Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Climb

You don't know how you got here, at the bottom of this hill, this mountain.
You don't know how far up it is, shrouded in fog, mystery.
But you know there is only one way to go
You have to climb this mountain

There is a barrier behind you -  no retreat, no escape.
The paths to either saide are blocked, and leave you only one option.
There is only one way to go
You have to climb this mountain.

The distance is unknown, as you can't see very far.
But you can tell this jounrey is going to be long, and difficult
And there's only one way to go
You have to climb this mountain

Slowly you begin your painful journey, despairing at the enormity of the task.
You feel you'll be slogging up this incline forever.
But what choice do you have?
You have to climb this mountain.

Two steps up, one and a half back. It's freezing, you're sweating. And crying.
Places of rest and refuge are hard to come by, and never enough.
But you can't go back down.
You have to climb this mountain.

Hours turn to days, weeks, and months. The landscape does not change.
Still in a fog, no end in sight. Progress? Sure, but how much or little in the grand scheme?
Unsure, but pressing on.
You have to climb this mountain.

But as time wears on, the journey is slightly less arduous.
Not easier, but you're somewhat accustomed. Perserverance gained.
You still hate it, but
You have to climb this mountain.

Then one day a knowledge, a hope. There is a top and one day you will reach it.
Not a triumph, not a victory, simply a destination, a new beginning.
It's what you now look for because
You have to climb this mountain.

One day someone asked me what this journey of grief felt like. I replied that in some ways it felt like I was standing at the base of a mountain, and I had no choice but to climb it. It was shrouded in fog, so there was no way to know how long the climb would take, or how hard it would be. All I could do was start, and climb some each day, and trust in the hope that one day I wouldn't have to keep climbing anymore. It wouldn't be some great accomplishment, just a transition into a new phase of life, one that is a little easier.


  1. I am just starting this journey up the mountain and you have expressed this how this feels so well. I have had such a hard time trying to explain how I feel you have truly captured it in this poem. I lost my boyfriend 4 weeks ago. He had a massive heart attack while scuba diving. I can say that I somewhat know what you are going through. Thank you for your poem.

    1. Shawn,
      I heard about what happened, and I can't tell you how sorry I am that you have to go through this. I hope this poem, and maybe other posts on this blog, are helpful to you as you begin to process this terrible loss. Again, I am so very sorry.