two autumns

October 30th, 2016 · 1 comment · permalink

(two autumns like a bookend, a series of mirrors, of months that gnashed their teeth into my hair and my hands and my heart and left holes on the other side; autumn like a darkened ruin; autumn like a spell.

i have been holding the whole of this thing in these hopeful bones, that this year might find my way back to a careful grace. a worn stretch of road. a familiar moon.

give me that quiet home again; give me that protecting shelter. give me everyone safe and two strong hands to cup my tired bird heart to rest. give me a tender prayer in the shape of a solid lover, give me those holy rooms. give me the veil and the song and the ritual. give me those soft sacred spaces, a warmth to curl up in. an ending to come home to.)

{ Love always, your sister }

May 12th, 2016 · 0 comments · permalink

A young woman in one of my online grief support groups, someone who recently lost her brother as well, came to us all with a post today asking, Have any of you felt this way? Do any of you think these things? She went on to talk about how she endlessly worries about where her late brother is. If he’s scared. Is he warm, happy, is he with us. Is he with us? Is he okay?

My younger brother, Tyler, at 22 years old, passed away unexpectedly in the early hours of October 25, 2015. Not a single day goes by that he’s not with me; not a single day that I don’t wake up with him on my mind, or think of him a thousand moments throughout the day, that I don’t go to bed worrying over where he is. Is he scared? Does he understand what’s happened? Is he okay? Is he okay, I just need to know that he’s okay.

Death confounds me. Each time I have been confronted with it, I am left utterly bereft and wailing, my hands out with questions and questions and questions. “Where are they, where? Are they okay? I don’t understand, where did they go, where. They died? They died?” Where are you, where are you. Where.

Where.

Understanding that this is natural, that there is at least one other sister out there carrying these questions around like a veil stopped my heart. The ache in recognizing yourself in someone else’s grief; sweet, painful. Healing.

The night my plane left to go home for my brother’s service, we had just barely taken off when I glanced out the window and startled at the beautiful brilliant flash of a shooting star. It felt like a kindness, and it has stayed firmly with me. I can’t claim to know what happens when we die, but I know that there is magic and joy in tandem with our grief, and I do believe that the world around us softens for us in our pain. I would like to believe with all my being that my brother is in these small stars; in the cardinal that visited my mother as she sat asking for him to let her know that he’s okay; in the sweet ladybug friend that came to visit as I photographed Tyler’s tree today.

Or in the shooting star I saw tonight as I stood outside, thinking about my brother and the star I saw as our plane took off towards my home last November.

But of course, I have no way of knowing.

But on good days.
Well, there’s hope, anyway.

Today is my young brother’s 23rd birthday. It is important to me that the world know that he was beautiful and kind, soft-hearted and compassionate. That he was funny, he was so funny. He was thoughtful and loving and so precious to me, so so precious. I miss him so much some days I can’t breathe. I hurt profoundly with his absence, every day.

But I also move through the world with a much deeper, wider love in me now, this space in me that I hold for him, where he resides. When we lost my brother, I lost a pure sense of home, this thing that felt like a literal physical part of me, and that has left generous scars in my world; but I am also changed in sweeter, tender ways. I am softer. Kinder. I am living for him, because he can’t be here to live with me.

.
My little bubba, I have never been more proud of a being than I am of you – I am so proud of you – or more fit to bursting with warmth and love and this huge, deep gratitude that I get to be your sister. I love you endlessly. Over and over again, I just love you, and love you, and love you.

Happy 23 years of your beautiful essence, my sweet TyTy. I ache with the not knowing if you are still with me, but as far as my heart is concerned, you are with me always.

With love,
always and always,
Your Tata* ♥

.

December 14th, 2015 · 0 comments · permalink

The last thing I said to him was I love you. I miss you. And I feel so so profoundly grateful for that, every day, and I say it still, every day. I love you, I love you, I love you. I miss you.

Brimming with longing.
Brimming with love.

“You’re not selfish, you’re grieving.”

December 7th, 2015 · 0 comments · permalink

Literally moments after I stood in my bathroom readying for bed – rinsing honey from my face and plaiting my hair and thinking, heavily, how, grief has made me selfish, how it has kept me from responding to every gracious hand that has reached out to me in the last several weeks – I slinked into bed and was greeted with this message, in this night’s chosen book.

(“Grief has made me selfish,” I thought.)

“You’re not selfish, you’re grieving.”

You’re not selfish. You’re grieving.

And my heart, my heart, I thought. The Universe always provides.

.
With much love and tender gratitude to each and every one of you who has taken the time to tell me your stories and offered concern, again and again. I have been an awful friend these weeks, an awful do’er of normal things, an awful human with a no longer intact family. But every effort, every kindness, is taken and kept and folded and unfolded and looked at over & over again with great love and relief and great gratitude. I have felt so cared for. Protected. Tended. And I remember where it’s warm. I always remember where it’s warm.

Thank you, endlessly, friends. Thank you thank you thank you, and a thousand times, thank you.

10.25.15

October 25th, 2015 · 0 comments · permalink

“Even as I rocked on my knees, howling, I detected soft breathing behind the roaring. I leaned in, listened. It was the murmuring of ten million mothers, backward and forward in time and right now, who had lost children. They were lifting me, holding me. They had woven a net of their broken hearts, and they were keeping me safe there. I realized that one day I would take my rightful place as a link in this web, and I would hold my sister-mothers when their children died. For now my only task was to grieve and be cradled in their love.” – CARAVAN OF NO DESPAIR

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