“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all – And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm – I’ve heard it in the chillest land – And on the strangest Sea – Yet – never – in Extremity, It asked a crumb – of me.
As long as we are here
After the death of a child, grief extinguishes our hope–our hopes, our dreams, our future. With nothing to hold on to, hopelessness becomes seemingly tangible. Life becomes unreal and unsteady. But as long as we are here, hope still flutters deep inside us. Though it’s an impossible thing to see. It’s there. Perched in our souls, our sons and daughters, though gone, still live within us. And they never stop singing; so don’t ever stop listening. Even though the songs or sounds may be fleeting and without words, hope is the thing with feathers that never stops – at all.
“Form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form.”
Buddhist “Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra”
It is the year of the Monkey, the ninth of twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle. And, the ninth year of living without you—and your monkey-hugs.
I had you for nine birthdays, nine years. Nine photos on a wall. And now, you’ve been gone for nine years. How can it be? That I had you for as long as I have not had you.
You would be turning eighteen! You’d be graduating in a few months; you would be driving with your brother to school each day; you’d be sitting in the fourth chair at dinnertime; you’d be laughing, flirting, texting, dating; you’d be telling stories, reenacting every hilarious detail; you would be staying up late, and Reggie, your dog, now old and gray, would be curled beside you, snoring and content; you would be….
I suppose the “would-be’s” will continue as long as I am here without you, balancing form and emptiness. And finding within me the courage, the way you did, to continue and never give up.
While we (bereaved parents) are readjusting to our perception of what grief is, and who we are as we grieve, and how our relationship with our deceased child will be, grief changes and evolves, subsides and resurfaces. Continue reading →
“Of all the daughters I could have had, why did God give me an ungrateful one like you? Everything I endured for you! How dare you! How dare you abandon me like this…”
Then she tried guilt.
“I’ll die if you go…”
These timely words, from the novel I am reading, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, mix into the rip tide of similar discourse that is swirling on the surface of my current mind. Lately, in my life, as in Hosseini’s novel, I am dealing with the heroic and not-so-heroic ways in which characters are struggling to survive. And experiencing how one can be consumed by anger and maliciousness, grief and yearning. Continue reading →