Sunday, October 30, 2011


Strange things happen when tragedy enters your life.

You develop a moniker…a label…a title…a tag.  A new way of being looked at...categorized...and filed away.  You somehow have become a condition...a case...a plight...a circumstance.

But all you to be treated like a person again.

You suddenly realize there are only a precious few who can listen.  Who can stomach looking into your face when it's filled with anguish.  Who can make it about you instead of them...even though you are both in pain.

These special few realize they have someone in their lives to help with their pain...and you no longer have anyone by your side each day.

But it still hurts that you can count on two hands...the number of people who continue to reach out even though you can't always find the strength to reach back.

Many have fallen to the side...they are no longer longer present.  With some you expected this...but with most you were brutally caught off guard...blindsided by their absence or inability to communicate.

But people have trouble dealing with death...and you my friend...are death personified. A living, walking, talking symbol of...tragedy...sorrow...and pain.

Because of this...many have begun to handle you with kid gloves.

So gently...that at times...they don’t seem to be there at all.  Too fearful of saying the wrong thing...not saying enough...or of hearing what they don't want to envision you experiencing.

So instead...they leave it all unsaid.

In their heads...they've probably imagined a conversation many many times...that they might actually believe they've had it.

But they haven't spoken to you in weeks.

You wish those sorrowful looks they gave in passing were enough...but they aren't.

You need to be listened to...understood...accepted...touched.

So at a time when grief exposes you at your most are treated the least like a person.  Instead you have become a tragic circumstance.  Something for others to think about, worry about, and pray for...from a safe distance.

It seems hard for people to get close to you now.  Perhaps it hurts too much to digest your pain...or is too uncomfortable to remember there is a person wrapped up in that tragic circumstance.

Because of this….You go through stages where you believe others have forgotten…moved on…or lost interest.  Suddenly you view yourself as a ten day news cycle...front page news that finally faded away as others continued living.

But now as the shock has worn off...and you really need're too scared to ask because they seem indifferent.  They may even be waiting for you to ask.

But instead it all goes unsaid.  And you remain a circumstance...alone…isolated…and abandoned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eight Months

I looked in the mirror today...

I looked for perhaps the first time in eight months...

I searched the glass...

I searched for life...

I stared at the face across...

I stared at his eyes...

He looked tired...old...and torn...

He looked defeated and alone...

He searched his mind...

He searched his heart...

He stared back...

He stared with empty eyes...

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Own Private Limbo

So this isn't the story I would have written for myself or my family...

If my life were to read like a book...

These are pages I would rip out and rewrite.

But over the last several months...

I've learned I can't revise the past.

I can't write it away...

Wish it away...

Or pray it away...

I also can't pretend it never happened...

I can't ignore it or push it aside.

So I'm stuck here...

Somewhere between denial and acceptance.

In my own private limbo...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Writer's Block

I have at least fifty scraps of paper with thoughts scribbled on them.

On envelopes, receipts, post-its and grocery lists...I have dashed out my grief.

It happens as I do laundry.  But never is there enough time to put it express it...or to make peace with my new self.

Life has gotten in the way of my grieving...and my healing.

My mind explodes with thoughts that are jumbled, mismatched and disturbing.

But I can't seem to get them out...or to make sense of my head.

I'm stuck.

My mind is spinning like the wheels of a car in a snow drift.

Moving and moving...

Faster and faster...

But getting nowhere.

I long for those days and moments when I could sit and express my emotions as the kids slept and I wrote the night away.

But life has gotten in the way.

No longer is there time to write...or to accept my new existence.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Words to Your Favorite Song

Tonight I was grading and listening to music...I heard a Regina Spektor song that spoke the words I couldn't find on my own...

It's like forgetting the words 

To your favorite song

You can't believe it

You were always singing along

It was so easy

And the words so sweet

You can't remember

You try to move your feet

It was so easy

And the words so sweet

You can't remember

You try to feel the beat

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Over the past few days...I have been feeling truly broken.

The beginning of the school year, the house hold tasks, raising two young boys and missing my best friend have finally caught up with me.

Since August...I have been a gust of "get it done" energy. In survival mode...I washed...I rushed...I cleaned...I did it order to survive the everyday obstacles of raising two young boys...alone.

While surviving...I toughed it out...not just with the housekeeping, but with the feelings deep in my heart and my mind.  I pushed past approaching moments of grief as I felt them creep up on I could raise my boys...teach my class...and take care of my home.  

But as Autumn appeared over my shoulder...that energy dissipated...and was replaced with so many emotions I had put aside while trying to survive each day without her.  She rushed back into my mind as the leaves began to take on the color of her beauty.

Fall was her suited her...full of color, cool breezes and contrast.  But there is an emptiness in it now.  A missing radiance...a dulled brilliance.  She is gone...and nothing can replace her spirit...her laugh...her love.

I spent Tuesday night pleading with God to give her back to me...if only for a moment. For one last laugh...touch...or kiss.  But he denied me.  So I curled into a heap...cradled myself...and if crying would get me what I longed for.

There was no sleep to be had as I watched the hours tumble into morning.

Up all night...and nothing had changed...she was gone.  The pleading...the begging...had made no difference.

As I stared at the clock...I listened to my boys breathe in their sleep...and realized I was utterly alone.

There was no arms to soothe my whispers to ease my mind.

The only one who could guide me through this fall...was the one I was so desperately missing...the one I couldn't stop seeking...the one whose beauty I had seen in the grace of the falling autumn leaves.