In the New Yorker this week, Meghan O'Rourke writes about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and her work with the stages of grief. She concludes that Kubler-Ross might have better prepared her family for her own death and that the celebratory funeral she planned may not have been the most soothing balm for her survivors. She suggests this poem by Emily Dickinson, a poem where "the speaker's curiosity about other people's grief is a way of conveying how heavy her own is."
I Measure Every Grief I Meet
- Emily Dickinson
I wonder if It weighs like Mine -
Or has an Easier size.
I wonder if They bore it long -
Or did it just begin -
I could not tell the Date of Mine -
It feels so old a pain -
I wonder if it hurts to live -
And if They have to try -
And whether - could They choose
It would not be - to die.