And we, who always think of happiness as rising feel the emotion that almost overwhelms us whenever a happy thing falls.

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Originally uploaded by forgottenmachine.
Matthew, beloved son to Nick and Gina, younger brother to Justin, passed away peacefully over the weekend, his youthful defiance at the sudden onset of cancer achingly snuffed out.

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels'
hierarchies? and even if one of them suddenly
pressed me against his heart, I would perish
in the embrace of his stronger existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure and are awed
because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Each single angel is terrifying.
And so I force myself, swallow and hold back
the surging call of my dark sobbing.
Oh, to whom can we turn for help?
Not angels, not humans;
and even the knowing animals are aware that we feel
little secure and at home in our interpreted world.
There remains perhaps some tree on a hillside
daily for us to see; yesterday's street remains for us
stayed, moved in with us and showed no signs of leaving.
Oh, and the night, the night, when the wind
full of cosmic space invades our frightened faces.
Whom would it not remain for -that longed-after,
gently disenchanting night, painfully there for the
solitary heart to achieve?

In the end the early departed have no longer
need of us. One is gently weaned from things
of this world as a child outgrows the need
of its mother's breast. But we who have need
of those great mysteries, we for whom grief is
so often the source of spiritual growth,
could we exist without them?
Is the legend vain that tells of music's beginning
in the midst of the mourning for Linos?
the daring first sounds of song piercing
the barren numbness, and how in that stunned space
an almost godlike youth suddenly left forever,
and the emptiness felt for the first time
those harmonious vibrations which now enrapture
and comfort and help us.

-Ranier Maria Rilke

2 Responses to “And we, who always think of happiness as rising feel the emotion that almost overwhelms us whenever a happy thing falls.”

  1. Blogger the wheel 

    These are some powerful words. Is the whole thing a passage from Rilke? I can definitely relate to grieving over the "early departed". One of my best friends died in a motorcycle crash a few years ago (jeez, come to think of it, it was several years ago...). It was just horrible. I'm still haunted by the sound of his mother wailing at the funeral.

    Writing this even now I feel the tears welling up. I've never been the same since then, when I first peered into the abyss. When you realize that you spend your whole life planning for a future that may not be there, everything changes.

  2. Blogger the wheel 

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