Tag Archives: grief

Hindsight happens.

Hindsight happens.

It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see. –Henry David Thoreau

I fully knew the probable outcome going into my situation. I forged ahead anyway.

I’m one of those people. I have to experience the truth for myself. If it isn’t firsthand knowledge it doesn’t feel like truth. It feels like secondary opinion.

Head knowledge is different than heart knowledge, and people like me will choose a broken-hearted wisdom over ignorant bliss every time. Without exception.

I’ve worked my way through the mine fields, planting a plant or two and singing my songs when I could. I came into things with a “can-do” attitude… I will leave humbled.

Willingness and ability are only divided by the variable of opportunity, of circumstance. I’ve at least learned that.

I wouldn’t do it again for any amount of money, or any promise of hope. Promises get broken. Money spends. There isn’t much worth gambling on or hoping for in this world anymore. I never really was the betting kind anyway. I simply took chances, and I took them not to succeed but to learn.

Succeeding in learning isn’t fun. For what it’s worth.

I’ve built a monument to tragedy in memory of innocence. I’m not sure which hurts worse: the memory or the tragedy.

Time measures our lives in units of sorrow, in incremental fractions of longing. In the moment, we only see what we can’t wait to have. Afterwards, we only see what we can’t get back. The “now” is a mistress of misery in this unseeing way, and the world –so madly– keeps spinning.


Stranded on the Shore

Stranded on the Shore

Still and silent, the rage-laden whispers speak
Of possibilities in the form of forth-coming terrors
The horse’s mouth, bird beak, hushed words
Tale telling of a Go-See plot
And does it, so loudly unspoken
Against lost time, better judgement, all odds
Standing to remind of a broad daylight greed
A thief I never and always saw coming

The words that want so badly to never be said

Paint a picture, spin a web
Revealing what’s taken and can’t be returned: innocence, purpose, peace
Without words the secrets see them, rumor them around
The ugly truths, hidden horrors that bring my conscience to its knees and face to face with everything swept beneath the rug
For the sake and demise, equally, of my fragile mental well-being
What will my being become, if not well?
Will I live to hunt the answers down, the knot-tying fears for which my heart is broken and breaks?
The ceaseless prayers, the Nothing that’s changed
Am I the only one? The stand-alone widow, the petrified wood
Will the hand of God reach all the sense unmade?
Intervene, explain how I came to be in this place
Negate the reasons, the wild card
Played by the King of Spades
Savage; cripple
Keeper of my gate
I look into his eyes
And all I see
Is the exchange of his name for my entire life, my dreams of a future or anything worthwhile, my every breath and every move accounted for, my soul and my sense of belonging
In this world there are winners and losers
Sometimes it’s just luck of the draw
But this, this was something I chose
For myself, my children
I look into their eyes
And all I see
Is their entire life, their dreams of a future or anything worthwhile, their every breath and every move accounted for, their soul and sense of belonging
Teetering on the verge
Between manifest and unactual; my lifelong regret in the making
Who am I to tame the darkness, yet how am I to let it live?
Woman warrior, a mother I was always
I’ll be damned or dead if he gets the last word

The words that want so badly to never be said

Grief, Pain, and Loss: the Beauty Beyond Their Infinities


If you could have witnessed what it was like to be around my Grammy and me, you’d intuitively understand the special bond the two of us shared. Everyone in my life — and hers — knew and adored our relationship, maybe even better than they ever knew or adored us. Our own individual identities were somehow intrinsically tied to our connection; it truly was that unspeakably deep. From my first dirty diaper to my first real heartbreak, this woman and I were connected in ways that transcended human comprehension. We were each other.

You can imagine the awkward twinge of a somehow envious-yet-awestruck pain this must have caused my mother. Still; even my very own mother — even from the very beginning — understood the beautiful magnitude of such an enormous and divine love. To this day, the gratitude she feels to have been such a crucial part of that bond holds precedence over the strange and unexpected jealousy any mother might feel. My mother has more of my Grammy in her than she knows.

Because of all that, however, I received quite an overwhelming response from almost every person at my Grammy’s memorial service. For some reason, each person in attendance felt it was their own personal duty somehow to give me permission to cry.

