I believe that grief is internal while mourning is public.
Poet, soldier and doctor, John McCrae ministered to thousands of casualties in a vast Canadian General Hospital in France. Exhausted, he succumbed to pneumonia in 1918. He was buried near the hospital where he had worked unselfishly to save the lives of many soldiers.
McCrae wrote these now famous words after the death of a close friend: “We shall not sleep though poppies grow, In Flanders fields…” It was an act of private grief that was made public, appearing in print for the first time in 1915 in Punch magazine. His poem lives on, helping to make the poppy an enduring symbol of remembrance.
– Viveka Melki
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