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The Unbroken, A Poem about Loss by Rashani Réa

The Unbroken, A Poem about Loss by Rashani Réa

You’ve loved, and you’ve lost. You have carried what couldn’t be fixed. You’re still learning the meaning of forgiveness.

You're in good company here.

Which leads me to share this poem with you, called "The Unbroken." That's how I like to think of you and I.

The poem is from Rashani Réa, a long-time activist, prolific artist and author, and practitioner of earth-based spirituality.

It was written in December, 1991, after the fifth death in her family.

Rashani graciously gave me permission to share her poem with you. In return, I encourage you to take a look at her other works (because: important work deserves to be seen). 

Reading her words, I can't come up with any better way to put it — the recognition that your wounds have carried you from lost to found, from pain to love, from broken to "unbroken."

What you've been through is part of you, a more powerful and potent you. You've learned how to bloom from your wounds. You know each loss will teach you how to live.

In this poem, I see the making of who we have decided to become because of the grieving we've done.


The Unbroken

by Rashani Réa


There is a brokenness

out of which comes the unbroken,

a shatteredness

out of which blooms the unshatterable.

There is a sorrow

beyond all grief which leads to joy

and a fragility

out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space too vast for words

through which we pass with each loss,

out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound

whose serrated edges cut the heart

as we break open

to the place inside which is unbreakable

and whole

while learning to sing. 

. . .

Tell me:

What does this poem mean to you, how does it speak to your personal experience with loss?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d be honored to read your thoughts.

With you,


P.S. If you haven't already, get the free Healing Brave Manifesto I wrote for people like you, who are learning to bloom, and rise, after all they've been through.

Comments on this post (8)

  • Jan 16, 2022

    It is beautiful, what I see in it is the rightness of all life birth, death, pain, pleasure, sickness, health. And knowing this doesn’t take away the pain of loss and thank God for that because I wouldn’t want to be without it.

    — Glenn Sirlin

  • Oct 24, 2021

    I found your beautiful poem in the front of a book I have just purchased by Lars Muhl titled The Wisdom of a Broken Heart and I loved it so much that tomorrow I will be reading it out to members of my family and friends who will be gathered in memory of three family member we have lost in the past two years: a brother, a sister and a cousin, all in-laws of mine and all in different countries. Thank you for the understanding and solace your poem will bring to all present.

    — Susan Dowlatshahi

  • Oct 24, 2021

    Your perspectives, insights, and understanding of loss and grief profoundly touch the heart, mind, body and spirit. Rashani’s “The Unbroken” intensely captured my undivided attention in a lock, envisioning a circle of men -Brothers becoming vulnerable and healing. I am curious, besides courage, what other qualities or values do you experience in Rashani’s poem?
    Gulnaalcheese Thankyou

    — willie smarch

  • Nov 30, 2020

    Hi Jennifer,
    I enjoyed it. I’m Moroccan who write both in Arabic and English. I will share with you my rhymed prose, actually my first one on my Instagram :

    — Abdellah peace author

  • Nov 11, 2020

    kellen, you put it so perfectly. Yes, this poem brings up so much with a simple message. It reverberates in the soul. Out of the broken, we bloom. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Nov 10, 2020

    So inspiring and heartwarming..medicine to a greiving soul.

    (Can I share with friends/ groups)

    — Pamela Gordon

  • Oct 26, 2020

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful poems.

    — Jim OHara

  • Oct 24, 2020

    Hi Jean
    The poem clearly speaks to me with what i have gone through from childhood.yes i as sahttered but out the broken come out a bloom,just as broken glasses mekes a beautiful collage.there is also a hollow inside that is too vast for words.some experiences in life are too deep for one to tell it remains as a sound inside you
    i love this poem it brings soo much memories

    — kellen kisila

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