I couldn’t cry. The entire service, I just sat there… Numb. Frozen in space and time; suspended from reality like a puppet on a string, not refusing the grief, but somehow unable to quantify it through the customary tears that every single person seemed to expect me to shed. Tears felt like a disservice to my pain. Like an insult. Tears would have suggested that the loss was measurable somehow, and it simply wasn’t. I couldn’t cry; not because I was refusing to face the sorrow, but because the sorrow was simply too gigantic to portray by crying tears of a loss that becomes accepted and embraced when we mourn. There was no way to mourn this loss… Because it was so huge, so indescribable, that it was a PART of me. The only way I can explain it is to suggest imagining how you would feel attending your own funeral in person. It was awkward and surreal and it felt like nobody truly understood the depth of the pain. If they had, they would have known without question why my heart was too broken to weep.

And after all these years, all these pivotal moments in my life where I’ve had to re-live the reality of her no longer being here with me, I have cried only once or twice about the fact that she is gone. Fifteen years later, I am still too raw and too lost for words to minimize the pain with tears that can’t reach the infinity of sorrow by her absence in my world.

Maybe the things that matter the most to us have their own journeys to take through the un-navigatable corners of our hearts and souls. For me, it seems, that much I know is true.

This an excerpt from a previous post, “All That We See or Seem…”
The vibration resounded for me today, so I shared that vibe. Maybe some part of my own grieving and cherishing process will encourage others who feel the same strain of hiking such painful, mountainous terrain. Be blessed.

Somebody Just Died

Somebody Just Died

In fact, a lot of people just died.

It happens every single time the clock ticks another second away.

Click, death. Click, death.

The sixty seconds comprising one single minute of our frazzled day each bear witness to more tragedy than our brains can comprehend, let alone measure.

Click, death. Click, death.

And looking back upon the history of humanity, it is always in these moments of catastrophic loss — the instantaneous death of thousands (Hiroshima, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, the massive earthquake/tsunami in Japan, the list goes on and on…) — in which the internal goodness of humankind becomes visible.

Why is that? What is so morally corrupt with a world that waits for unspeakable grief to act with compassion?

I visited New York City three years after 9/11. You’d never guess what took place only three years prior by the way this city and its people were functioning… As if nothing had happened. As if they would all live forever, and the day-to-day manner in which they conducted their affairs held no weight over their sense of moral obligation to their fellow-man.

Click, death. Click, death.

Must we really be reminded? Must we depend so completely on horror and pain for our behavior towards others to matter?

It’s painstaking, just thinking about the implications this has over what has happened to our collective consciousness. We live in a world in which consumerism takes precedence over philanthropy; fashion has more appeal than inner beauty; religion is held in higher esteem than spirituality; and the world just keeps on spinning.

What if we all paused, simultaneously, and took just one moment to allow our focus to settle on the more substantial aspects of our existence?

What if, for even one day, we consciously made an effort to actually be what we believe ourselves to be? Compassionate. Intrinsically good-natured. Grateful for our freedoms — which so many men and women have bravely laid down their lives to provide for the rest of us…

Click, death. Click, death.

Every single second, people are losing this very opportunity to take a pause from the rat race and truly embrace the things held dear. What will it take for us to utilize each precious moment we are given?

Today is an important day. It’s a gift that wasn’t given to many, many others. Take advantage of the air in your lungs, the shoes on your feet, the loved ones still hanging around on planet earth. Go see them. Tell them what makes them important to you. Express your gratitude to the Maker above that you woke up this morning, and commit yourself to making this day matter somehow.

Even if it’s something as small as holding the door for a stranger; you have the power to change the world. All it takes is one gesture of kindness, and your intentions (once acted upon) become a thread of goodness, woven into the master fabric of our collective existence.

I believe in the goodness of humankind. Do you?

My Purified Frame of Mind

My Purified Frame of Mind

There’s a stillness and a sorrow
Resting in the hush of this moment
I pull myself out from the sinking of it
Playing peek-a-boo with peace;
I surrender. Finally. Feeling the onset of ease

You can’t resist the spirit, you know
It has its own certain terrains to traverse
Whether welcomed or dreaded,
Prepared for or procrastinatingly headed
the depths of it, open themselves up for you
In anticipation of your own personal coming.

