Well over a half-million people in the United States have died of Covid-19. Worldwide over 2 and half million people have died. After a year of Covid-19s devastating spread, nearly every human being has directly or indirectly felt the pain of significant loss–deaths of loved ones, closed businesses, economic hardships, disrupted educations, and social upheavals. With so much loss, how are people to express and process their grief?
Jelaluddin Rumi, the mystic, Sufi poet, wrote this poem in the 13th century. The poem is a remarkable psychological platform for healing and hope.
Cry Out Your Grief
Cry out all your grief, your
disappointment! Say them in
Farsi, then Greek. It doesn’t
matter whether you’re from Rome
or Arabia. Praise the beauty
and kindness praised by every
living being. You hurt and have
sharp desire, yet your presence
is a healing calm. Sun, moon,
bonfire, candle, which? Someone
says your flame is about to be
dowsed, but you’re not smoke or
fire. You’re infinitely more
alive. Say how that is! This
fluttering love will not stay
much longer in my chest. Soon it
will fly like a falcon to its
master, like an owl saying HU.
Yes! You must find ways to “cry out your grief”–to express, release, and spew out your pain and disillusionment over so much loss. Discharge all of your negative energy through art, literature, religious ritual, physical exertion, social bonding–even keening with at least one other person if you must.
The point is to allow yourself to feel the pain and let it flow through you, cleansing and purifying you like a giant crucible. Let the searing, grinding pain bring you back to the truth which is–you are much more than your pain. You are a light whose flame can never be dowsed. You are a source of strength and inspiration. Embrace your strength. Realize your capacity to be a beacon to others, and if you believe in a Higher Power, immerse yourself in the Essence of what you are–Love!