“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Just recently I told the lady who used to be my domestic worker that my Stevie had died five years ago.
She works at the Spar Supermarket now and she didn’t know.
In that moment it hit me really hard, a sudden wave of grief nearly buried me under the floor boards.
It was as though he had only died yesterday. She was surprised and sad and very apologetic.
It brought up her own mother’s death and how hard it was not having her around. It also made me think of how complicated grief can be, because we all mourn in our own way. We as humans need to be respectful of each other’s sorrow and not pressure anyone into “just getting over it”!
I said to her that it’s okay, and that I’m alright, but truthfully, I’m not okay, it’s horrible and devastating and world shattering. It was as though I was trying with sheer willpower to make it all better, and pretend myself into being healed.
Our hearts lay shattered for a moment on that supermarket floor, but we didn’t shed a single tear, even though I wanted to wail and I’m sure she did too. It was actually a very holy moment, where our two hearts were united in grief, as though heaven opened up and surrounded us.
She had known Stevie, she had been in my house, and she only had kind words to say about him, saying that he was always friendly and polite to her, a pleasure to be around. I knew he was like that; he would sit with our gardener at lunch time and chat to him like they were best friends.
I didn’t just lose my son I lost an exceptional human being who was kind and smart and beloved by many. People who knew him always had good things to say about him.
It’s still hard for me to tell some people that he died, I can’t really reason why that is, but it’s something really deep, a knowing. It’s taken me a good 5 years just to be able to say that he died, as if saying it would suddenly make it real.
At times grief is so unexpected, it ambushes me. I observe the world around me just carrying on unintentionally oblivious of my pain, while I stand in a void of emptiness. There are so many triggers, some I don’t even know about, they sneak up on me and catch me unawares, some I am cognizant of and I prepare myself for them. I have had to be really gentle with myself and step ever so lightly into certain situations. There are some places I still won’t go though.
I’ve made a concerted effort to heal, to be able to find joy in the ruins, I do this to honor my Stevie, I know he would want me to. After all, I know where he is and I know what he’s doing, even if I can’t touch him or hold his hand in the physical, he is still present in my life.
The wound will never fully heal, I’ve come to accept that. When I’m around certain people and certain scenarios it hurts like crazy. I’m truly glad when people are told before-hand that he has died and I don’t have to break the news to them myself. It’s as though an angel goes before me to prepare the way.
Both this wonderful lady and I walked away that day united by the shock and horror of death, but with the knowledge that our loved ones are all around us, like guiding lights in a sometimes-dark world!
Love never dies..
“You live on – in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here…
Death ends life, not a relationship.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
Sometimes I ask myself, why is it still so hard
why are the walls around me closing in again
why is the night so long
and why can’t I just be okay?
and the answer comes in deep murmurs
spoken in shadows across my room;
the longing never ends
because it exists
deep in the bones of my body
and will only leave me
when my bones finally become dust…
though I am a vehicle of love and light
I’ve been blown out by his departure,
and yet he reads to me at twilight
and vivid colors across the skies
he sings to me in birdsong
like a never-ending canticle of love
in harmony with angelic beings…
He carries me
together with my ancestors
back to the wildness of my existence,
right back to the very beginning
to the foundation of the earth
where we planned all this together…
I think I reek of disappointment in how my life has turned out
yet I know that it has been written in the Akash
for once I should acknowledge it…
I’ve set a table now at my pity party
where tea and sympathy is being served
in crystal goblets made from stardust…
I watch in those moments between the tears
expecting my magical thinking to save me.
and it never does!
But I am found again,
in spite of my brokenness
in the presence of something holy.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing
with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
– Saint Paul
I have my soft place to fall, it’s among the broken-hearted.
With them around me, I don’t need to pick myself up.
I can wallow in my tears for as long as I want
I can wail out every bit of brutality that my bones can bear.
They don’t judge me there or tell me it’s been too long
and I need to get over it.
They bring me warm coverings dressed in acceptance and love.
They serve me tea and sympathy.
They provide me with delectable offerings of kindness.
They let me flounder for as long as I want in the deepness and mire of it all.
They remind me that I am breakable
and that I may never be fixed.
I stay there for a while
among *shining-light parents,
some who have completely forgotten how to live
some who don’t know how to be in this world
some who don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning
many who say that their lives are over.
