A Long Dark Night

This is a guest post by Wendy Stern, a Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist and PRYT faculty member, as well as the Founder & Executive Director of the Grief Support Network

UnknownWrapped in a cocoon of pain, I lie here and wait.

I wait for the sludge to release its sticky grip

Scorching my tissues like pin pricks of hate,

Oozing through my cavities,

I wait for the dawn.

Resentment races through my veins as the thickened

sludge settles.

It weighs me down and clouds my sight,


No shelter from the past –

An army inside of me rises in revolt

As walls of resistance

Wrap tightly around my neck.

Panic sets in. All control is lost.

Eyes frantically seek mercy in the darkness,

A Light,

A Hope,

A way out of this hole

Heart thumping with the growing heat of denial,

Fear, primal and radiating in power

Clenched jaw tightly shut,

Body braces itself for battle.

Do I Hold on or Let go?

Head bangs against the steel walls of despair

Again and again,

Crying out now,

My walls spring a leak,

Opening the floodgates of my fortress.

Fear spills out,

Pent up resentment,

Words that have no voice

A past that cannot be redone,

But continues to play out again and again,

Holding my body hostage,

Resisting in the clear of day,

the white flag of acceptance

As it waves friendly across the sea.

I reach out to the shore,

Alas, emotion overcomes me,

Truth pores out of struggle,

As I hang my head in defeat,

Speaking unspoken words of self pity

My story replays itself again,

Until it is all dried up and no longer seethes under my skin

A loving heart cracked open by grief,

the unforgivable loss of my first born son.

Tears cleanse my victim-ridden mind,

I remember my breath,

A brief pause in the cyclone

Where swollen glands seek balance

Whole body exhales,


And goes in willingly to visit the Pain

At times, the cocoon is peaceful. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, just a darkened

portal of numbness and breath.

Waves of intensity move – as I watch from the outside – the fire burns brighter

Detoxifying lifetimes of sorrow,

Little body,

Fragile and withdrawn,

Bears the brunt of emotional talons,

Sinking spikes into soft flesh,

Beseeching me to find stillness,

“Just listen,” she says, “Listen to your Pain.”

“Let Go, you are ready.

The time is Now,

It always has been.

Release your stubbornness,

And let your anger move through you.

Speak the unspeakable,

Say the words out loud and let the poison that gunk’s up your insides

Burn through the night,

Leading you back to the shore.

The Light of dawn emerges,

Am I still alive?

Have I made it through the night?

The morning brings Change….

Possibility for freedom,


Resiliency of Spirit,

Teacher of Darkness – you may return to the night ….

For I have headed your call,

Quietly seeking my bed now,

Slowing down,

Giving up the Fight,

At last, to Sleep.