The Great Secret of Death by Rainer Maria Rilke

While mourning the death of her husband, Joanna Macy felt like she was “dipped in beauty” while translating A Year with Rilke. Here’s a passage from a letter the poet wrote to Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouty in 1924 in which she took comfort in her own grief and loss.

The great secret of death, and perhaps its deepest connection with us, is this: that, in taking from us a being we have loved and venerated, death does not wound us without, at the same time, lifting us toward a more perfect understanding of this being and of ourselves.

Letter to Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouty
January 23, 1924

From: On Being’s Krista Tippett interview with Joanna Macy

Image credit: © Colleen Coombe | Dreamstime.com

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