Sometimes I don’t belong to the world in which I live
Extraterrestrial understanding
Never sat well with the unknowing all around me
But I’ve accustomed myself to its customs
The dictates and indoctrinations;

I don’t have to stomach it to swallow it
I don’t have to buy into it to buy it
The albatross wears nicely on my neck.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,
In the most delightful way.

Sometimes I wonder what we look like to the stars
How lonely we must seem, even from a place so far
in my desperation I long to go
Row row row my boat so merrily and such.
Venitian canals where the crossroads are not roads, but merely water
And at sunset the streets become made of gold
(Someone should tell the miners in Alaska
they’ve been looking in all the wrong places)

I noticed (on that note) on the Discovery channel
(during an advertisement for that gold-digging show)
That the gold-rush folks hit it big this season;
the producers of the program say they hit the “MotherLODE.”
My husband mocks my dismay at this blindingly-incorrect spelling
What he doesn’t know
Is that the rubbing-me-wrong is rooted in my distaste for all things modern

What if the world’s electricity shut down?
No gas pumps working no stores open now
Spoiled food and anarchy
Because we all forgot how to fend for ourselves.

If I could have only one wish granted,
I’d move up in the hills somewhere
Maybe Northern California, West Virginia or Wyoming
Teach my boys how to live off the land
Catch and clean their own fish
Set traps and make music by a beautiful fire
Bait their own hooks and hunt with bare hands
Prepare for winter and sow harvests
from the soil beneath their ever bare feet

Sometimes I slip into daydreams where the boundary is blurred
Between the reality I’m living and the reality I’ve heard
nighttime gypsy-longings
and unsung folk-song harmonies
these soul rhythms in my heart, of these, are made.

One time, not so long ago
I dreamt it and I stayed
Within the dream, my body awake
My eyes wide open to the promises He gave

“Love is patient, love is kind,” I hear my gentle Master say
And so I sing these lonesome songs
in harmony with my brain
Which tends to make its very own waves,
and rides them
like some solitary surfer
content to determine each one’s length

Frequencies in rhythm with the One and Only
Humbled with humility
The purity and honesty
Of coming to terms (and some form of acceptance)
With the temperature of each day.

The place my life right now resides
Has hard-core heavy seasons
And comically, the climate is considered mild here. Temperate.
I’d like to temper-Ate each and every botoxed meteorologist’s face
For undermining my discomfort in the weather of my days
On these kinds of days, to be precise
When I wasn’t prepared
For the monsoon rains
Freezing heat
And blistering cold
The lowest highs and highest lows
Occasionally, here it snows. Even in the summer
And believe it or not
Things will actually grow
in the winter’s spontaneous, occasional, unbearable 90 degrees
The things we aren’t unexpecting often lead us to our knees

This morning, my dad randomly called me. No reason in particular.
Mentioned briefly this “dream (he) had after he awoke;
Flying suddenly, up high, way off the ground
Five cylinders appeared; they were circular and rotating, taking up the entire sky.” I wonder then, if he somehow became cylindrical
and if it made him dizzy.

Spinning is certainly how we exist. Look at this planet. Rotating, so ignorantly around its axis.
If I was human, would my axis be this? The perceptions all part of existence.

Conundrum, prelude, afterlude. Enigma, prelude, afterlude. These visions and these seemings.

Dreams within the dreaming.

Eyes allow the heart to see the universe’s revelries. I stop and pay attention,
and my pulse is my own drum. It beats it beats it’s beating. Co-nun-drum. Co-nun-drum. Dancing, it is dancing, to its own quick silent beat.

In wonder, and at heaven’s feet: I dance, I kneel, I take a seat. I say the things my mouth can’t speak, my heart so full with awe.

Joy isn’t proof of some goal we can meet
Waiting visibly in front of us after this this and that;
Joy is defined in the journey itself; it’s who we are now, wherever we’re at. Joy is found in the narrow path.
Whichever road you choose to travel,
I offer this: just lose the map.