Tag Archives: longing

Happy Birthday Justin

Today is my middle son’s birthday. He would have been 27 years old. Living with loss is a funny state of being – we fight it at every turn, always dimly aware that it is inescapable. We create habits to keep us from losing our keys, our place in a book, lists so that we don’t forget one of life’s latest ingredients, we play puzzles to keep from losing our memories and thus, our minds. All this effort to avoid the ultimate equalizer of death. Justin died of SIDS the week before he would have been 6 months old.

Like anyone, I did not want a tremendous loss to be part of my reality. Not me, I don’t belong in this club. A good mom, a great mom…she’s not the mother of a dead child. It’s odd how I let the words of other people sometimes reinforce this falsity. I have to remind myself, they just don’t get it. All of us, regardless of your beliefs, we are human and must investigate our surroundings, our relationships, our relationship to everything through our unique perceptions and abilities. We are not meant to be perfect. If we are lucky we maintain the ability to shift and learn through the lifetime process. If we are luckier still, we have love in our life that is not lost but transformed and weaved into our story. Is it always joyful? No. An easy road? No. Is it worth the risk? Yes.

In past years I’ve often marked anniversary dates with poems to record my feelings regarding the death of Justin. I’ve never wanted to proclaim myself any more knowledgeable than another person on how separation by death feels. I felt that poetry was vague enough to easily be molded to others’ perceptions so that they could decide if there was benefit in my words. I still believe that to be true. Today is different. Today I want to risk being more direct about my feelings regarding Justin. I want you to know about him and the importance he plays in my life and who I am…and who I am becoming. Yes, he is sometimes seen as that tear you want to hide from – sometimes that silly smile as I sing along with an old song – he is part of me…every day. I want you to know so that you can understand why I am celebrating today. Like my other sons and all the important people in my life, Justin is worth celebration.

Please do me a favor as I honor his memory and place in my life and take time today to celebrate those that matter to you. Celebrate them if they are standing next to you, across the country, across the world, in a different belief system, a confusing time in their life, a confusing time in your life, in a difference of opinion, or simply in your memory. Allow me today to be bold enough to proclaim the importance of loving, deeply, with your entire self, even at the risk of losing it all.

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Peculiar Storm

047

sitting in slot canyon

waiting for the light

feeling loss & worry

long has been the night

camping here in silence

hidden from all sight

playing the day over

as if the past won’t bite

tears come in a rainfall

walls, they seem so tight

weeping needs to end soon

extravagance of blight

storms on the horizon

losing at this fight

need to turn around soon

try with all my might


Pleonastic Mortal

 feeling abandoned & forgotten
we search & seek
 then wish & hope
to be more than an optional accessory
 becoming an eternal phoenix


kaleidoscope (revisited)

Yesterday I fractured

when a stranger looked right at me

not through me

as those who know me sometimes do

it felt odd to exist for a person

that has no history of me

I split into pieces in my effort to hide

avoiding ownership of fragments

but somehow he found me

now it is difficult not to be honest

these pieces look pretty in the light

but shattered remnants cannot walk through the dark


Treading Upward

I may not know the loss of a continent

or a lover

but I have lived the ripples of a pond

with stone cold drops to the bottom

heart and lungs weighted with life’s heavy rope

to the depths it sent me searching

for a perfect sunrise without a sky

winter’s bloom with no air

the ache of your absent body

answering only to arms of self abuse

houdini existence with me escaping life

wondering why i could not heal

lacking the balm of action

brought from tackling fear anew

 

 

 


Mourning Dove

hear the cry in early rays

rising with the sun

searching landscape, better days

before to depths, a plunge

where is the coo, call of young

waiting eagerly to feed

haunting call of backward glance

a lonely heart does bleed


For Calliope

winter yawns weary breathe

upon my creasing brow

I stand up and look about

for unused fields to plow

 

turn under words laid in haste

seek wisdom from the wind

track my eyes all around

to see what might descend

 

herein lies the marker stone

of what I think I’ve done

truth be known, outside of me

an unearthly sprite does run

 

she visits as I’m sleeping

and when I’m hard at work

never pausing long enough

for my values to assert

 

still I seek her council

looking towards my harvest

will it be found bountiful

or leave me empty hearted