I’ve been thinking.
Sometimes the only way to express grief is with words…
I like Latin. Latin always sounds so profoundly wise and almost like an apothegm. The phrase above is translated as ‘How well, not how much’. It reflects something of what I’m thinking as we go into this week.
Sometimes the only way to express sadness is in poetry.
To an Athlete Dying Young
BY A. E. HOUSMAN
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears.
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.
Source: The Norton Anthology of Poetry Third Edition (1983)
Sometimes the only way to express sympathy is in prayer.
God of all mystery, whose ways are beyond understanding,
lead us, who grieve at this untimely death,
to a new and deeper faith in your love,
which brought your only Son Jesus
through death into resurrection life.
We make our prayer in Jesus’ name.
Sometimes silence is the only way.