This is what grief is.
A hole ripped through the very fabric of your being.
The hole eventually heals along the jagged edges that remain. It may even shrink in size.
But that hole will always be there.
A piece of you always missing. For where there is deep grief, there was great love.
Don’t be ashamed of your grief. Don’t judge it.
Don’t suppress it.
Don’t rush it.
Rather, acknowledge it.
Lean into it.
Listen to it.
Sit with it.
Sit with the pain. And remember the love. This is where the healing will begin.
After some research, I think this was probably written by a woman named Monica Bobbitt.
Ms. Bobbit posted the poem to Facebook on September 13, 2020. Like most postings of this poem online (there are many), it is accompanied by this photo of a sculpture called Melancolie, created by the sculptor Albert György. It is strongly implied that the photo inspired the poem.
Ms. Bobbitt does not explicitly indicate that she wrote the poem. She does not indicate that she was quoting the poem from somewhere else either, but frankly most of the postings I found don't do that.
So why do I suspect that she is the original author?
- Age of post. I could not find any postings of the poem that are older than Ms. Bobbitt's. The second-oldest post I could find is one week later, and seems to be a copy-paste of Ms. Bobbitt's post (including the paragraph describing the photo) with added text at the start and end.
- It's in her wheelhouse. Ms. Bobbitt, according to both her Facebook profile and her blog (A Goat Rodeo), is a Canadian military widow who writes and lectures about living through grief and loss. Putting these kinds of feelings into words is literally her job.
Similarity to other work. Ms. Bobbitt expressed some sentiments that are quite similar to the given poem in her blog post "50 Things I Learned After I Was Widowed":
- Grief demands to be heard, so don’t even try to bury it. Until you lean into it, acknowledge it, and process it, you will never heal.
- Grief is the price you pay for love. Love is so worth the price.
She also posted a different poem on April 12, 2022, on both Facebook and her blog, that is similar to the given poem in both style and subject matter. And she explicitly signed that poem with her name.
I suppose the next step would be to contact Ms. Bobbitt and ask her directly if she wrote the poem. I'm not going to bother doing that, but let me know if you do.
Yesterday, January 22, 2024, my family has confirmed through Facebook Messenger with the author directly, that yes indeed, Monica Bobbitt did write the poem about what grief is. We were moved by this poem after the death of my father 3 weeks ago and it summed up exactly what I was feeling. Thank you for all of your own research in pointing us in the right direction.