Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Does Grief End

Hey Y'all,

I'm short for words today, but wanted to sare a poem I hope will help you as much as it has helped me.

When Does Grief End?

Grief hits us like a ton of bricks,

Flattens us like a steamroller,

Hurls us into the depths of despair.

We know in a flash when grief hits,

But when does it end?

Like the month of March,

Grief rushes in like a lion,

And tiptoes out like a lamb.

Sometimes, we don’t know when grief leaves,

Because we don’t let go of the lion’s tail.

Why do we hold on so long?

Grief offers us safety,

Protection from the world.

We don’t want to let go

Because we secretly fear

That we’ll forget our loved ones,

And we don’t want to forget- ever.

We don’t want to let go

Because we fear the future

And having to face life without our loved ones.

We don’t want to let go

Because we make the mistake

Of measuring our grief with the depth of our love-

When neither has anything to do with the other.

How do we know when grief has run its course?

How do we know when we’ve grieved enough?

Cried enough?

“Died” enough?

How do we know when it’s time to let go of the tail?

We know when we feel joy again, in something or someone.

Joy in living. Joy in life.

We know when we wake up in the morning

And our first thought is on something other than our loss.

We know when we look ahead with a smile

And back with fond memories,

And when we no longer dread the nights.

We know when our life starts filling up with new interests and people,

And we start reaching for the stars.

Grief ends when we let go of the tail.

--Margaret Brownley


  1. Wow.. that was very insightful.. I think Ihave the tail wrapped around my neck.. but can clearly see that it is a slow process to let go of the tail.

  2. Wow. That poem is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I don't like that poem at all. simplifies grief too much. I wonder if the writer has lost a spouse?

  4. Oh my, that says it all. Wonderful!! I am going to be ok.

  5. I loved that poem, I get it, but maybe because it's time for me to let go of the tail.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. There is guilt when grief has run its course. Maybe when the guilt is gone too, you are truly done. I am getting very close and wrote about it recently. It felt very scary to put these thoughts into words but I'm glad I did.

  7. Fourth year is approaching; no longer is the pain so crushing, and the memories still remain. I know my beloved is enjoying the after-life, so I need to fill my here-life with happiness and joy.

  8. I love the poem as well. And I agree with the comment above - it's probably because I'm getting ready to let go of the tail...

  9. It does not matter who we lost, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a mother or a father. This poem fits all. It doesn't simplify grief, it focus' on the stage of grief and how that grief can keep us from the true meaning of what someone had with that person that has passed on. I loved it. Thank you for sharing this.