions to think about
Do you think it's okay to cry when we suffer loss?
Why or why not?
Is it appropiate to set time limit for grieving?
If so, who sets the limit?
 
These are the additional lines of my poem, Undignified. 

Grief is not neat and orderly.
   I’d like her to be.
I want to assign her a time and a space.
She doesn’t agree.
 
Paying no attention to the clock,
She interrupts me at  unexpected times and in unexpected ways,
   Never saying, “Please!”
 
A demanding and impatient child,
She will not calm down until I give in to her.
Then, in just a few minutes,
She curls up and goes to sleep.

I return to neat and orderly.
It’s not like it used to be.
For some reason, I have more peace.
 
Neat and orderly is still part of me,
But she’s not so hard on me.

Having given up perfection,
She treats me with affection.

Preview and purchase Songs of Joy in the Valley of Tears HERE.





 

8 responses to ““Grief is not neat and orderly””

  1. Assigning feminine pronouns to GRIEF and NEAT AND ORDERLY makes them seem like companions along the way. And
    I think tears are a gift, usually, unless they seem uncontrollable or come at awkward times, as I have experienced! God bless and prosper the work of your hands, Jane. Thanks for sharing your ❤️. It helps others to do likewise.

    • Thank you, Jean. Yes. I think tears are a gift, although there are times in my journey when it’s felt like a difficult gift to handle. However, as I’ve been comforted in my journey, tears have become more manageable. I like the positive perspective you saw in my use of feminine pronouns.

    • Thank you, Judith. Yes. Grief is a solemn exercise and the words come from my heart. I’m glad your heart resonates with them.

  2. Beautiful thoughts, Jane. Grief, once experienced, never truly goes away. It lurks in memories and comes at unexpected times. To grieve means we have also loved and have sacrificed a piece of our heart.

    Praying for you, Jane. Your grief means you care and you have a very caring heart.

    • Thank you for your words of encouragement, Sandy! I like your insights about grief and your beautiful way of sharing them. To recognize that grieving is evidence of love give it meaning.

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