Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. 

                                                    Psalm 51.8

Lament is concerned with loss. Loss of innocence. Loss of the past. Loss of love. The loss that is at the heart of grieving and death. In an age of ‘positive thinking’ and, it seems, a reluctance to accept that bad things just happen, we have perhaps lost our language of lament - we are expected to ‘get over it’ or ‘find someone else’ or just remember ‘life goes on’.

It doesn’t always feel like that.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

                                                           W. H. Auden