I pondered a lot about Emily Dickinson’s grief poems, especially one particular phrase: “grief is a thief”.
But to me grief is not a thief.
Premature death is.
Grief is just breathing out what death breathed in.
Grief is a gift, that helps unclutter the traumatic mess I find myself in.
Grief is no thief, it gives ground to the bottomless pit I keep dropping in, even though the ground is murky and dark, slippery slopes as far and wide as your eyes can see.
I keep sinking in, swallowed by tangible mud, being pulled down and I FEEL it and the darkness and the resistance to drown, and I fight this nonsense. No sense to taking life like that.
I’m an alien in a human land. I lost my way. But I grieve.
I grieve because I’m alive.
Life is no thief. Death is.
Grief is just breathing in and out a breathless life.
Grief is a gift because it tells me I’m alive.
Death is the thief that stole life!
Grief is that gift that let’s me feel the suffocating mud. Just about.
Life IS unfair
Good people DO die
Young people DO die
Bad people DO absolutely live long and die peacefully in their sleep … where’s the thief here?!
Grief sucks, but it is just a result of life breathing out what death took in.
Yeah death, you won again.
You came and took.
You didn’t ask permission
And guess what, now I won’t answer your non-asked permission to thieve!
But one thing you can’t do, you can’t steal my grief, because that’s mine un-apologetically, you fucker!
#793, c. 1863 Emily Dickinson
Grief is a Mouse —
And chooses the Wainscot in the Breast
For His Shy House —
And baffles quest—
Grief is a Thief — quick startled —
Pricks His Ear — report to hear
Of that Vast Dark —
That swept His Being — back—
Grief is a Juggler — boldest at the Play —
Lest if He flinch — the eye that way
Pounce on His Bruises — One — say — or Three —
Grief is a Gourmand — spare His luxury —
Best Grief is Tongueless — before He’ll tell —
Burn Him in the Public Square —
His Ashes — will
Possibly — if they refuse — How then know —
Since a Rack couldn’t coax a syllable — now.
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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