Monday, August 3, 2009

thoughts on life and loss

i received news today of a client who lost his baby son this weekend to sids. At two months old, the loss is great. Too great for those made of blood and heart and humanity. Too great for words.


One night last week, as I was taking a shower and a phrase started running through my head. Seems appropriate to share today, reminds me that our impermanence is the only permanent.


This has happened before. The start of a poem. The familiar feeling that this line will become something more - something maybe I will only ever see – but something more nonetheless. It repeated itself again and again like a looped track, until more lines came - until I couldn't wash the soap out of my hair quick enough. I forgot to shave my legs I was in such a hurry to step out of the tub, to run to my nightstand for paper and a pencil.


Scribbling the words:


She came home, holding not a baby.


On night's like that, when my hand can't write fast enough, when every chilling phrase somehow fits together in a string of words I have not figured out yet, I sit, hair sopping wet, and humbled that I have this one thing. Something to share or not share. That is my choice; the choice I must constantly fight against; against making, the fearful choice or the choice to give. To open up or hold back the part of myself that speaks to the very fabric of who I am.


And when, on nights like tonight, when the idea is so much bigger than me, I make the choice to share. The beginnings of something, because, what is life, if it is not shared? So I lay bare this place in my heart, the sprout from the root of a fear deep down and buried, a fear that is being removed and replaced by hope. Hope for myself; me who has never  been asked to carry this burden, and hope for those who already have, who carry it daily like a stone around their necks.


This is the bleeding heart's condition.

Birth and life and loss and love.

There is not much more.


She came home, holding not a baby.


The world was too small to keep her.


Those plates were too heavy for hands such as hers.


The wedding band now slides on loose fingers.


The world was not big enough for you.


And hopes dash, like little stars

Falling in silence,


Tumbling down in doubts and desires.



Not sure what will become of these words – loosely strung together tonight…maybe a poem, or just a gentle reminder that life is fleeting and hope is not.


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