Last night while explaining didactic poetry to one of my students, I came across this poem and inspiring story about its author, Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Frye, an uneducated housewife who'd never written poetry before in her life, ripped a brown paper grocery bag and used a piece to write about a girl she saw weeping inconsolably. After surviving the Holocaust and fleeing Europe, she learned her mother died in Germany; the girl would not able to visit the grave and say goodbye.

Frye was orphaned at the age of three, and while her story was different than the girl's, she was able to relate at a very personal level. Dealing with loss at such a young age can be paralyzing, and we feel so alone and uncertain of what to do. A grave can offer a place to process emotions and attempt closure. I kept my husband's urn in my bedroom for four years after he died, as I thought he was there and I could still talk to him that way.

It took time and being open to another's wisdom and compassion for me to understand and see him outside of that urn.

This holiday season, no matter what your training or experience may be, you can be a blessing to others by exhibiting compassion, a willingness to listen, and a readiness to share. Though our losses may be different, we can help and hope together.

 


Comments

01/27/2016 4:51am

Everyone should try their best to be compassionate it others in every situation. We should forgive others and help weak people because one we will need it also and how we can expect help from others even we did not that.

08/29/2016 2:37am

I agree, we should be a blessing to others. Whatever is our past and trials, we shouldn't give up in our life. We loss somebody we loved, but we are still here to lead others path and give them a chance to survive. Helping each other is a key and to be happy. May your compassion to help others continues.

Dealing with loss at such a young age can be paralyzing, and we feel so alone and uncertain of what to do.

02/02/2016 1:03am

Everyone should try their best to be compassionate it others in every situation. We should forgive others and help weak people because one we will need it also and how we can expect help from others even we did not that.

Wow, nice post. I like poetry so much.

04/11/2017 10:16am

This is a great story of compassion and a good standing. Good people still exist.


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