Today I woke up sobbing. I was dreaming of Jorge – I was with him again, he was young or ageless, and beautiful, peaceful, full of light, and so himself. But it was short-lived – he had to return – he could only be with me, he explained, for 3 days, and those days slipped away in dream time, and then he left. And I am out of control in grief again, sobbing and sobbing, out of a deep well of grief…

It was soooo wonderful to see him, to be with him again. And then when he had to leave – there is the blessing of tears, the blessing of grief, it puts the seal on my love – holding it there for eternity – as blessed and sacred as it is, never dying.

It seems to me that grief is a sacrament, a sacrifice that is bound to daring to love on earth.

Why would he come – why would I call him – just now as I am finally opening up to the possibility of another love? Perhaps to remind me of how glorious he is, how he is still there, alive, and will be there for me forever no matter what I do – no matter whom I love… Yes! And to remind me how it is to love on earth – what a great grief awaits everyone who loves, whether we are the one going or staying – though I imagine the one going experiences it differently…

He is beyond that now. I think that his visit was his message and his kiss, his blessing on this new adventure of mine – my daring to open up to a new love, and to bravely challenge the necessity of possessiveness. What could be better?

But even if I manage to forge my way upstream, battling the surging torrent of the Niagara Falls of Possession – even so, even if I truly learn to love without possession, grief will still come, for grief is physical, and the physical is spiritual – where is the dividing line? Grief is right and unavoidable – we need to accept it as sacred, and fill it with light. Sacred grief is not the same as terror and desperation at being alone and lonely – it is recognition of a great and holy love – for a being who has moved on but is eternally in our hearts.

On Grief
Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards, a poetic and musical member of the Universal Human Nation, is the author of On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo; Soft Brushes with Death, a Jorge Espinet Primer; Confessions of Olivia, a fictional autobiography; and Fish Scribbles. She has also co-authored two books: Experiences on the Threshold and Ambrosia - Poetic Recipes/Recetas poeticas. Exactly two of her poems have been published by anyone other than her less-than-modest self: “The Great 21st Century Poemic" appeared in the April 2021 edition of Global Poemic (globalpoemic.wordpress.com); and "Fairies of the Forest" appeared in the Palo Alto Times "Youth Said It" column in 1957. In the '90s she also wrote for, edited and published an independent San Francisco newspaper, Human Future; and in the '70s she co-founded the San Francisco arts publication La Mamelle, which morphed into Art Com before it died, and whose remnants are now housed in the Stanford Archives. A graduate of Stanford University, she helped raise several humans from infancy, and is now enjoying their friendship. Currently she tends to wander between Oregon and California, enjoying the company of her beloved community of friends and family. She can more or less reliably be found at the west coast Park of Study and Reflection, outside Red Bluff in Northern California, on the third Saturday of every month.