Blessing for Getting the News by
Jan Richardson (for those experience sudden loss of a loved one)

I don’t know how it will be for you.

For me,
when the news came–
when it sat me down
across from me in the
waiting room
at 4 a.m.
wearing scrubs and
speaking words awful
and full of
it came with
a humming in
my head, an endless, echoing buzzing
that would never
entirely leave.

I can hardly tell you
the words the news used–
others would piece that together for me,
but I can tell you that
in the humming,
a whole other conversation was happening.

In the conversation,
I remember wanting
to appear calm
while the world
was beginning the rending
from which it
never would return.

In that conversation,
I remember wanting
to be the wife
who could withstand
what the news
was saying to me,
even as I could
hardly hear it.
In that conversation,
I remember wanting
to ask if someone could please
get me a blanket already
because I was shaking
so hard I thought
i would shatter.

I do not know
how it will be
for you.
But when the news comes,
may it be attended
by every grace,
including the ones
you will not be able
to see now.

When the news comes,
may there be hands
to enfold and bless,
even when
you cannot receive
their blessing now.

When the news comes,
may the humming
in your head
give way to song,
even if it will be
long and long
before you can
hear it,

before you can
comprehend the love
that latched onto you
in the rending–
the love that bound itself to you
even as it began its leaving
and has never
let you go

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