They gorge themselves on despair,
yet at the same time, they sup at lavish tables of grace.
In this place, I get swallowed up by my own self-pity,
my dark night of the soul.
We hold this trauma in our bodies for years
sometimes we soothe our wounds with harmful things
our form becomes weak with the burden of our loss.
Yet here in this sanctuary of tears they never ask hard questions,
they let me just be
they never ask me how he died
they ask me who he was
they exist with me in the celebration of his life.
They say his name out loud in these hallowed hallways of grief.
Then as time goes by, in their care, I am awakened with soft kisses.
They have held me in safe-keeping
bound up my open wounds
until I have wept out all my tears.
They don’t expect me to never return to this place,
the door is always open,
and they anticipate that the hard rain of sorrow may fall again.
Here they have helped soften my grief,
they have given me the resources to find my way in the dark.
They are the ones who give me the strength to get up
and face the world again
the now strange world where people still live their lives,
whereas my life just ground to a sudden halt when my son died.
You see I didn’t just lose my son.
I lost everything this beautiful life had planned for him.
I lost my hopes and my dreams,
and now I am absolutely terrified to dream again.
It’s like the hammer coming down on me
and I have become particles of matter floating about,
waiting for the end of my days when I can see him again.
I know that bravery is my cause, given to me by a force greater than myself,
words are my sanctuary raining down miracles
and I clutch onto signs every day.
Kind voices are my staying power.
I desire truth as my constant
I can no longer pretend that I’m okay all the time
and that the world is safe for me.
It is because of those who have come before me
those who have stared down this terrible darkness
that I am able to carefully tiptoe out of the horror of it
into the bright exposing light of my life.
I need to be fearless
in my faithful expression of grief,
where I have faced the very depths of suffering.
I don’t need to be pitied,
I just need to be understood,
maybe even honored for my bravery.
It doesn’t serve me to pretend that this isn’t hard.
Actually, pretense is the last thing I want to be acquainted with.
I must accompany my tears until the very end of this present age
and place them in God’s eternal jars for safe-keeping.
I want to always be found in realms where the holiness of love and peace
are my only resting place…
a promised land where death and darkness are no more!
(Please don’t feel sorry for me. This is a fearless journey I have undertaken in the presence of angels and my guides; it is pre-written in the Akash. I cannot avoid it, for it is my testing ground, my divine pilgrimage into something more wonderful than I can imagine)
*Shining light parents: The group “Helping Parents Heal” coined this phrase for bereaved parents.
Anointed by night…
I cry in the night
when no-one can see,
I cry through the pain
I cry to be free…
The darkness surrounds me
covering my grief,
and dulcet vibrations
bring quiet relief…
I say I am healing
under my breath,
and the veil gently lifts
between life and death,
I hold to the truth
that awakens my soul,
drink in Jah’s kindness
I am consoled!
A crowd of light-beings
wait in the shadows,
anointed by night
they stay by my side,
right up until dawn,
when the next shift arrives…
I wonder if anyone heard the sadness that transcends words
the tears that continue to cry
faith that has no disguise
when answers can’t be found
and life has run aground
does anyone know if light will return
to assuage the grief that quietly yearns
to become unstuck from dark thoughts
and go home again
to the source
and arrive where butterflies land
in realms where hope and love expand
so that vision is clear once more
and the fullness of joy is being restored…
Recently, the mouth of our river was manually breached.
It was holding back flood-waters,
the stench was growing,
people on low-lying lands were afraid…
it had to be released!
Though some sea life was lost with the flow,
the relief was palpable.
It made me think of my own bottled-up pain.
I may seem happy
but inside I’m broken.
I search the skyways
and highways for you
I look at the stars
and hope you’ll shine on me.
The world sometimes dims
to an unbelievable low,
I can hardly see through the mists of my mind.
your memories are etched
into every particle of my being.
You belonged to me once
before madness came into the world
and turned it upside down.
When love really was enough!!
I dance when I’m broken open
I dance through this pain.
When twilight descends
and I’m completely soaked through with sadness.
I reach into my brokenness
and breathe in the sweet sounds of evening…
The night-birds usher me back to beauty,
bullfrogs return me to praise!
Sometimes I cry at first light,
letting the waters of heaven rush through me
so I can flow again with the winds
and ride again on tides of hope…
At dawn, I have thoughts that won’t let me be,
they startle me
their wounding is real!
