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.

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.

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.