Today I had the honor of hearing someone speak about a grief that cannot be spoken. A grief so profound, so enduring, so heavy, that words cannot do it justice. So how did I hear her speak about this grief? Through poetry.

Jewish tradition teaches that words that come from the heart enter the heart. But sometimes a heart is too broken to speak spontaneously.

Rather than remaining silent, sometimes a broken heart is able to find a pen and paper and turn brokenness into poetry. That is what happened today.

My dear colleague allowed our school community to share in the grief of the loss of her cousin, a hero who died in 1973 while defending the State of Israel.

Rather than standing up and speaking about her loss, my colleague turned her pain into poetry. And through tremendous courage and with the loving support of her students and colleagues, she was able to share her poetry with all of us.

Some wounds heal. Some don’t. Today I learned that all wounds, whether they heal or not, leave a scab. Sometimes we stand in silence, pretending the wound in all of its unhealed power, doesn’t exist. Sometimes we stand in poetry, anointing the wound (or the memory of the wound) with the balm of words.

I feel profoundly blessed to have heard my friend and colleague, a wounded poet, speak from a place of profound grief today. I pray that she and all of those who bear deep wounds, find healing in the words, prayers, and poems of the heart.

A grief that cannot be spoken