Earrings

2 07 2015

Then, there are those dreams

when you see your sister

and she’s still alive

and you sit across the table from her

and you want to explain to her

that the reason you’re wearing her earrings

is because it was a way to have her with you.

But here she is—

she’s across the table from you

she isn’t gone

so you sort of feel bad for having her earrings while she’s still here

but there was a reason you had the earrings

a bothersome, sad feeling

which becomes a slow washing over

a tiny river of realization

this odd knowing

this knowing

that she is both here and not here.

She is both dead yet alive.

Gone from this world, but very much present in your heart and mind.

These dream moments are too quick

too fleeting

and you don’t realize how precious they are

until you have left them

until you are awake

and alone

in your room

thinking of her

and her earrings

your sister

the love





the losing of someone

30 09 2014

in the losing of someone, you gain so many things

things you didn’t want

you just want to trade all of those things back for your loved one

but you can’t

your loved one is gone and you are stuck with a crappy grab bag

filled with

sadness, anger, fear, loneliness,

and a hollow, emptied out part of your heart

“I’m sorry to hear about your loss,” they will say, kindly, not knowing what else to give you, your hands already full with the contents of your unwanted bag.

“I know it happened a while ago. I’m sorry I didn’t say it sooner.”

but anyone who has lost a loved one knows that there is no such thing as

belated condolences

you will never stop missing your loved one

never

and life continues and you do all sorts of things

you thought you’d do with them nearby

wishing you

good luck

and

congratulations

and

I love you

It’s so different without them there. Different than it always had been. One less.

one less at dinner

one less at the celebration

one less at all the gatherings

and there are positive thoughts and comforting quotes

but sometimes

you don’t want any of those

you just want to cry

and there is a gentle beauty in that

crying

for the knowing

that even if your loved one was here for only a brief time

how lucky you are to have had even that





Transcending Loss

21 03 2012

After I lost my sister, a dear friend gave me a book on grief.  It’s called, Transcending Loss by Ashley Davis Prend and has been incredibly helpful.  Dealing with the death of a loved one is not something I can encapsulate into a sentence or even a blog entry.  At least, not right now.  Or maybe I can on some days and other days I cannot.  Something truly valuable I’ve gotten from this book is that, yes, there are lots of stages of grief, but that no, you will not necessarily feel them in any certain order.  Sometimes, you’ll be in multiple stages at once; sometimes, you’ll revisit stages you thought you already passed through.  Dealing with death is weird, sad, frustrating, gut-wrenching, liberating, and–despite my trying to do so–impossibly indescribable.  So when this book lays out in front of you all of these things you’re feeling and does so in a way that says, “Yep, what you’re going through is pretty shitty and all of those thoughts and feelings you’re having are COMPLETELY NORMAL,” it just makes you feel so much better.

This morning, I woke up with a Garth Brooks song in my head.  My sister loved Garth Brooks.  The song accompanied an image of the three of us–my two sisters and I–standing with our arms around each other.  The film maker in my head sure does know how to direct a tear-jerker, right?

Anyway, it made me reach for the book, which I actually haven’t done in a month or so.  I opened up to different pages and am moved to share some excerpts of the book here.  Who knows?  Maybe it will even help someone else who is dealing with grief.

“After the stage of Shock, grievers commonly enter the stage of Disorganization.  This is the heart of grief, and thus the most difficult……You remember the good times and the precious, ordinary moments.  You remember the bad times and all the things you wish you had said that you’ll never be able to say now.  Some days are punctuated by gut-wrenching, bittersweet, lonely moments, but on other days, you don’t feel anything at all.  You might have nightmares, health problems, or irrational phobias.  You probably think that you’re going crazy and you may even want to die.  This is a particularly difficult stage since it seems endless and in fact it may reemerge, off and on, for many years.”

Like I said, it’s helpful to have your feelings validated and to know that no, you’re not going crazy–you’re just normal.  Here’s another passage that found me this morning.

“The point is that in the beginning, in the stage of Disorganization, things are not okay.  Life is not fine.  You are not doing all right.  Someone you loved dearly, someone precious to you, has been wrested from you, and your life is left in shreds.  If someone describes a griever to me by saying, ‘Oh, she’s so strong and together; she’s handling her grief really well,’ that’s when I worry.  I think someone is handling her grief well if I hear that ‘she’s terribly upset, she’s crying constantly, she’s falling apart.’  Emotion isn’t the problem to be fixed; it’s the natural response and the ultimate solution.”

Thank you, beautifully validating book.





the small moments

15 02 2012

condolences

is a big word with lots of sylables

that folks use when they don’t know what to say

if you ask me when I miss her most

it’s in the small moments

the unexpected times

the ones that don’t always make sense

washing a plate

stretching out on the floor, listening to a song

dusting my dresser

cutting through the greeting card aisle in the drugstore

crossing the street

folding a blanket

and anytime

I remember

that she’s gone