I was 14
He was my track coach
I thought he was one of my best friends
He was 31
My brother left me alone
With his friend’s cousin
I didn’t want to
He said to me
It’s not over until
I say it’s over
And so it was
He also said to me
I love it when you get drunk
You will do anything
When you are drunk
They touched me, one causing pain
Lacking all sense of decency
One was a woman
At work as a nurse
Arms wrapped too tight
What would he say?
Nothing, he’d knock you out
Too much more
And I wonder why
I am how I am
Our young girls
Every vulnerable being
I was 14
Sometimes grief slips out
When I am least aware.
Like when the person on the radio says something so relatable,
Or the book my child is reading makes a relevant point,
And I feel it well up inside of me.
Throat constricting, tears brimming, nose running.
Usually I feel it and think why?
Why should I care anymore, you have been gone so long?
I should be over this….
Even as the tears slide down my face, and I pretend like I still don’t care.
It doesn’t matter that you were not kind
That you had not the ability to be thoughtful
That you were too broken
To be a caring person
That we were not close those last years.
Estrangement does not loosen the grip of grief
Though it can make it difficult
To break down and walk through the stoney cold wall
That was built up for protection.
But every now and then it happens
The proper words, the forgotten song,
The right set and setting…
And only then the grief leaks out, in micro amounts.
A few tears spilling down my cheeks
Silent, heart aching, never ending
A quiet reminder
That you are still missed.
Only then, grief spills out.
When fear overrides your love
And anxiety shakes your soul
I will bring you peace.
When the world crashes down
And tears roll forth
I will give you ease.
When the heart shatters again
Everyday an empty heartache
I will bring healing.
You will find me
When you listen closely
For I am right here.
I am here in the quiet morning sunrise
In the gentle summer breeze
And the clouds dancing against a bright blue sky.
I am here in each breath
In the nourishment you take
And in the moment you stop to see me.
I will guide you
Reminding you that you are loved
Even as the world crashes down.
I had some good poems
They were written in my head
I awoke in the morning
Only to find the poems were quite dead.
I frowned down upon them
And sadly shook my head,
You naughty little things
How could you show up so very dead?
They still wouldn’t budge, not even a bit
Crying, sighing, they still remained dead
So I stopped what I was doing
And to the light I lifted my head.
“Forgive me great universe
These ones wound up being dead”
I prayed over and over again
A chant forming in my head.
And then I let them go
Farewell poems leaving space inside my head
Searching for those new kind words
Having finally let go of you, dear departed dead.
Until Peace washes over us
We will continue to suffer
And cry for something more
Not knowing which way to go
Until Peace engulfs us
And reigns from land to land
We will mourn the loss of loved ones
Crying out and wondering why
Until Peace soothes our souls
There will be war, hate, and fear
Destruction of beauty, loss of life
Deception and corruption abound.
Until Peace begins with me
And you, each person striving
To be and bring love into this world
We will need to trust and believe, all is well.
We formed a circle
Sitting around a center filled with love
And reminders: hearts, candles, light.
And we shared
And reached for rumbled tissues.
We sat in that circle and we realized
How completely broken and shattered we are
And how completely whole and loved we are.
In that circle, we were both and all.
Emotions came tumbling out of us
Unlocked by a greater presence.
So now we fly apart and away from the center
We continue on this healing journey
Grieving and healing, laughing and crying.
Answering the call toward love
That grew from moments in the circle.
When the loss is so great
And your heart feels beyond heavy
Saturated with grief and pain
Don’t run and hide in the fear
Rather open up completely
Let the grief swallow you whole
Let the pain tear you apart, bit by bit
Remolding your core of being
For when you open up to
The free falling dark abyss of grief
You will walk through that dark, fire-y, painful night
You will stumble and fall
You will ache and hurt
You will shudder and cry out
And you will carry on, forward marching
And emerge anew
On another side of this universe
Filled with peace, ease, love, and light.
So go now, and take all of your braveness
All of your love that you once knew for this precious lost soul
And allow it to propel you forward
Taking the hand of those who are likewise suffering
Together, you can scream through that dark abyss
Shed rivers of tears on the burning path
Rake your soul over the flames of death
And at last come to calm those fires
With your own healing river of tears
Be brave dear souls
And walk into that promise
Of a light filled peace
Emerging beyond the abyss.