Hugo Simberg (1873–1917)
To a Wounded Angel is lovingly dedicated to survivors of abuse
You’re so brave, so strong, so beautiful,
and you can fly so high…
I’m so often in awe of you, did you know that?
And believe me when I say to you
that I cherish you every bit as much
when you’re stooping as when you soar…
Right now, settled on the ground,
with your wings folded down around you,
I think I love you even more…
“Everything happens for a reason,”
good people have told you,
and you’ve done your very best to believe them.
This philosophy offers such comfort and peace.
And in retrospect, when looking back upon my own life,
for the most part, it rings true.
So much that was painful or disappointing
later proved to serve me.
And I know with all of my heart
that your own hurt can serve you.
But I can’t offer up that “everything happens for a reason” to you.
My throat closes around those words the moment they occur to me,
and bitterness rises up to meet them.
How can there possibly be a reason for innocent children
to be tortured physically, sexually, emotionally or spiritually?
There is no reason that I can accept,
and I’ve long since given up my quest to acquire one.
I refuse to tell you that the devastation that you suffered
as a small child happened for a reason.
What logical reason could there possibly be?
As a therapist, I’ve looked into too many pain filled eyes.
Eyes that reflect a tortured childhood,
eyes that ask why? WHY? WHY?
And you know what?
There never was a ‘why’ that I found acceptable.
Not a single explanation that was ever good enough for me.
And so my weary angel,
I come to you emptied of answers.
I can’t take away your WHY
and replace it with an explanation.
I wish I could.
I want so very much to take your pain away.
Because I cannot take away,
I come to you with a modest offering.
One so small, that I’m humbled as I hold it out to you.
It’s a small stone with one word engraved upon its surface.
The word is AND.
You were hurt very badly
AND yet in spite of the hurt, you’ve grown.
You were deeply wounded
AND still you survived.
You were exposed to the worst in human behavior
AND yet you’ve always tried to give your best.
Your voice was silenced
AND still you’ve heard and responded to the pain of others.
You were touched by evil
AND you’ve chosen to embrace goodness.
You were betrayed
AND still you seek to trust.
You’ve been vulnerable and exposed
AND still you’ve sheltered lost souls with your wings.
Your agony can’t be denied,
but neither my precious friend
can all of the AND’s that are contained within you.
They too have shaped you,
and even as your pain has left you grounded,
the AND’s will surely make up the magic
that will lead you once again to fly.
Take them with you…
A Fellow Traveler
Written by: Tammie Byram Fowles, author of BirthQuake: The Journey to Wholeness