Monday, January 23, 2012


There are times in life you can prepare for the road ahead, and times when you wake up standing waist high in a pool of water.  Shapeless and thick, grief coats our brain and body with a black film impossible to cleanse.  It lingers.  And drowns.  Then suddenly disappears.  Only to strike again when you are boiling water for tea or jotting down notes for the grocery store.

There are some flashes of grief that will never go away.  Permanently etched – a dear friend in college who lost her grandmother, body bent over suitcase, tears quietly carving lines in skin.  My grandfather, wheelchair bound, gray suit and pale eyes, the front row of his wife’s funeral.  The stillness of my grandmother’s kitchen after she passed away.

The only thing I have pinpointed about grief is that children, mostly, are immune.  They feel loss, and their eyes can mirror sorrow, but they keep onward.  Between scoops of mac-n-cheese, "Mommy, why did Great Granpa have to go to heaven?" Again while brushing her teeth.  Yet again while stooping to pick dry cereal off the floor.  She plays it on repeat, revealing her song sparingly… while searching for a book under her bed, or drawing a kitten with a heart-shaped mouth.  But her world never really changes, bouts of grief scattering quickly like sparrows in the sky.

We all loose souls, it's part of living.  Last week, we lost my grandfather.  Sometimes there aren’t words to express the love or memories, just earthly aggravation with the death that consumes.  Emotionally, spiritually, I bow to death’s heavenly promise, but I cannot help be frustrated by its thinness.  Translucence.  Like a summer screen veiling one world from the next.  Today I am covered in mesh marks from pressing endlessly.   Missing.  And wanting to see in.


  1. This is my least favorite part of "growing up". I have loved my thirties - but have not loved having to bear the pain of losing a loved one. My sweet Nana passed away this fall. She was almost 92....healthy and fiery and sweet as ever. Your heart is never prepared for such a loss. You are so right - our lives as we know it are forever changed....this person who was in our lives our entire lives is now gone. We cry. We grieve. We miss them so so so incredibly much. I will never forget how I fell to the ground and it was my THREE YEAR OLD who literally picked me up. Hugged me and wouldn't let go. Hugged me harder. Kept saying "Mommy - I am so sorry you are so sad." She got it - Nana had died and Mommy was so sad. Black and white - got the facts. And just like your sweet babies - every now and then, even months later asks "Mommy - Nana died, right? Are you still sad? You are sad because you miss her and she is in heaven." I was almost jealous she could just state the facts while I still have trouble saying it out loud. But still - it is my (now four year old) that brings me such comfort.

    It is so true - it hurts so much because we loved so hard....but it doesn't make it any easier. And in a weird way I am thankful my little girl asks me out of the blue - like asking if it is raining outside - to confirm - that Nana died and she is in heaven. She catches me off guard and it helps me to process it all when I least expect it. A little angel on earth doing her work to help her mommy's heart heal.....or at least grow a big scab over that wound that really will never actually disappear

  2. every time, i say, no this is my favorite entry. well, i'll say it yet again--this is my favorite. you captured every thought i've been feeling and breathing for the last month....or, more truly, the flooding of the last 3 1/2 years. thank you sweet r.

  3. You are an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing this and helping me to understand where you are.