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Tag Archives: Grieving

Bad Signal
Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

Bad Signal

blurry hearts

Uncle Aaron passed away. Eva died of cancer. Uncle Jack is in the hospital. Elaine’s father died. I thought you knew. We did not want to upset you more.

People presume to know how much I can handle and how much I care. I have had losses that have hurt. Sadly, there have been quite a few in a fairly short amount of time. I prefer the truth and my opportunity to process and mourn in my own way at the right time. If I do not know, I cannot offer my condolences to a family member. Because of your misguided attempt at kindness, I did not give my condolences to his daughter. Now, she will always remember that we did nothing while she felt most alone and bereft.

This is not casual information. These people lived, made an impression on my heart, and are a part of my life’s history. Please don’t pretend that it never happened or act like it should not be that important to me. You may prefer to let time pass or act like it was no big deal. Now I will be mourning on my own and grieving a loss that others already shared.

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rose kennedy quote pain is never gone

 

Death comes with its own ballet of grief. The wordless “O” of mouths. The boneless spine that does not allow one to stand, but rather stagger and lean, crumpled in its mortal state.  There are those who share the sorrow in empathetic eyes to those around them. Others, mandating, or controlling their grief, sit in the tight coil of isolated mourning.

Incomprehensible is the sudden loss of a human, far too young, and always too soon before their time.

Why are more endings tragic rather than peaceful? Is it true that an angel leads one away from the pain and guides its soul to more tranquil and beloved Holy ground?

There are more questions than answers. The frisson of grief below the skin, like a wooly scratch, that cannot be relieved.  Empty glances looking for answers and a shadow face in the background.

A name, made of consonants and vowels, which repeats and are read over and over in the dreamy mind, inserting itself into the sleepless state.

The ego that tells itself that it was more cared for, and whose loss is greater than others, who were merely players in the backdrop of the drama.

The foggy weight of confusion; eyes that cannot see and minds that cannot process. Unbearable loss and grief; unending love with no source to receive it.

Time in its impermanence speeds the years of living and slows the days of mourning.  Some will share the loss, supporting each other in their barren hearts, carrying one forward to the daily reminder that a hole exists.

Rational thought uselessly tries to bind itself to relief and reason. Grappling, empty hands reach out to touch what cannot be felt, seeking a hold on that which cannot be contained. Endless tears and silenced, darkness of pain.  Emotion slams into the body with no release, shock that renders us silent and inviolate.

What comfort could possibly reduce the ambient grief?  What words could resound in the well of emptiness that do not echo endlessly that which we have lost?

Pain without end and despair without resolve; united in grief and solitary in mourning, we are shadows walking the paths of old footprints that no longer fit us.

 

 

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candle in the hands

Tear filled memory
Loss breaks our hearts over and again
Unanswered questions

Time takes prisoners
Holding us captive to our pain
Sudden waves of grief

What path to take now
To heal from multitudes of scars
Covering the soul

balloons in the sky
The Great Balloon Ceremony is what my father dubbed our Mother’s Day 2013 celebration. My mother passed away two weeks ago, before the month of May even began. With heavy hearts, my father told us that we would celebrate my mother with joy ~ as well as balloons and ice cream cake ~ in this world and the next. That is how Mom celebrated every other family brunch in the past and this year would be no exception.

Eighteen members from four generations joined at my parents’ home on Sunday morning. My brother and daughter were Skyped in from New York and Chicago, respectively. Each time we needed to change the scenery, I would hand my Kindle to my nieces and nephews to chat with their cousin electronically. My brother was passed around the room, by iPhone, from one hand to another. His daughters took turns saying hello as well and each got a bird’s eye view of the party room.

The sun was shining with a crisp breeze in the air. Eighteen shiny Mylar balloons, multicolored heart-shapes and ribbons, floated gently in the corner, glinting in the sunlight through the picture window. Finally, it was time to begin the gift to our mother, grandmother and great grandmother as if she were here. She could see us so much more clearly than we could see her, but the level of love was not lessened. We raised our faces and our hearts to the sky as we each took hold of a long colored ribbon. After a bit of singing, rising voices saying Happy Mother’s Day, and silent prayers of love and tearful messages of the heart, it was time to let each of them go. A rainbow of love gliding high.

They rose afloat, up and over, skyward, over treetops and houses, up into the great clear blue sky with only wisps of clouds to keep them company. We each shielded our eyes, looked up into the sun, and wished our respective balloons to go higher and bring our messages and rays of love further than the next. All for Mom, always, on Mother’s Day.

Yes, there were some Charlie Browns in the bunch, balloons wound and drifting among the leafy green tops of the tall trees in the backyard. But, gradually, as we watched, they blew in the breezy skies and freed themselves. I turned away for a moment, and the last one was mysteriously gone.

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Thank you so much for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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