I should have known sorrow would flood my heart.
I should have known grief would grab my belly and soak my face.
I should have known I’d search the crowd for my dead husband’s smile.
I should have known the power of our collective grief.
I grieve when the desperate are turned away.
I grieve when the hungry are left unfed.
I grieve for children sent to jail instead of school.
I grieve for the homeless who need another chance.
Still… hope slips in.
Hope moves me in slow careful steps, the way we moved together through peaceful streets.
Hope connects us, the way we held each other’s hands.
Because a brown-skinned man picked me up when I fell,
Because 14-year-old kids helped me over the wall,
Because I stayed close to the tall dark woman who could see above the crowd,
Because I trusted we’d get there when no one knew the way.
Because we pressed together to make room for more,
Because we believed in each other and our eyes spoke Love,
Because a policewoman’s wave turned into a big thumb’s up,
Because compassion is stronger than fear.
Because we stand together with interpenetrating roots,
Because we need each other’s kindness to survive,
Because you pull me forward so I can help the one behind me,
Because we still move together until we find a way.
For forty years, my husband Vic and I marched for peace and the environment. This week, my personal grief felt deeply connected to the collective grief so many of us feel. As always, when I open myself to my own grief, my heart fills with love for all who grieve. How did the outpouring of hope and love touch you? Last week, in Giving Hope a Seat Between Anxiety and Grief, I shared a photo essay about the Women’s March in Washington.