Tag Archives: Loss

The Missing Letter

I have no more words.
Let the soul speak
With the silent articulation
of a face.

– Rumi

 

Sam, Nov 2006

Sam (3/2/98 – 4/30/07) 

He is the missing letter from every one of my words.
And, he is the lost words that I seek.

Though words never can truly describe his essence, the sound of his voice, his wit, his loves, his promise, his unrealized potential…

He is my possible, my dream.
My alternate reality, my quiet.
My left side, my tolerant heart.
My hope for peace, a better ending.

He’s my awareness, my stay in the moment.
My patience—in this space where I wait.
My mystery, my future.
My sight beyond this lifetime.
My unknown, my tears, my smile.
My “What would life be like if…”

He is my humor, my ability to laugh.
At my cluelessness.
And the absurdity of it all.

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To the nines

“Form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form.”

Buddhist “Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra”


Sam.

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.

Tightrope Walkers

1895, “The Tightrope Walker” by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)

1895, “The Tightrope Walker” by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)

tight·rope (tītʹrōp´) noun
1. A tightly stretched rope, usually of wire, on which acrobats perform high above the ground.
2. An extremely precarious course or situation.


 “I am always at the beginning,” said The Buddha, on being asked what life was like.

Hello 2015.

Here we are: at the beginning again.
Accidental acrobats.
On this tightrope twined
with the messiness of living,
threads of grief,
and strands of memory.  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

“Wanna see a picture of my baby that died?” she said.

Life had different plans

The day before yesterday (Thursday, May 1, 2014), I had plans to hit the month running, or at least walking. Post the first entry in the new series I’ve been working on. And then meditate—for at least ten minutes (a day)—a personal goal I’ve set for this May. Neither happened though. This day, life had different plans in store.

Reggie dog MayMorning road blocks. My old refrigerator had been crying for a few months. A sick, whining sound. On this morning it shook and sighed; lights out, literally. It stopped running. 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.

Reggie watched me spray, clean, dab, wipe, spray, clean…and I sensed him thinking, Man, if I just had thumbs like you I’d help you clean up that mess, I would… I kissed his little coconut head and tried to be in the moment—the way he was. Interested, helpful, even without thumbs his eyes were cleaning, focused, devoted. I tried to use these cleaning minutes to breathe and not think about anything else. Not quite the meditation I’d had in mind, but…  Continue reading