I received a message from my daughter this past Thursday informing me that the poet Mary Oliver died. I’ve always enjoyed the Pulitzer Prize winner’s writing and recently heard her poem “The Uses of Sorrow” recited by a guest on a podcast I listen to on a regular basis. Her words spoke to me in such a way that I now have a framed copy of it placed in my office.
One might ask (and understandably so), especially while in the midst of it, what purpose this inevitable part of human life could possibly serve. I won’t speculate as to Ms. Oliver’s inspiration for composing the piece, but for me personally, it provides the opportunity to appreciate the heartaches of others through the awareness and acknowledgement of my own. And as simple as that may sound, I find it invaluable.