Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Fallen Pilgrims

The latest pilgrim to fall on the Camino, a 30 year old healthy male who took the pass in snow.

Last year, while walking the Camino,
my friend, Methodist Pilgrim,
went to sleep in the albergue,
and never woke up.

All along the Camino, pilgrims will pass memorials
to those who have died on The Way
and to those who are being remembered back home.

Today, a Facebook Friend posted this poem,
and I thought it was beautiful,
and so I share it
in memory of those pilgrims we've lost.
* * *

A Poem for Grief by John O'Donohue

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.

Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.

There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.

It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.

Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.

John O’Donohue

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