Tag Archives: grief

The Heart of Life

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The Heart of Life

Tomorrow will be the 1 year anniversary of my brother, Josue’s departure to the Great Beyond. I miss him every day, but I am determined to keep his memory alive and to live an amazing life. He is always in my heart, in my thoughts. Laughter and joy are intertwined with the tears. That is unavoidable, but there are fewer tears now. I have discovered pictures of us I had forgotten I possessed. I wish I had more. I wish I hadn’t declined opportunities because I thought I was dressed inappropriately, or my hair was a mess, or I felt fat. Life is about living life now. Life is not about when I do this, am that…then I can…

This philosophy has inspired me to act more on my desires and to waste less time thinking about them. Whenever I doubt myself or I need a pep talk, I try to imagine I am my own friend. Depending on need, these are some of the statements I make, sometimes out loud:

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We Are One

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We Are One

Drops streak cheek to cheek,

Sliding singular then joined, liquid salt of innards,

Waltz smooth to acceleration, zoom zoom zoom past oblivion,

Back to ground, back to present, back to body

 

Here now, blood course

& beat beat beat pulse of life,

Soul-rending shocks, chest boom boom,

Boom, gasp & breath to breath,

Lightning power & anaconda constriction

 

Penetrate through silk of skin to caverns

Of suspended songs, chants time knows,

The other world hidden to expose

In dreams, faint images of

Books filled with our purpose & past,

Choices, lessons to be, promises to keep,

Judgement is mine to myself,

To this vessel I inhabit

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From the Abyss to Gratitude

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From the Abyss to Gratitude

Gratitude is powerful and potent. It can transform a moment of despair into one of love; reach inside & cause a rumble, a light-heartedness, a laugh to bubble up and give joy. My brother, Josh, died on April 23rd of last year and it left a hole in my heart, a loss so deep some days I can barely breathe. The pain covers me in waves of heat & pressure rises from my stomach to my head. I squeeze my eyes shut with a force to transport myself to a time when he was alive & healthy. I squeeze my eyes shut to avoid howling like a banshee with no hope, crumpling to the ground. But if I pause before I reach the limits, I can bring myself back from that ledge at the abyss and give thanks.

 

I give thanks for my hands that caressed his arm. I give thanks for my heart that did not cease to beat when his departure was near. I give thanks for every single moment of my life that brought me to strength to remain with my brother through his illness; no matter the darkness of many of those moments, I give thanks. I give thanks for my voice and my mother’s song. Josue, wouldn’t allow me to sing it to him, the lullaby my mother sang to us as children and even adults. Missing our mother and her warm embrace so full of tenderness and love, the simple, sweet words were too overwhelming for him to bear. Near the end I needed to sing it to him. I do not know if the desire came for him or for me, but he did not deny me and I sang my brother to sleep through tears and the pressure inside me that threatened to swallow me before it shattered me into small slivers.

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In Dreams – A Letter to the Great Beyond

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In Dreams – A Letter to the Great Beyond

 

Dearest Josh,

I saw you again tonight- beautiful, young, and healthy.  I do not remember the roles we played or the content of our conversation, but I do recall the details of your face and the boundlessness of your roaring laughter. I wish the erasing power of wakefulness had not overtaken your words. Just like a dream, not to warn me ahead of time so I could take mental notes or pay more attention. I was just your sister and you weren’t dead, a minor moment in a lifetime full of grand events, pivotal incidents, and proverbial forks in the road.

I wish we had a weekly lunch date in some restaurant serving the midpoint between Earth and the Great Beyond where we could philosophize, talk about superheroes, what if scenarios, and routines on either side of the veil. I wish I could grab your face and kiss your cheek like you detested. I wish I could hear you make light of my tendencies, infuriating me. I wish I knew the timetable for your appearances so I could be better prepared to remember, to focus, to make it count. Maybe I could turn a tiny interaction into a grand adventure or some wise instruction could be the salve to the sometimes crushing sadness I feel without you. Read the rest of this entry