Sometimes, no matter how hard you pray, no matter how many right steps you take, no matter how badly you want or need something to go a certain way . . . it doesn’t.
And the end result is this thing–dark and heavy, ugly and mean, that sits on your sternum, but can move in a blink to your throat.
It’s everything you wish you’d done differently.
Everything you want to be but aren’t.
Everything you so desperately hoped would happen that never will–
The path you can’t take.
And somehow it goes with you on the path you’re on
until you dig it out
set it down
Of course I am lucky.
Lucky to have had them,
lucky they lived so long
lucky to have loved them so deeply
and felt that love returned ten-fold.
Of course I understand.
I understand they live shorter lives than we do,
that it was always going to come to this and
that I did all I could with all I had
to keep them here and happy and healthy.
Of course it will get better.
Of course life will move forward and so will I.
One step will become twenty will become a thousand
and I’ll be in another time
where missing them is not white hot and searing
but a golden glow–
warm sweet memories I can sit beside . . .
And of course,
none of this helps at all.
Welcome to Grief,
where knowledge is not power
and there is no way out but through.
What can I possibly write?
eighteen years of your unconditional
(if sarcastic and a bit dry) love
cannot be condensed into words.
For three days after your passing
I wrestled with whether I truly love horses
or I just loved you.
Turns out, I don’t know
but I know I love my sweet SoCo and my wild Daisy, too.
And that’s enough for now.
Writing season is just around the corner,
but who will carry me out of myself
when the words start to pull me under?
No living being on this earth
will ever be so patient with me
as you were.
I used to feel good that I could read your eyes,
that your ears and the set of your mouth
would tell me how you felt.
But in your absence, I keep asking
did I give you even a fraction
of the strength, joy, and peace
you brought to me?
Tristan, I am lost.
And you aren’t here to take us home.
This past spring I unexpectedly lost someone precious to me. I thought we had at least another twenty or so years of margarita drinking, laughing over old memories, and making new memories ahead of us and her death hit me like a freight train. After spending the past few months trying to find the words to express who Tammy was to me, I’ve finally accepted that I can’t.
So instead, I shifted my thinking away from who she was and decided to focus instead on what she did. Tammy inspired me and believed in my ability to do things that were hard for me. Not one time in seventeen years did I come into or leave her presence without having her tell me about my gifts and how she was so excited to see how I would use them. So, because of Tammy and her beautiful way of telling everyone why they’re great, I’m going to mail one note of thanks/inspiration per day to the lovely people in my life for the next year beginning with the one I’ll never get to send:
Thank you for shining a light on all the best in me and ever so gently reminding me of my obligation to use and be my best in the world. Your ability to find the good in absolutely everyone (particularly when I was busy looking for their faults) challenged me to do the same and made me a more observant, compassionate, and forgiving human being. I am so grateful to have been loved by you and I hope you’re watching, because I’m not going to let you down.