Rochester, New York, USA
August 06
Genesee Community College
I moved from Boston to Rochester, NY in 2004. I teach composition at a local community college. More at: www.rmgosselin.wordpress.com www.oneoclocktable.com


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FEBRUARY 26, 2010 3:34PM

The Silence of Grief

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This picture of Joannie Rochette made me think of so many other images. She looks like a statue, like the personification of grief.


"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break."  ~William Shakespeare


"It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief.  But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer...and everything collapses."  ~Colette



 "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." -C.S. Lewis

 “Suppressed grief suffocates, it rages within the breast, and is forced to multiply its strength." -Ovid










 There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  gareautomb Artemisia







"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." -Washington Irving


I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upward to God's throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death--
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
If it could weep, it could arise and go.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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grief, joannie rochette

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What a beautiful post. You're absolutely right about Joanie Rochette's image. Thank you for the perspective and context you offer here. And the great words from the great writers and EBB.

I have mixed emotions about the publicity around this highly personal moment. May it serve to make us all more compassionate.
" “Suppressed grief suffocates, it rages within the breast, and is forced to multiply its strength.""

Beautifully told. Beautiful. I needed this today.
Nicely done. This post deserves wider viewing. Joannie Rochette took my breath away with her strength in her grief.
I was really unsure about this. I don't normally post about popular figures and, hell, I didn't even watch the Olympics! (Although I did develop a crush on Cheryl Bernard.) Unfortunately, we seem to have become voyeuristic experts when it comes to other peoples' highly personal moments. But when I saw that photo, I was transported into a timeless space. It truly is a transcendent image.