• D

The Many Faces of Grief: D - F


Death, Dysfunctional family, Divorce, Depression, Disability, Dementia, Discrimination, Distrust, Disconnection, Domestic violence

On Death:

‘Tis a fearful thing

to love what death can touch.

A fearful thing

to love, to hope, to dream, to be –

to be,

And oh, to lose.

A thing for fools, this,

And a holy thing,

a holy thing

to love.

For your life has lived in me,

your laugh once lifted me,

your word was gift to me.

To remember this brings painful joy.

‘Tis a human thing, love,

a holy thing, to love

what death has touched.”

~ Yehuda HaLevi

There is death in life, and it astonishes me that we pretend to ignore this: death, whose unforgiving presence we experience with each change we survive because we must learn to die slowly. We must learn to die: That is all of life.

To prepare gradually the masterpiece of a proud and supreme death, of a death where chance plays no part, of a well-made, beatific and enthusiastic death of the kind the saints knew to shape. Of a long-ripened death that effaces its hateful name and is nothing but a gesture that returns those laws to the anonymous universe which have been recognized and rescued over the course of an intensely accomplished life.

It is this idea of death, which has developed inside of me since childhood from one painful experience to the next and which compels me to humbly endure the small death so that I may become worthy of the one which wants us to be great.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

There is no map for the landscape of loss, no established itinerary, no cosmic checklist, where each item ticked off gets you closer to success. You cannot succeed in mourning your loved ones. You cannot fail. Nor is grief a malady, like the flu. You will not get over it. You will only come to integrate your loss. The death of a beloved is an amputation. You find a new center of gravity, but the limb does not grow back.

~ Mirabai Starr

Love is the seed of our healing.

Step out with love

Take it back and give it again, and again, and again.

This is the seed of coming back into wholeness.

The love you gave is not lost.

The beloved has returned it to you for your healing.

It now needs new form.

Remember: love has no expiration date, and it is infinitely recyclable.

Take the love you gave to the beloved and give it everywhere, give it away.

For in the giving, you are healed.

~ Deborah Morris Coryell

On Despair:

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry


End of a relationship, Emptiness, Emotional wounds, Eviction, Exile, Ethnic cleansing, Estrangement, Economic conditions, Eating disorder, Education, Environmental disasters

On Emotional Wounds:

Finally on my way to yes

I bump into

All the places

Where I said no

To my life

All the untended wounds

The red and purple scars

Where hieroglyphs of pain

Carved into my skin and bones,

Those coded messages

That send me down

The wrong street

Again and again

The old wounds

The old mis-directions

And I lift them

One by one

Close to my heart

And I say holy, holy.

~ Pesha Gertler

On the End of a Relationship:

Well, I've had to think up a way to survive Since you said it's over, told me, "Goodbye" And I just can't make it one day without you Unless I pretend that the opposite's true

There's snow in the tropics There's ice on the sun It's hot in the Arctic And crying is fun

Oh, but I'm happy now And I'm glad we're through And the sky is green And the grass is blue

Rivers flow backwards and my tears are dry Swans hate the water and eagles can't fly Oh, but I'm alright now, now that I'm over you And the sky is green And the grass is blue Oh, and I..., I don't love you And the grass is... blue

~ Dolly Parton


Financial loss, Failure, Fear, Forced assimilation, Freedom lost, Food Insecurity

On Fear:

What is approaching from the future will create panic to the majority of the World, but there will be a chosen few that will welcome the purification. The chosen few will be the ones that are looking to the future with compassion and living a Spiritual way of life.

I lived for 6 decades plus and approximately 4 decades I lived in the fast World of the Americans. In 1993, I started my journey back into the Ancient Sacred Life of the Lakota People. I started with participating in Purification Ceremonies (Commonly Known as Sweat Lodges) then I was called by the Ancient Spirits to participate in the Sacred Sun Dance. The protocol for the ceremonies began with a Purification Ceremony then a Hanblechiya (Crying through the Night for a Vision).

I was troubled with how the American people lived. They lived for material, monetary gains and were egotistical, racist and were taking everything our true Mother, the Earth offered. They created a bubble and to fit into this bubble, a person has to give up their identity and natural gifts or talents. Their education systems are geared toward the past. They try to teach their children how to correct the mistakes of the past to create a better future, which is not the Ancient Lakota way. They are actually destroying the future for their children. The majority of the Americans are for Pro Life, but how are these future generations going to survive when they are destroying the air, water and food sources?

Our Mother Earth is crying out to those of us to try and save her very existence, but she is also a Mother, and she does not want to harm her children, so her other children (The Elements) are showing the two- legged ones that are hurting her with signs. The signs are extreme droughts in certain areas and extreme flooding in other areas and fires are burning the forests and also climate change.

I was told through a ceremony that the Earth is going to shift from her axis. I sometimes feel as I am the only Human Being to recognize this. I do not have a religious person to tell me about who “god” is or what will happen to me if I don’t fear him. I have a Sacred Pipe and with this pipe I can communicate with the Ancient Spirits and with Wakan Tanka (The Great Mystery). I was informed many times to not fear the Ancient Spirits or Wakan Tanka, because they are the future. I try to live my life as the Lakota people during the times of my Great-Grandfather Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull).

These values are generosity, compassion, courage and visions for the future. I felt I had to explain who I am and my walk through this life, before I tell about my vision. Our Lakota way is shared orally and is not a written language, but through ceremonies, I was told the people cannot understand points in a story, because the American language is a backward language and one word or sentence can create misdirection and misunderstanding in storytelling, so I have to take the painstaking task of trying to translate my Native Lakota words into this backwards language.

My only hope is that the people reading my words will understand my points. The vision I was given was at Bear Butte in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My vision started right after the helpers set me in my hochoka (Alter). I started hearing people crying all around me and the crying was so mournful; I had tears flowing down my face. I started praying to Wakan Tanka why I am hearing this, but it just went on until dawn, then the helpers came for me. The helpers and I went into the Purification lodge and the Medicine Man asked me about my vision, so I told him about the men and women crying. The Spirit answered my vision, the Spirit said this is what is coming from the future, because the people are ignorant and haven’t turned to face the future, but live for monetary and material wealth. I was told majority of the people think when what is approaching is imminent, they will just mention a man’s name from their “good” book and they will be saved, but they will be in for a rude awakening, it will not happen.

These are the people who are crying I heard, the Spirit also said many of these will be from within my own immediate family. They will offer their money and material wealth for help, but these things do not have any value in the Spirit World. They have the chance to change their ways now, if they so desire, because the fate of the future is not set in stone, we can change the course, if the people of the World can act together. I was told to spread this vision to those that will give an ear, so at speaking events all over this country and many European countries, I share this, but it seems the people don’t either understand or maybe they just don’t care.

Ernie LaPointe, Great grandson of Sitting Bull Black Hills, South Dakota, December 2015

On the Loss of Freedom:

The woman wanderer goes forth to seek the Land of Freedom.

“How am I to get there?”

Reason answers: “There is one way, and one only. Down the banks of labor, through the water of suffering. There is no other.” The woman, having lost or discarded all to which she had formerly clung, cries out: “For what do I go to this far land which no one has ever reached? Oh, I am alone! I am utterly alone!”

And reason said to her, “Silence.” But soon she hears the sounds of feet, a thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, and they beat this way! “They are the feet of those who shall follow you. Lead on.”

~ Olive Schreiner