I feel embarrassed that I missed your connection to writing through a bereaved mothers thread. This might be completely off the topic of what you were hoping, but I am wondering when/how you processed anger in this area of life. And if that’s writing you’ve ever shared in a public space.

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Hi Amanda. Anger is something I've written through over the years, and can still find myself there in my personal journaling about loss and grief. Less often now, I suppose, though it can still sneak up on me and out through my pen. The only public space I've shared those pieces is with my writing group, so not posted online or printed. I've been doing a little Enneagram work though, and learning that as a 9 I am prone to rage (yikes!) if it gets bottled up and numbed over for too long. So I do wonder about trying to write from that place and share it more publicly. Do you have insight/experience with that?

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When I was linking today's poem with your experience with a bereaved mothers thread, I began wondering if something like that would've helped me. I thought, "First came loss, but where did the anger go?" I lost my first daughter just shy of viability in March 2019 (and then her sister in the second trimester in December of the same year). And my first instinct wasn't just to be sad (which I was), but rather, I was rageful. And nothing I found online was dealing with child loss and anger -- everything was dainty butterflies and necklaces and memorials. But I was seething.

To your question, I have some experience with digesting and writing about this anger. A few days after we lost our first daughter, I began having vivid dreams of animals visiting me. (Something that had never happened before in my life!) The first dream had a mama bear, walking on her hind legs, swaying her body side to side in a daze who would drop her head back into a roar that the whole forest could hear. "Yes, I am this bear," I thought. "And I will be this bear as long as I want." I've written in a few places about this bear, as well as a visit from a whale. There might have been another animal in the mix, but I can't remember. Animals were the only "people" I could relate my feelings to for a long time.

Anyways, I didn't mean to hijack your comment thread today. I just wonder if there are Angry Mama Bears who might need a different flavor of bereaved writing mother's group. 🧡

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I grieve for your losses, Amanda. Individually, and also so close together. I can see that bear, swaying and roaring. An Angry Mama Bears group that howls in rage may be just what is called for. One thing my writing group does well is provide a safe space to write whatever is needed, whenever. Nothing is off limits, and everything is allowable. We do try to keep writing about it, not just venting out loud, which helps keep it bearable (pun fully intended.)

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I love the thought of some days requiring extra poetry. What a lovely prescription (as an alternative to the harsher medicine so often offered!)

Your words remind me of Rilke’s instructions for not giving up in his poem “Go to the Limits of your Longing”-

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,

then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,

go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

Flare up like a flame

and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.

Just keep going. No feeling is final.

Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.

You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

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"...make big shadows I can move in...." So gorgeous. Thank you! I keep feeling like I need to read more Rilke. This makes me sure of it.

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I love this poem so much Julie. I wrote about grieving and loss and how sometimes sacred spaces become ache spaces as I ponder a Spring of gardening without my little helper, our former foster son https://pocketfulofprose.substack.com/p/am-i-procrastinating-or-grieving

One of my good friends and readers shared Ada’s poem with me after reading my post and she posted it in the comments. It felt like such a gift to receive her poem from my friend.

And ... I’m participating in a poetry workshop this Friday with Ava, and I’m pretty giddy over it, so you sharing this poem couldn’t be more timely.

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Oh my goodness, a workshop with Ada. How wonderful! Please report back....And those synchronicities of poems always amaze me. I loved your piece too when I read it earlier. Spring doesn't seem to be the right season for melancholy and grief, but I'm finding a recurring thread of it in what I'm reading from a number of folks.

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I’m back in the garden and it’s bringing me a lot of hope and joy as it always does, but yes I felt closer to my grief with Mateo when I pondered the things that brought us the most joy- spring was a thriving time for him so in a way my grief during this time is larger

I have been listening to The One You Feed which I often mistakenly call The Good Wolf podcast, and I listened to a conversation about silence, ironic I know, but it got me thinking about sitting in empty spaces and letting the light shine on us in those spaces.

I am hoping to do a future post about the workshop. I’ll keep you posted. 😊

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