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Tribute to a Friend

For about a year now I have been spending time each week with a family friend, Andrew.  He suffered from Frontal Temporal Dementia  which is a fancy scientific  way of saying his brain quit working properly and began to slowly shut him down.   I wrote about Andrew’s grace regarding his illness last Fall.

I don’t even really know why I started walking with and visiting  Andrew.  Maybe I just needed something to do that didn’t involve staring out the window and crying.  Or maybe it was that I suddenly had a different understanding of loss and I felt like we had something in common.   Something big.   We ‘got’ each other now.  Whether it’s fast or slow, gentle or cruel, loss is loss and it surrounds us.  It takes us apart and puts us back together in a different way.  We may look the same on the outside but deep in the guts of us, we are forever altered. Continue Reading →

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Sorrow and Joy – Together

Where do ideas come from?  How does this genesis occur?  I’m serious.   Who is in charge of these bastard thought children running amok?   Do memory and desire hook up quick and dirty one night and boom…the  “let’s go camping to mourn the anniversary of the loss of our son” idea is their  love child?’ 

All this to say the three of us ended up on top of a snowy mountain in Garibaldi Park on the afternoon of July 2.  I knew I didn’t want to be at home that day, or the next, but… snow camping?   After a huffy puffy, sweaty, slippery, slushy hike up, over and across we arrived at Elfin Lakes back country campground.  The journey up was tough but spectacular.  We started in the green, traversed a fair amount of brown and ended up in the white and blue.  Continue Reading →

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on Sunday

flowers

on Sunday

i will wake.   disappointed.

again, as so many times before.   to find it’s true.    

from the other side now.   inside out.   hoodmother.

the back of motherhood.  her corners dusty.   circle closed.

baby H

on Sunday I will miss and cherish you, beautiful h,  because it was you who made me a mother, first. 

i will close my eyes to kiss fat toes,  scoop round belly,  run silken hair through fingers

and oh, the smell.  the smell.  of my own child, so sweet.

well before you were born you were mine and so,

well after you are gone you are still.    and always.

.

on Sunday I will spread my blanket for all mothers

who’s mom-ness didn’t go as planned.

for her, for you,  i will breathe deep.  and exhale.  gaze to blue and pray.

she who longed and wished and waited, pleading

please, please.  these unanswered prayers.

she who suffered.  the miscarried, the stillborn, the aborted, the never quite made it. 

hopeful embers who refused to ignite.

she, who raised those borne of others, and loved them close

i remember you, i know you.  yes, we have met.

.

on Sunday, you are a mother, all and truly.

you birthed  — the glow of love

you delivered  — a promise un-keepable

you nurtured — a craving unmet, never forgotten

.

on Sunday,  for the ones who

eat no pancakes, place no flowers in a  jar, answer no echoing long distance phone calls.

i honour you, with reverence.

.

on Sunday, empty your pockets full of stones.   i will hold your tired heart so you may rest awhile. 

i see you now, and

i am sorry.  to not have noticed you standing there before.   enduring Sundays past

i was blessed.  once.  twice. 

still am.  a beautiful girl.

such riches.

h & l

for all the sparks that rose from the fire too soon.

blinking off into the night, ahead of schedule

.

on Sunday please recall the bedrock truth

you were part of a miracle once, and

a miracle that doesn’t last

is still a miracle.

.

on Sunday.

  

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On the Loss of a Child

I have been asked to write an article for Hospice Yukon to be included their Spring Newsletter.   The theme is ‘Child Loss’…ugh.

I never thought I would ever be in the position to write something on this topic from personal experience.   I am certainly no expert and I sure don’t want to become a poster girl for parents who have lost their kids.   Still, its interesting how the  assignment has put me on the flip side of grief for the first time in a long while.  Since last summer I have been absorbing all the love, care and attention from others and now I have been asked to provide some.  It feels like swimming upstream.  Yes, more water analogies.  I have no idea where they come from.

I have had to carefully weigh the words I would like to share with someone who has been forced to endure one of life’s most excruciating possibilities.   These are fragile people.  Not an easy job.   It has helped me to realize how challenging it has been for all of our loved ones to support us through our loss.  This is hell for everyone.    Here is what I came up with…

 Continue Reading →