When it seems that all of life is hell
and heaven but a dream,
when it seems that your wretched heart
has been wrenched at every seam,
When every breath feels like a burden,
every thought a racking pain,
when it seems that all is pointless
and loss your only gain,
When your dreams have turned to torture
and your waking endless hurt,
when the things that were so precious
now seem like so much dirt:
Do not let your pain define you
nor your days extend your night,
even when your eyes are dimmed,
do not rebuke the light.
Though the loss holds deep within you
and its weight is hard to bear,
there are others close around you
with hearts that long to share.
Though none can know the pain
exactly as it feels to you,
they know keenly that you feel it
and the ache they share is true.
May your grieving yet be guiltless,
and your crying without shame,
may you savor every memory,
and keep precious that cherished name.
If your tears be shed openly
or held till lone within the woods,
forgive every fault and falter,
give true thanks for what was good.
Honor those you loved
by loving those they leave,
keep the best of what they were
and in your heart will always be.