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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

By Marian Wright Edelman

FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA

 

Every day my very beautiful, brilliant, and much beloved mixed-race African friend, Maria Nhambu—who was placed in a Tanzanian orphanage in her first week of life—feeds my spirit. She is a daily trove of shared wisdom and loving support. She recently shared a poem by Heather Plett, which profoundly spoke to me during this pandemic and turbulent political time. I hope it will move you too.

 

Today I will greet Grief

When it comes:

I will meet it at the door,

I will say “Come in, old friend.

Take off your shoes.

Settle into this comfortable chair.

Make yourself at home

In this messy, humble space.”

 

I will pour tea for Grief

And I will sit with it,

Sipping slowly as we

Stare out the window at the passing clouds.

I will listen to the

Hard stories of loss

Grief wants to tell.

I will breathe deeply into the ache

Grief lays before me.

 

I won’t say much –

Grief doesn’t ask for many words.

I will mostly sit in silence

And I will let the tears flow

When Grief nudges the

Tender places in me.

 

When Grief is finished speaking,

I may invite Grief

To come to the canvas with me

To feel the ooze of paint

Between our fingers.

I may also invite Grief

To walk by the river with me

So that we can watch

The water flow past.

 

I won’t ask Grief to leave,

But when Grief is ready to go,

I will open the door and bid farewell.

 

Then I will put away the teacup,

Clean the paint off my hands,

And carry on.

– By Heather Plett

 

In these times, we must all hold on to hope and have faith that we can and will overcome whatever faces us today and continue to build a hopeful tomorrow for ourselves and our children.