“So, it will come to pass for all of us—for all couples who stay with each other in love—that someday… one of us will carry the shovel and lantern on behalf of the other.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed
You’re strong. You’ve seduced Hope and slept with Faith.
You carry compassion across your body like a bullet-proof vest. You’re a woman who loves fuller because you’ve lost.
When your earth splits, you strengthen every muscle,
So as not to fall into the pit of desperation.
You balance yourself, on all fours if you must.
You invest in people and experiences,
Recognizing the impermanence and
Declaring gifts in the midst of grief.
Against your will, you know
You’ve grown more authentic,
Wise, and alive in the aftermath.
You think back to your selfish, smart-*ss, 20-something self: invincible.
Until your brother’s car accident that made him leave the life he
Partied, worked, and loved his way through for 27 years.
Now, you’d live for two.
You’d put the joy back in your mother’s eyes.
Oh, the yearning for yesterday’s light!
I’ll learn from this, you said, as if
That could prevent repeating
The lesson: Live! Love!
You were living large and loving your
Mom well when cancer kicked her *ss and
You saw the strongest woman you knew fall.
You stood taller.
You made better choices.
You even got comfortable again.
Before life’s forces shook you
To the core, emptying you of
Possessions and identifying labels.
Once again, you were free
To fall. Or celebrate and
Recreate your life.
You did. You found your
Purpose in a pen and your
Power in an ever-expanding heart.
You even danced in sacred love—
You allowed it to capture you and
You’d never been so thrilled
To submit to its forces.
It felt like flying. Like
You’d earned your wings.
Like that. Your beloved’s death
Slammed you into the valley
And you began to crawl again.
Deeper love. Deeper valley. Deeper woman.
Wiser. More understanding.
Humble and fierce. Transformed.
Maybe you’re the clay and
God’s the potter and the
Punches shape you for the better.
You may not love life’s forces, but you honor
The evidence of metamorphosis in the eyes of
Those who’ve walked through grief’s valley.
No, you’re not clay. You’re free will.
You choose to merge with the mystery and
Some magic manifesting the new you—again.