This is a poem Teal wrote about grief while watching a family lose a loved one while she was in the ICU unit at a hospital.
What did we possess yesterday?
What will we lose today?
When the world is shattered like a window,
No glass remains between you and the sunflower which was always there.
No illusions, no barriers.
Just the opportunity to turn towards it.
For in the smallest of things, therein lies the greatest of things.
There is a grace to be found in those moments.
A grace that is lost to us when we are in the midst of grief
Instead of outside looking in.
When the shock and denial and groundlessness that is grief,
Makes the world around us stand still.
The stopping point before life flows down a completely different road.
If we resist the current of where life is now taking us,
If we try to change what we can not change because it has already been written in time,
We are drowning.
We are shutting life out.
Just as we shut out the sunflower with the glass of our lives.
It is only when we let go and surrender to the current,
That we have a chance of taking in air.
Today, in these astringent halls above the city,
These windows keep grief in and hold life out.
With a kind of cold devotion, the machines that keep lungs breathing in and out,
Tell of our inability to see death clear enough to not fear it or resist it.
Despair is in the minds and movements of people, holding each others grief tightly…
Trying to survive the unknown together.
Every trivial thing erased by the emptiness of loss…
By the earthquake of a moment of change.
A moment ago, someone was here.
Now it is an empty room.
The bed re-made a new.
The machines no longer pushing air in and out are rolled away.
The silence of death lasts only hours before another story of grief comes to fill its place…
For another family nearby.
But not for those the silence leaves behind. For them, the silence lasts forever.
And life does not go on.
Instead, what is lost to them, is their own lives as well.
They go along with the ones we love you see.
When the world is shattered by grief they leave us.
And we only learn to live again when we let go of their life and our life along with it.
And instead, go towards the sunflower…
That was always, always there.