You Cannot Mourn The Living

You Cannot Mourn The Living

A Poem by Faith

I'd lost someone I loved, so much.

Nobody but me has told me that I have no right to grieve the living. I think, in a way, death is easier to accept. You don't run into your dead loved ones on the street, and look away as if you never knew each other. Death carries its own pain, its own terrible hair tearing madness of grief, but I think perhaps it is born in us to know it. It is a natural grief, an unavoidable thing, that leaves no blame upon the one who left. That is one thing I value highly, that when people I love leave me for silence, it is not personal. Death is part of life, it is our final act. Everyone will see it, everyone will endure its mark, it is a natural pain. It has an excuse, a millennium of excuses, for there has never been a person who has not died. I can forgive that. Succumbing to something that no one before you or after you has or ever will resist successfully. That is understandable, it is forgivable, it doesn't even bear forgiving. When somebody dies, your love of them remains pure. However weighted by their absence it might be, it is not tainted or marred. It remains, perhaps sweeter and more present than before. You never have to try and forget it. I feel as if I have no right to grieve the living, when the dead are so much further gone. And yet somehow the living are harder to lose, for when you reach for them, they do not sit still in silence, they push away and turn their heads. How could it be that you would survive it when you asked in grief for one more moment with the one you loved, and from the grave, he said he'd rather not? I think perhaps it is a cruel blessing that death is so final of a loss. For there are other losses, with the same finality, made not of nature but of choices, of pride and fear and foolishness, losses that never make sense. Dying makes sense. And how cruel of me to say it, but it is what I believe and what I feel, that death is somehow more acceptable because it happens to everyone. Each death leaves a huge hole in your heart, in your life, and the grief is like nothing else there is, but the reason you can survive it is that you have the comfort of knowing that the person you lost does not make the choice each day to be gone from you. If you knew that, if you knew that somehow they could return and be what you needed from them, how could you ever heal? But these are past feelings. Passive feelings. I used to think on this far more often. I used to wonder why I felt as if someone had died. I used to feel very stupid for feeling such a deep grief over something so shallow. But as it settled in my being, I realized that for all the differences, death and loss are not so different in their presentation. They settle in the heart, they leave their scars and holes and little triggers of sadness that will never heal. I suppose I should thank god that I never started crying in the grocery store, like my mother did when her sister died. Or in school or on the street. I wanted to, though. That's the thing about death. It's so pure of a loss that nothing can hold back your tears. No pride quells them, no anger or resentment or self righteousness rears in you at their sudden appearance. Pure loss is a beautiful heart rending thing. Those tears in the store or on the sidewalk or home in bed each night, they have no guilt, no "should", no blame. They are simply an expression of love. To express love that way was, to me, forbidden. And so I never burst out in grief after it was done. I cannot say whether that made it harder. People say it probably did. But that is the whole thing- you cannot cry for the living. There is no pity, no proper loss, no excuse to be sad. You cannot grieve the living who have chosen to be dead to you. I respect the purity of true grief and loss. I could not respect my grief over this. It never got a proper expression. Never after it took over and I fought it off. So unnatural, so abhorrent was it to me, that I simply crushed it and went on. I don't know what that choice has done to me, or what it will do in the future. I know only that it was the only honorable thing to do. For you did not deserve my grief, and I did not deserve to grieve beside those who had truly lost someone. It would be wrong, it would be unfair, it would be a defacing of the purity of love that only death can reveal. You cannot mourn the living.

© 2012 Faith

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Added on November 14, 2012
Last Updated on November 14, 2012
Tags: love, loss, breakup, sadness, grief, intensity, passion, death, mourning, emotion, thoughts



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