I don’t want to sign my name in ownership
beneath processed Hallmark sentiments
or string you sentences of fridge magnet phrases,
but these are the only tool I know
to convey my love in the foreign language of grief.
Please understand, this layer of etiquette
is not a latex glove to insulate me
from the blood that pours from your wound;
it is for you, just padding on my clumsy edges.
The Funeral by Édouard Manet
There is a lot of etiquette and ritual surrounding death: sympathy cards, funerals, wakes, shiva, etc. To what degree to you think these things aid the grieving process?