The Cure By Albert Huffstickler

When the pain of my grief becomes unmanageable, I read the The Cure by Albert Huffstickler. I especially refer to it when the clueless around me spew quick-fix mouth service like “Let it go!” “It will get better.” “He’s in a better place,” and all the sentences that begin with proper nouns like Jesus, God and Buddha.

This poem gives me faith that someday I will have “the faith that it will fit in.” One day I hope to frame the poem and display it prominently on the wall. I also think a framed copy would make a great gift for grief-stricken individuals. In the interim, I frame my painful heart with these words, and the poem holds the fragments together like a vase.

THE CURE
We think we get over things.
We don’t get over things.
Or say, we get over the measles,
But not a broken heart.
We need to make that distinction.
The things that become part of our experience
Never become less a part of our experience.
How can I say it?
The way to “get over” a life is to die.
Short of that, you move with it,
let the pain be pain,
not in the hope that it will vanish
But in the faith that it will fit in,
find its place in the shape of things
and be then not any less pain but true to form.
Because anything natural has an inherent shape and will flow towards it.
And a life is as natural as a leaf.
That’s what we’re looking for: not the end of a thing but the shape of it.
Wisdom is seeing the shape of your life without obliterating (getting over) a single
instant of it.

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Faith Muscle

5 thoughts on “The Cure By Albert Huffstickler

  1. I like that very much; it’s so different from other strategies and it recognizes the reality that the terrible incident is part of our life; we accept it and move on with it

  2. I was 8 years old when I met Huff in Austin, Texas. It was 1964. He was a friend of my sister, Sylvia. He had a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and was sitting comfortably on a second-story porch on 31st Street. I was to stay with him for a bit. He was interesting to me.

    Much later in life, as in the spring of 1987, he told me I was very interesting to him as a child. I was pregnant with my only child when we visited.

    My sister was by his bed when he died. Such a loss. The Cure definitely my favorite.

  3. I was 8 years old when I met Huff in Austin, Texas. It was 1964. He was a friend of my sister, Sylvia. He had a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and was sitting comfortably on a second-story porch on 31st Street. I was to stay with him for a bit. He was interesting to me.

    Much later in life, as in the spring of 1987, he told me I was very interesting to him as a child. I was pregnant with my only child when we visited.

    My sister was by his bed when he died. Such a loss. The Cure definitely my favorite.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience about Huff. I read the poem and think of him often, and your memories make it even more real for me! PS: It must have been really something living in Austin in 1964!

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