Friday, January 15, 2010

Letting go

I was just rereading these lines that I love by Mary Oliver
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
A friend sent these words to me in one of the first cards I received after Henry died. She said these lines had been running through her head since she heard the news as she thought of me and how I had love and held Henry. And how I had to let him go.

Letting go, it seems is not a one shot deal, something we do and are done with, or even something we do and then deal with. It is, I think, instead an ongoing process. I think I'm at a point where I need to let go a little more and I'm not sure how to do it.


  1. Yes, yes. I agree. We let go by degrees. And its heartbreaking to have to let go, but kind of neccessary too. Living with such intensity is so hard.

    I'm sorry. I'm not sure how to do it either.

  2. You don't have to. And there is certainly no hurry. Let go or hang on to whatever you want. You are in charge of how you make your way through this.
    Love to you.

  3. It is by degrees... first letting go of our babies from our bodies, then our arms. Then we let go of their room, the diapers, the bottles and creams. And somewhere after all that, we let go of something less tangible, but far more difficult to release. But never to we let them go completely from our hearts.

  4. When I say I have to let go, I mean that is what I need to do for me. It's not inspired by any outside pressure. And it is that less tangible bit that Amy speaks off, and that it is untangible perhaps is why it is harder to let go, it's not quite clear what it is or if it is done . . . still muddling through. As always, I appreciate your thoughts and support.

  5. The Mary Oliver reminds me of the Virgina Woolf quotation.

    "To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it last, to love it for what it is, and then to put it away.”

    I think of the letting go process as something almost like a dance. I hold her closer, I let go a little, I bring her closer again. By degrees and in waves almost. I don't think I'll ever 'let go' entirely but the part that I would like to remain is the love that I felt for her. Nothing else.