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Category Archives: Love

 

Dabbling in what-ifs is an exercise in futility and yet there are times when my brain will not be still, and I find myself extrapolating your eight years on earth. Desperately trying to conjure the you that would be now. Sixteen; such a departure from your tender youth. And yet I’d like to believe some things would be the same –your kind heart, the sparkle in your eyes, your studious work ethic, the curve of your lips as you smile, the silkiness of your auburn hair, your ability to mitigate negativity with silliness, the warmth of your hand in mine.

Dashed hopes. Unconditional love poured into a now empty vessel. Unlimited potential turned to ash. What am I to do with such colossal emotion? Eternally eight years old; sixteen only in my dreams. The rage is unbearable. The sorrow pours forth like rain.

My one saving grace is your sister. And the similarities tear me apart the more she grows. Quaking moments of deja vu. I long to feel grateful, but she is not you.

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6 Days
Numb, disbelieving.
Functioning solely on auto-pilot,
Depending greatly upon others.

6 Weeks
A raw nerve,
Suicidal longing.
Tears fall like rain.

6 Months
I am constantly and forcibly compelled to tell my story; her story.
Hoping desperately for it all to be only a dream,
Searching for understanding.

6 Years
Acceptance feels like betrayal.
So much time elapsed,
It feels like an impassable gap.
Everything changed and yet somehow still the same.

 

 

 

 

 

Shifting of the seasons
takes the breath from my lungs,
hard and swift.
assaulted, I surrender.

Cold, bright mornings;
biting wind
brings the promise of
long, dark nights
and frozen earth underfoot.

Choked with longing,
my blood quickens;
the urge to bury oneself
intensely appealing.

Fifteen years young;
so different, and yet the same.
she, my collective best
gone to dust,
reminiscence.

Autumn colors resurrect
joys long past.
then quickly,
awaken a beastly rage
longing to tear
worlds limb from limb.

My Dearest Zev,

I miss you with the same ferocity as the day you departed this world. Through the years, even as the intensity wanes, it sends echoes rippling back; muscle memory crippling my forward motion. Rage is ever present; an uninvited passenger.

And sorrow sits beside me; keeping me company in the empty hours of the dark, caressing my cheek, reminding me that I am not alone. And yet, that alone is no comfort. The brightest star in my universe no longer shines for my eyes to see; your love is but a trail of vapor, a whisper on the wind. Memories are mine to cherish, yet the solace they bring is bitter. All time stopped for me the moment you died. The emptiness follows like a black cloud.

Your Dad wrote that he feels an intense desire to scream as loud and as long as he can, yet he does not, for fear that he will be unable to stop. I think that perfectly sums up the ferocious appetite that eats away at our insides every minute the clock ticks past.

I am forever angry at the chaos of the universe for allowing you to be pulled away from us after only eight years. I am well aware that the time any of us has here is not guaranteed, and fleeting at best, but that does not stop the overwhelming sense of injustice I feel.

I love you with every cell of which I exist.; from this body holding me,

Mama

Looking to the future through lenses of the past is like trying to see a clear reflection in a shattered mirror…

A kaleidescope of dreams, some distant, half remembered, others vivid and achingly palpable.

My mind overlays past memory fragments onto the present moment, creating a crystalline, multilayered tapestry which distorts my view and chokes forth sorrow previously swallowed which I had thought long since buried. It’s as if in an attempt to reconcile what has changed, what is broken. A desperate appeal to the universe to right the wrongs, fill in the cracks, render a new reality.

I feel left with little choice but to abandon the past and forge ahead. Creating new memories and traditions. But that is easier said than done. For honor through memory is vitally important. So, how to carry the memory of what was into to the tomorrow of what will be? Without the shadowy weight of the pain, the longing, the deep ache. The rage.  The sense of injustice. The ever-present sorrow.

She came from stardust and to stardust she returned.
With every breath there was joy,
Each day a gift.
She who infused the mundane with magic,
Who wove words into song.

Do not speak of her in hushed tones.
She deserves nothing less than a roar.
Fill your heart with bold and daring,
Send sparks flying!
This is the only way to honor her spirit.

Happy fourteenth birthday, Zev. You are, and always will be, the great love of my life.

image

In this photo I see hints of the young woman she was to become. The future twinkling in her eyes.

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”      Albert Einstein

Where do we exist before we are conceived within our mother’s womb? As energy, pure potential; everywhere and nowhere at once.

