We curse our hardships, but we don't realize, when they happen to us, that they will make us grow, and take us further. We don't want to know that. The pain is too great for us to see any virtue in it. But after the pain has gone, we look back in awe at the distance we have come because of it.
On maudit une épreuve, mais on ne sait pas, quand elle nous arrive, qu'elle va nous faire grandir et nous emmener ailleurs. On ne veut pas le savoir. La douleur est trop forte pour qu'on lui reconnaisse une vertu. C'est quand la douleur est passée, qu'on se retourne et qu'on considère, ébahi, le long chemin qu'elle nous a fait parcourir.
It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.
Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother.
Death is before me today: like the recovery of a sick man, like going forth into a garden after sickness. Death is before me today: like the odor of myrrh, like sitting under a sail in a good wind. Death is before me today: like the course of a stream; like the return of a man from the war-galley to his house. Death is before me today: like the home that a man longs to see, after years spent as a captive.
A papyrus of the Middle Kingdom in Berlin (P. 3024), first published by Karl Richard Lepsius (1810-1884) in 1859; Lepsius had bought the papyrus in Egypt in 1843. It is now in the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection of the Berlin Museum, no. 3024. It is one of the oldest documents in the world to speak of a state of mind. This is only a small part of it.
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an
object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone."
from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and
spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear
her load of living freight to her destined port.
size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my
side says "There, she is gone," there are other eyes watching her
coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout "Here she
The best moments in reading are when you
come across something – a thought, a feeling,
a way of looking at things – which you had
thought special and particular to you. Now you
have it, set down by someone else, a person
you have never met, someone who is long
dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and
How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean are thy returns! even as the flowers in spring; to which, besides their own demean, the late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring. grief melts away like snow in May, as if there were no such cold thing.
Who would have thought my shriveled heart could have recovered greenness? It was gone quite under ground; as flowers depart to see their mother-root, when they have blown; where they together all the hard weather, dead to the world, keep house unknown.
These are thy wonders, Lord of power, killing and quickning, bringing down to hell and up to heaven in an houre; making a chiming of a passing-bell, we say amiss, this or that is: thy word is all, if we could spell.
O that I once past changing were; fast in thy Paradise, where no flower can wither! Many a spring I shoot up fair, offering at heaven, growing and groning thither: nor doth my flower want a spring-shower, my sins and I joining together;
But while I grow to a straight line; still upwards bent, as if heaven were mine own, thy anger comes, and I decline: what frost to that? what pole is not the zone, where all things burn, when thou dost turn, and the least frown of thine is shown?
And now in age I bud again, after so many deaths I live and write; I once more smell the dew and rain, and relish versing: O my only light, it cannot be that I am he on whom thy tempests fell all night.
These are thy wonders, Lord of love, to make us see we are but flowers that glide: which when we once can finde and prove, thou hast a garden for us, where to bide. who would be more, swelling through store, forfeit their Paradise by their pride.
[Susan Whitmore lost her only child, Erika, in 2002. She set up a foundation for other grieving parents.]
Grieving... is a life-long process...."You have to create a lot of new memories over a long time without that child," she explains, "so that you can rebuild your life....You're never going to have your normal life back, but it doesn't mean it won't be a good life. It will be a different life, a new life."