One week ago we buried you, your urn placed in the ground. The cemetery was so quiet there barely was a sound. I thought I heard you whisper "Thank God there's no more pain". Yet tears of sadness stained my cheeks, as we stood out in the rain. I knew that I would miss you, didn't think it'd be this tough. So I smile at all of our memories which makes it a little less rough. Seems like every single minute you pop into my mind, but I guess that'll lessen with the passage of some time. You were my greatest cheerleader I still can hear your voice. Now that you're no longer here I'll still strive to make the right choices. I'll take care of your big sister and protect her the best I can, though she no longer remembers much, know that we'll always love you Fran. Love, Retta It took a walk in a southern garden this week for me to see and feel the beauty in every living thing, for me to feel good about smiling again. I'll miss my aunt Frannie forever, but I know she wants me to smile. While walking in the garden I realized that not telling my mom that her sister died two weeks ago is the absolute right thing to do for my mom's well-being. These were the types of situations I used to talk to Frannie about. This week, we talked in the garden.
It is one of the mysteries of life – that we endure heartbreak & grief, then encounter a balm of comfort, love & release … In a garden, or by the ocean, or immersed in music. So many blessings are translated to us in nature & through creative gifts. Thank you for sharing
It was hard to describe my walk and talk. It truly was comforting. I walked several times, but on the final morning, the sun hit the flowers, plants and trees in the garden in an incredible way. That’s when the comfort just took over. I took some amazing photos during that walk. It almost felt like I was taking pictures of Frannie, but pictures in which her body was no longer frail and jaundiced.
Lovely poem, Loretta. Simply, perfectly lovely. Paul Tillich, that late-great 20th century theologian, once wrote: The first lesson of love is to listen. On reflection, some years ago, I penned these words: The final lesson of love is to live with loss. For to love is to enter that journey that always has an end in death, either the one who loves or the beloved. You so loved, you SO LOVE Frannie that you now live with the loss of her in this life, the loss of her being with you, listening to you, holding you in the power of the hope the wisdom of her words offered to you. As you discovered, you walked and talked with her in the garden. So shall she ever be – in your thoughts and feelings, IN YOU, and through you, she will be with others…
A final word, for now, to reiterate something you already know. To love is to know the grief of the death of the beloved. The grief, especially when entered deeply and engaged truly, as you are being and doing, is a reminder of how greatly and grandly you love.
Shalom, my beloved sister. Shalom
Thank you my awesome brother! Because you are such a truly gifted writer, I am beyond grateful for your comments about my poem. It just poured out of me yesterday. The garden pics I shot looked and felt heavenly to me. The sun peaking through tree limbs, and plants in a way I’ve never seen. I’m grateful for you, and for that garden!! The walk allowed me to embrace the grief and the joy!! Thank you too for your words from Tillich. You inspire me!!