All matter comes from particles of stars that existed billions of years ago. We are born of stardust and passion. (Or at least that is how my romantic nature chooses to see it.)

When we die, our bodies return to the earth, merging with the dirt and the dust from whence we came. And our energy transfers back to the swirling ether of the great void.

To me this is poetic and logical simultaneously. What could be better?

Thinking that our loved ones who have departed this world are now watching us suffer while they themselves live on in Heaven, a supposed place of peace and reward? How could one possibly be tranquil or joyful with the knowledge that their beloved remain struggling and suffering through the rest of their lives? Or even the reality of suffering on a global level? I find that to be a truly hellish idea.

It is strange how perceptions and feelings morph over time when grieving for those that have gone before us… Immediately following Zev’s death, I could find no way to reconcile myself in what had happened or where she had gone. I was too wrought with worry and despair; overcome with the obsessive thought “is my child okay?!” For, when a parent is separated from their child, it is natural for them to feel worry or at the least question the well being of the child. And when it is not possible to know, the mind tries desperately to answer the unanswerable, creating stories that will fill the gap, like puzzle pieces completing a picture.

Now, years later, I find it reassuring to think of her as existing everywhere and nowhere all at once. She is in the air that I breathe, her DNA lives within my body.

Romantically and poetically I would say her voice is in the wind, her beauty seen in the trees and flowers, her generous spirit the bright sun and her soft nature that of moonbeams.

There are times when I wonder what people think of us bereaved parents who are far enough along the grieving journey that we can be grateful, smile and mean it, or spread positivity to anyone nearby.

I am certain some think “how is that possible”?

From my perspective, it becomes a choice. Once you emerge from the numbing shock that serves as a buffer, allowing you to survive the first few weeks or months, you then contend with the fresh hell that is sharp grief, utter anguish; a deep dark pit of sorrow, guilt, rage and misery. For most, this will be where they exist for years.

The world spins and life goes on around you, leaving you to wonder how ‘they’ can carry on when your precious child has been ripped away. Some will languish in despair and die of a broken heart, others will self medicate to the point of checking out completely, others will continue to go through the motions while inside they are dead. And still others will scratch, claw and fight their way to the light, clutching at whatever source of stability, compassion or hope they manage to come across.

It is a daily struggle that appears insurmountable. Chipping away bit by bit, two steps forward, one step back, you eventually gain traction. One day you might notice yourself smiling as a memory of your dearly departed comes to you, or a song makes your heart feel momentarily lighter, when it previously sunk like a stone. And in time, choosing to honor your child and live as you know they would want you to, the sharp stabbing becomes more of an ache and a longing less intense. There are still days, as there always will be, that are painful and difficult; when all you want to do is cry or sleep. 

And yet, it can be that years down the road you find joy and delight are once again possible. I am grateful that I was able to draw upon my connection with Zev and use it to propel me forward, through oceans of heartache and rivers of bloody anger. *

Many say things like “you’re so strong”… While I won’t argue that there is absolutely strength to be mustered if you choose the path of reclaiming your life after your child has died, I will say that, even more so, it takes immense amounts of vulnerability. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the face of such a loss is tremendously difficult. We are hard wired to protect ourselves from hurt. But in order to experience life’s great joys, we must be willing to risk the possibility of being crushed again by pain and sorrow. To rise from a place of suffering to a place of wholeheartedness IS possible; it takes courage and a willingness to be open, to be vulnerable.

* I am also immensely grateful for the support I received from my family and friends, and the fellow bereaved parents I met along the way; all necessary components that contributed to me being where I am today.

Strength comes with the breaking apart
in the quiet spaces in between
what once was and what never will be again

Atomic particles, star dust
flown on the winds of time
whispering of your love

Fragile and delicate
yet immortal in your essence
encompassing nothing, everything

The brain tells little lies
of should and would and could
poisoning, staining

Echoes deep within
this chasm of my heart
she was and she will always be

To a child, mother’s arms are an extension of her love
With them she holds the world

They provide comfort and security
A feeling of being protected

Her warm embrace washes away doubts, fears, pain and sorrow
In mother’s arms is a safe, happy place

To a mother, holding her child is tantamount to pure joy
With them she guides, protects and cares for her child

Arms wrapped around her little one brings tranquility
Her heart and soul overflowing with love

There is nothing else like the exchange of unconditional love through a hug between mother and child.

And thus, the deep ache when they are empty becomes a chasm of anguish.

A mother’s arms should never be empty…