Grieving the Death of a Child

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Grieving the Death of a Child
In life people are faced with experiencing grief in different ways. How do you feel one should grieve for a loved one? Some individuals express grief in such a way that their faith is tested and they may begin to question their beliefs that under different circumstances would be overlooked. Other individuals experience grief as being the finality or as the end. Ben Johnson writes about grief that occurs when one’s own child dies in “On my first Son.”Seamus Heaney writes about the death of a young sibling in “Mid-Term break.” Both of the poets use a variety of poetic devices in the structure of their poems to convey their ideas and beliefs about grief; acceptance, denial, and blame.

“On my first Son” leaves the reader feeling emotionally connected to the poet because of his expression of grief that happens when a child of one’s own dies. Ben Jonson describes his emotions and feelings in such a way that the reader is able to directly identify with his mental anguish. He believes that he has accepted his son’s death and he is now able to move on with his life. The first line “Farewell, thou child of my right hand…,” announces the deceased son. The poem is written to Jonson’s son and it is written about him. Jonson has had a period of time after his son’s death to deal with the truth at hand and accept his death. He has come to the realization that his son has died and he is never going to see him again. Unlike Jonson, Heaney is clearly in denial about the death of his younger brother. He had been away at college when the death of his younger sibling occurred. In “Mid-Term Break,” Heaney portrays his grief and denial by analyzing the events that occurred shortly after the death of his younger brother. It appears to the reader that the child’s death came as quite a shock to him and his family when the poet shares that “…it was a hard blow.” Heaney never directly expresses his own emotions about his younger brother’s...
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