Like invaders waiting at the door
I get ambushed by grief.
Words have legs they carry me back to moonrise,
they fly with me to the sun…
Sometimes they saturate me in favor,
other-times they sting me to death…
I must give them credence
for they have the power to hurt me beyond recognition.
I must let them out
or they will hold me hostage.
I will release them as tears, to spring forth from the deep
and go back to where love overflows…
I can’t catch my tears or hold them,
they must fuse with the ether
and return to heaven,
to be gathered and kept forever in jars,
until I too shall return…
They are my memories,
they come from my inner being
and like floodgates opening
they water arid lands of sorrow …
And for just a tiny moment I will wallow in pity,
I will cry out at what has been lost,
Yet I will still bathe in the beauty of what is…
I am forever hoping to be emptied of the sorrow
that lives inside me…
But I know my tears must return,
for grief must speak volumes
otherwise, love would not be visible…
“what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
I’ll take a boat
just to sink this sorrow
and drown despair.
The air has been heavy
with what could have been,
the nights are dark
with desolate dreams!
And though my words
still know their rhyme
screech out of time…
In quiet utterances
of sun and moon,
some have said
you were gone too soon,
into holy memoirs,
and Time Lords
inscribed your name
in the stars.
In faraway galaxies
on untethered shores,
I still hear the echo
of angelic applause,
And the quiet lapping of eternity,
reminds me that
“Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.”
The sun set
on my tears,
the moon rose
in my eyes,
my bed was soaked
heard my cries…
Pity me not beloved
for I’m favoured
with the belief,
will always find me
and sanctify my grief!
caressed me softly,
holding me in sleep,
sowing my tears
I’ll surely reap..
a bright sunbeam
into a new day,
with songbirds at my window
chirping that it’s okay..
So I planted my tears
in the morning,
that must be said,
and I watered grounds
will gently spread…
“Your body is woven from the light of heaven.”
In the agony of what seems lost,
there’s a light
that is invitingly soft…
If I move willingly into its core,
will my mournful breath be restored?
Will it hold me when
I cannot stand,
ever so tenderly take my hand,
and walk with me into distractions,
is carefully imagined,
so that every fragment of my marrow,
turns my grief into something hallowed..
that when my tears
I’ll dive into evolved states,
and swim forever in cosmic seas,
and be gently comforted
I reworked this piece and it reminded me to keep moving into light…
Holding a space…
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
I feel as though I have landed in a terrible place of sorrow again,
my body aches with it, but I’m letting it be….
Two friends of mine have passed away within a month,
and not from covid…
It’s a heavy toll.
I wonder sometimes how much grief one can bear in this life,
does it accumulate?
Does the heaviness stay in our bones and bleed out when triggered?
Circumstances surrounding the death can be a catalyst
for the most terrible kind of sadness,
like when someone decides that they can’t live
on this earth plain anymore.
I have watched for three and a half years as people
lose children in many different ways,
be it by still-birth, suicide, cancer
and a multitude of other reasons.
It seems by far the worst kind of loss,
and it can be made more complicated by so many factors.
With a beautiful support group, and being able to share my worst pain ever,
I am able to see light and to even to touch it.
I have been able to bring myself into a place of serenity and beauty,
and to see those departed souls as perfectly exquisite beings of light.
It took time though and intention to find my way out
of the most awful heaviness.
Sometimes it takes bearing my soul, speaking out my regrets
and even reaching down into the heart-break,
At times it takes letting my heart be completely ripped to shreds.
I cannot hold this kind of sorrow inside me,
I would not be honoring those
who are no longer here, if I did,
nor would I be showing myself loving-kindness.
You don’t just get over it,
so, right now, I’m holding a space for mourning, for sitting in the pain.
I realize how hard it is to be here on this earth right now,
especially in these times, when so many lives
have been impacted in different ways.
It has separated many and being isolated brings
an even greater intensity of sadness…
a profound grief.
The trace of those who have touched our lives,
the substance of them
locked away in our hearts,
until one day we see them again,
in their wholeness…
In the last year there have been many losses
and not just because of covid.
It’s as though there is “a checking out” of many humans.
I vow to keep the faith,
love as much as is humanly possible
and always be ever so gentle
with myself and others…
and keep watch for the beauty that surrounds me,
even when it is hidden in dark places!