Tag Archives: Grief

Son and Moon

Thinking of Sam today and everyday, March 2, 1998 — April 30, 2007

Son and Moon

It is my death before my death, my time before my time
It is my loss, my grief, my son, my way…
So let me revive him, and bring him back
What harm is there in allowing me this?
To see him in the moon and the sun
Or in the green eye of a living thing
To keep him alive in a nest in a tree
Or wrapped around my finger in a silver ring
So indulge me as I move in time
Holding moonlight in my hands, as he spills through my fingers
Watching spots of sunlight play, while he dances in the shade
Talking with the bright green lizard, who spies me with his little eye
And tells me he sees me too, and that he knows what I know:
That he’s my son, my light, the moon in my hand
My time before my time, my eyes, my way…

April 30: Ten years

April 30 seems to always be the most beautiful day of the year. There has been only one rainy April 30 in the ten years since Sam’s death. Again today, with no rain in sight, I am reminded of that perfectly beautiful, blue-skied afternoon, April 30, 2007, when he collapsed on the playground at school. While everything around him was gleaming, green with new life. Blooming, bright with new color. The sun, so strong and optimistic that day, that it seemed—in that kind of light, nothing bad or ugly should’ve happened.

Though it did. And Time keeps moving on. The sun keeps shining. The sky keeps turning blue. And new life keeps buzzing and blooming. But today…today is the tenth April 30, the tenth year. An impossible fact: More time has been spent without him, than was spent with him. He was only nine.

Today, I had wished for the sky, instead of the bluest, sunniest blue, to be the darkest of grays. For there to be rain. Non-stop. All day, all night. For there to be thunder too. Angry, roaring thunder. How can this be? Instead, there were gentle breezes rustling the trees, coaxing music from the wind chimes. Again, I learn to accept. Another blue-skied April 30, gleaming with new life, blooming with new colors. And be grateful to have made eye-contact with my bright Green Bean hiding in the jasmine.

I see you.

And I see you.

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Words of Hope

Photo by Deanna Kassenoff: Cardinal and Chickadee

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

BY EMILY DICKINSON

“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.

Photo by Deanna Kassenoff: Cardinal and Chickadee

Poem source: Poetry Foundation

Unfriended

“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.”

~ John Churton Collins

If you are an underclassman (in your first few years) majoring, involuntarily, in Life after the Death of your Child, you may find yourself bewildered at the flight of your friends, at the loss of your former support system, and at the dead air you’ve heard crackling since the death of your child. The phone has stopped ringing. The emails have ended. The holiday cards are conspicuously absent. The voice messages you left (“Hey, friend’s name here, just checkin in. Hope all’s well. Talk to ya soon. Love ya.”) have yet to be returned. The summer visits are no longer anticipated. The secrets you’ve shared have gone underground. And, at this point you’ve run out of excuses for their absence. You’re angry. Hurt, abandoned—left for dead. And, if it’s even possible, you’re sadness has deepened.

Okay, so this was my experience.

If you have not experienced the disappearing act of friends since your child’s death, then you’re very lucky. For now. And you don’t have to read any further. Unless, you just want to see how this ends.  Continue reading

Reggie, my heart therapy

Boys and dog

December, 2005, Sam, Joey & Reggie

He sees me

June 27, 2014. He loves a freshly cut lawn. He does a down-dog-stretch before squeezing through the rectangular flap of a door. Outside. Sniffing a path, he finds a patch of sun and flops onto his side. Lying still for a minute, he soaks up the warmth then rolls onto his stomach. Sphinx-like, his front legs out, chest high, ears alert, nose twitching, reading the air. He starts when a dragonfly skips by him, and I laugh. I’ve been watching him from the patio, learning from him how to be in the moment. He sees me and stands up, tail wagging. Making his way back through his magnetic door, he prances over to me and presents himself for a back rub.

I knead him from ear to tail. How’re you feeling today, Reggie? He is entranced. When I stop, he licks my hand. More, please. So I continue, and he seems to smile. I check beneath his fur. The infected lesions are healed, but the scabs can still be felt along the length of his spine.

I took him to the vet in May, a few weeks after I posted this:

I got my coffee and noticed then, that my dog was staring up at me with big apologetic eyes. Not for the death of my fridge, I’m pretty sure. Although he does sense when I’m sad or stressed. No, he was apologizing for the big, messy, grassy, puddle of puke on the carpet.

“Aww, Reggie. It’s okay,” I told him. How could I be angry at that face? Meditating and writing were moving to the bottom of my list. Deep breath.

Continue reading

Quote: Issa

Does Issa speak of longing? His tears? Or continuing, despite the tears? I first read these lines a handful of years ago. When I was too attached. Unwilling to go on without

My beautiful boy. I was unable to save him. The smartest doctors in the world were unable to save him. And then, I couldn’t bring him back. No matter how hard I cried, or what magic I performed, or how many letters I arranged.  Continue reading

Think of the “Like” button as a “Support” button

"Like" Button

Happy stories, sad stories

Happy or funny stories compel people to “Like” and “Share” them. Inspirational, uplifting and amusing stories sometimes go viral. That’s the incredible thing about the internet. It can inform, inspire, entertain, and connect us.

But, it is counterintuitive to “Like” mournful stories much less “Share” them. Isolating further the one who is sharing from the most desolate and lonely place.

The following quote is from Why I Want You To Like That My Baby Died: Supporting Grief Through Social Media by Devany LeDrew, which I found here.

“When I post about my grief, your like is a silent nod of acknowledgement. I understand that you may have no words. While a heartfelt sentiment is best (even a ❤ or typing my daughter’s name is comforting), I know that you may be pressed for time or struggling with what to say. Clicking like makes me feel less alone.

“If I say I miss my daughter, you can like that. I give you permission. I know that you don’t “like” my grief. Instead, you are letting me know that you remember her instead of just scrolling by.”

Stories of death, especially the death of a child, are dark, taboo even. And have been, since…well, always. It is the scariest notion any parent can fathom. My child died and I am still afraid of this unfathomable idea. Afraid it could happen again. But being afraid doesn’t help, or keep us safe, does it?  Continue reading