Nearly a year since I’ve put words to paper.

One year that battered and bullied, unrelenting.

Isolation insulated grief and loss as the contagion seeded fear. Those first six weeks without human touch of any sort, so terribly alone and lonely. When merely moments before breathing at last without daily tears… those weeks ravaged a fragile one. The tears returned daily. The fears were not just of the contagion.

And so, I was silent. The emotions too overwhelming for words, too revealing for others, too terrifying.

Nearly a year. Time to break the silence.


almost a year.

here, across the creek, the daffodils are peeking through winter’s detritus.

at your house, the golden child nurtures all that you planted, while making it his own.

your friends planned a gathering for the day, and my love has arranged things so i won’t be alone.

i miss you.

driving back and forth to chincoteague, my heart hurt. you and i never got to take trips together like we dreamed – no quick trips to the ocean, up north, anywhere. you would have enjoyed that trip with us – walking the trails, time at the beach, a new ice cream place, and the surprising timing of the rocket launch.

your damn dog misses you too. he does better when i remember to talk to him; i think he barks “not the mama!” daily.

i should probably call aunt mary more often, but it’s hard to talk to her sometimes. she misses you terribly, far more than you ever expected.

still have moments when i think i should call to tell you something, and realize i can’t. they aren’t as frequent, but equally devastating.

these are the times that i long to have faith – that there’s something more, that somehow you know you are loved and missed, that somehow things will be okay.

i miss you, still.

almost a year.

Hymn 1

Listen to the silence.

Hear sorrow, fear, loss, longing,

whispers of joy, and gratitude for you.

Hold me.

Silence judgements, ridicule,

And demands. Protect me.

Cacophony of Shame, Need, and Despair riff endlessly, a cartoon character without substance or strength. Silence their taunts.

Hold me.

Tell me, if only for that moment,

I matter.

Listen to the silence.

Hear the hymn of Love, Life, and Loss echoing amidst the quiet.


Thick air. Summer heat. Summer noises: mowers, children, critters of all sorts.

Stench of death drifts from the woods. The dogs pause, catching the scent, then return to their routine explorations.

Butterflies. Multitudes of butterflies, dancing, floating, dashing. Hummingbird peeks through geranium leaves, moves on to the mandevilla.

Spectator on a Monday.

Five Months

The grave atop the hillside lacks a headstone.

Nearly 5:00 AM. Still awake, unsettled, unfocused. Alone with worries and self-recrimination. Throat aflame from bitter burning of choked back tears. More rogue attacks of So Much Emotion.

Must Not Be Needy. Be peaceful. Be joyful. Put on that happy damn face and smile. “Great, thanks!”

A goldfinch visited. Climbing the screen one day, scolding me from the bird feeder the next. “Get up! Stop moping and suck it up buttercup!”

I washed some windows, but that’s all.

Five months. Still counting. Still hurting.

Orange Blossom

Mom loved the scent of orange blossoms, and walking on the beach.

I am my mother’s daughter. We were going to take this trip, and then she couldn’t travel.

So here I am. I can travel alone well, but this trip just hurts. Tears alone. Everything hurts.

“It’s sunny and the water’s great.”

Scent of orange blossom; walk on the beach.


From our beginnings, we are expected to trust.

Trust that we are protected,

cared for,

loved unconditionally.

Over time, trust proves maladaptive.

A child beaten and abused returns to his abusers, hearing the violations are “because he loved you” or “it’s your fault” – messages repeated endlessly into adulthood.

Sharing feelings and fears, then dismissed with “You’re fucking kidding me,” an admonishment of “not dealing with your crazy,” or exploited with lies.

A mother’s confession that she loved a sibling more “we just have a special connection” as the lesser one struggles to care for her.

Trust. A social construct to ensnare the naive and gullible. A requisite to intimacy of all sorts. A conundrum.

Pondering this moment when everything seems good, questioning wisdom of trust, longing to believe.

Trust is the leap of faith.

Trust is silence when a heart overflows and words fail to explain.

Trust me, trust you.

Three Months /12 Weeks

In two hours and nineteen minutes …

Still counting.

Feels as if you’ve been gone so much longer, or was it yesterday, or maybe just traveling a bit and out of touch?

Today was hard. Thursdays often are now. Sometimes I get on with life and lose track, but invariably the memory slams me.

Nurse calling from ER, “What’s your ETA?”

Brother’s jaw tightening, as he resumes some random conversation topic. Verifying our identity, signing papers, “Wait here for the doctor.” “She’s…”

Walking into the room with her, people standing helplessly waiting for direction, and the machines. Blood splatter in her mouth. The machine still compressing on her chest. A person squeezing a bag. Trying to breathe, to be calm, to be a good sister, good daughter, good person.


I kept my promise.

Three Months/ 12 Weeks, Two Hours, Six Minutes.

Emerging from the fog?

So long silent. Wrapped in detritus of life – bills, must-dos, chores (largely undone), demands here, disappointments there, and death. Death of dear ones recent, and long ago.

Surrendered to the noise. Entombed. Buried by everyday clutter.

Life forfeited to others’ dramas, advertisements, and news.

Wasted time. Wallowing in self-pity, mourning aborted dreams. Waiting for hopelessness to clear, as if waiting changes things.

I struggle to understand how the world was suddenly turned upside down, or maybe it was a gradual erosion that escaped attention.

Searching for a switch that powers back joy, laughter, and love.

Shut off the box, the stream, the noise.

Stand up. Move. Be.