Poetry, Grief and a Tender Heart

An excerpt from my Silent Retreat Journal 2018
Monday August 6, 2018

“So so many things Beloved (my name for God in personal devotions).  During my massage with Sr. Josephine, as she rubbed my stomach it all came flooding in.  Five years ago, at right about this time, we lost Pepita (our nickname for our first child who was miscarried at about 14 weeks). I often wonder how I forget. How quickly it all goes and then I lay quietly on a massage table and feel the pain, the loss, the unknown and unmet expectations, hopes and dreams and my soul cries out once again.

This book of poetry about the beloved, grief and how our beloveds remain everlasting has cracked me open.  My heart, now de-crusted and renewed in You Beloved, feels again and it hurts.  It also feels cathartic, healing and right.  This is the tenderness You built my heart for. This is the tenderness Your Heart, Jesus has for every one of us.  This is the tenderness I want for my boys to feel from me.

*Greogory Orr –  Concerning the Book That is the Body of the Beloved pg. 194″

You lost the beloved.
You thought: her page
Is torn from the book
Of life. You thought:
It’s as if he never lived.

How wrong you were:
Loss writes so many
Poems in the Book,
Writes till its hand aches,
Till it’s exhausted
And can’t write anymore.

Then it sings a song.


This. This is power and the place of poetry in my life.  It is a vehicle, window, an invitation to step into emotions that I often close up and ignore.  Love is a powerful thing and love is tied deeply to grief.  Gregory Orr’s books of poetry allowed me the space and the soft, gentle, step by step journey into some of my most tender places and gave me language, images and emotion to rest in them for a while.

Grief comes in waves.  Even after five years, two kids, a new job, house and a totally different life grief still comes and I welcome it…okay, I try to welcome it.  Why? Because, I don’t want to forget.  I want to remember the love and joy Leonel and I felt when we realized we were pregnant. I want my sons to know about their sister Pepita. I want my family to remember her and the love we all had for her in those all too short 14 weeks.  She was a gift then and she’s a gift now. She is one of my beloveds and when I can’t write her story anymore, I will sing her song.

So maybe pick up a book of poetry. It might do your soul good. But either way Happy Reading!

Goodreads Review of How Beautiful the Beloved and Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved.

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