What is grief if not love persevering? – WandaVision
This past year we’ve seen tragedy after tragedy befall on our neighbors, friends and family. For some, these hardships have occurred with greater severity than others, like losing a loved one or being hospitalized themselves. Others, like me, missed prom and graduation, missed out on weddings and birthdays and suffered financially from the loss of a job. It’s been a nonexclusionary time – one that has affected many people in a vast amount of ways.
Slowly, we’ve maneuvered our way out of crisis mode and into a cautionary trial period. I’ve heard the phrase “return to normal” more times than I count, more often than not used to soothe anxious news watchers. For so many people, there is no going back to “before.” There is no reviving their lost family members or college experiences. The empty chair at the dinner table stays empty; the job, lost. Let’s turn to The Grief We’re Given by William Bortz for insight.
Bortz’s poetry is remarkable and eerily specific to tragedies that are universally shared. His works transition through moments of sorrow, celebration, and defeat – woven together to represent the enigma of grief. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about mourning is that it is all-encompassing.
There is no area of life it doesn’t blanket. From a puddle to an ocean, its current sweeps up anything lying in its path without mercy. Bortz, unlike most poets, doesn’t romanticize the notion of grief. As we’ve seen this past year, there’s nothing beautiful about the loss we’ve collectively experienced. The meaning we can find it in, however, is.
Bortz’s works are all about that – significance. It’s simply a lovely collection that affirms the impossibility of navigating grief and suffering. I couldn’t recommend it more.
So no, there is no normal. But it doesn’t mean the future won’t be good – it will just look a little different. There’s hope in that. Cling to it.