What can burst the iron bands affixed around the heart, the bands constricting, suffocating, keeping the heart from breaking due to the sadness of grief?
According to “Tale no.1” – the first story in the folktale collection of the Brothers Grimm published in 1812 – also known as “The Frog Prince”, the heart is set free from the bonds of grief when that which once was is yet again.
In “The Frog Prince; or, Iron Henry”, the loyal servant (Henry) to the frog prince “has three iron bands affixed around his heart to prevent it from breaking in his sadness when his master got under a spell. When the frog prince reverts to his human form, Henry’s overwhelming happiness causes all three bands to break, freeing his heart from its bonds.”
To be restored, to be whole, to be again what one once was, is perhaps why “the Grimms greatly treasured this tale, considering it to be one of the ‘oldest and most beautiful in German-speaking regions.”
So, fairytales aside, when we have literally buried our greatest treasure in all our earthly lives; when our little one dies unexpectedly or when our life-long traveling companion lies silent in the grave; when will these bands break that are currently affixed around our heart?
When our granddaughter lay on life-support due to a condition from which she would not recover, our daughter sent us the text from Isaiah 65:19-20 from which I wrote the following, entitled “No More.”
No more memories of sad days gone by.
No more the sound of weeping.
No more an infant who lives but a few days.
No more an old man who does not complete his years.
The pain will not dim but rather not come to mind.
Clumsy words – so inadequate to express the sincere longing of our hearts for those consumed by grief as they kneel next to the little grave marker – will not be said.
They will be needed no more.
No more terror, no more violence, no more predation, no more fear.
No more premature loss of life.
Can there be more poignant words for a traumatized heart, more beautiful introductory language ever written than these two: “No more”?
One day there will be no more.
And on that day, that which once was will be again.