Tag Archives: grief

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 23 July 2017


Grief likes to sneak up on us when we least expect it. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves when it taps us on the shoulder to remind us it’s still hanging around. Whatever the loss, there are consequences for having cared about someone or something.

Some of us try to outsmart this inevitable reality of life. We detach from anything that might cause us pain.

But, we lose things every day. Ask me how many times I’ve lost my car keys in the past year…more than a few! We may lose an opportunity, our place in line at the grocery store, because we forgot to grab peanut butter when we were on aisle 5, or we might lose our way when the gps isn’t working and tells us to turn right…right into a corn field. We may even lose our marbles…well…maybe that last one is for another discussion…though I do remember how distressed I was at age 5 or 6 when I lost my prized blue cat’s eye beauty…

But of course, these not the types of loss I am referring to. In order to grieve it is required to have loved. I am certain that life would not be worth living if not for love. And there’s the rub.

What do we do when we love, but the object of that love leaves us? What do we do with the “maybe if’s”, the “wonder why’s”, the “if only’s”, the remorse we feel if we never had the chance to say goodbye…and the anger. What do we do with that?

We always think we need closure, but closure is not a cure for grief. There is no closure when we have fully loved. There is only figuring out what to do with that love when there’s nowhere to put it and no one to receive it. That’s grief.

But it doesn’t answer my question. What do we do? Especially if we believe a life without love is a life not worth living. Do we stop living? That’s a bit drastic, but sadly it is what some of us choose to do.

Now I am speaking from experience. I’ve been grieving of late and this is what I’ve learned. Just because the person or thing you lost isn’t here anymore does not mean you stopped loving them. (Read that last line again. Do you see it? You are still loving.)

When I find myself engulfed by waves of grief, I remember how fortunate I am. I acknowledge the fact that I have the capacity for a love so deep and wide that it hurts. Sure I miss the object of my affection, but oh how grand it was to have loved them. In fact, I love them still. That’s precisely why I am grieving…for love’s sake.

Finally, here’s the thing. Though it may sound a bit pie-in-the-sky delusional (I admit it); all this grateful, positive self-talk I’m gushing, there is one more thing I do when grief catches me by surprise. I let go and have a good cry. Sometimes I even rant and scream and get mad. And that’s okay. I let the pain wash over me. Then I remind myself why it hurts so much. Love. It’s worth it you know. Love is always worth living for.

Peace and Love everyone! Yes Love, with a capital L! “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” ❤️

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 23 July 2017

baring her raw sweetness
…oh shit!
dancing with death, like lovers,
roots never mingling,
wishes fade like ash…
so get me that beer
al desko gourmets
echo from her pearl pink pith
withering on the vine
rhapsody in muted blue
then let me be
to offer sweet
relief from
summer’s bitter
stillness

~kat

A shi sai or ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the shi sai features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.


And now the words come…

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It has been two days since US Elections on November 8th. Many of us are in shock. We are in mourning. We are afraid. It is real fear. There are definitely things to be concerned about if the new administration is able to follow through on its promises.

I found myself inconsolable in the wee hours of November 9th when the news came. I couldn’t sleep. I plunged into depression. I felt helpless and hopeless. I felt angry and betrayed by family and friends who boasted about voting for a monster (as I perceived him to be). It is personal for me. I stand to lose a lot as one of the targeted minorities on President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s hit list.

Step One

November 9th was a day unlike any other. I went through the motions at work. Facebook continued to stream nasty meme’s as well as calls for kindness and civility from the very people who accepted the opposite from the most divisive, misogynistic, prejudiced candidate in recent memory. As the gloating persisted on my Facebook page, I did some housecleaning. I unfriended people I didn’t actually know personally and a few others who I realized were not really friends. Some may think it is mean to do such a thing, to unfriend someone. The truth is they probably won’t miss me. And the important thing is that it is a new beginning for me. It is Step One in regaining my power. It is Step One in remembering who I am and who I am not. I am not a victim nor am I a loser.

Step Two

Step Two requires that I face my greatest fears. It is true that the progressive, inclusive and compassionate values many of us have fought for and gained in recent years could be dashed to oblivion by the single stroke of a pen just a few months from now. New, more restrictive mandates too, could be wielded upon us. Some of us could be sent back to countries we have never lived in, but are associated with by virtue of our ethnicity. Some of us may lose access to healthcare and basic services. Some of us, those who dream and wait, longing to come here, might never be allowed to set foot on this soil because the name of their god is not the same as those in power. Some of us may lose the right to marry who we love as well as face limited access to the goods and services availed to everyone, justified by religious freedom, our natural resources risk being depleted for corporate gain. The list goes on. But the truth is, nothing has happened yet. And we are all still here, over 59,938,290 by last count. We are not powerless. We still have a stake in this country. Fear is what drove many who voted for Trump to make their unwise choice.  I must face each fear as it comes and separate reality from the boogeymonster I imagine it to be. Fear will not, cannot win.

Step Three

Step Three will be the hardest thing for me to do. It’s an ongoing step. It is one that draws upon my spirituality and faith. Step Three requires that I forgive the people who are left in my circle who voted either knowingly or in ignorance regarding the consequences of their choice and the affect it might have on me personally. From a spiritual standpoint this is where the rubber hits the road. The truth is, this is the most powerful thing I can do, because I will never know peace and healing if I don’t. These are the words that have been swirling around in my head. “Forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Now you might say, “Well, some of them did know. How can you forgive someone like that?” Well, it’s hard. And I’m not going to say I’m good at this, or that I’ll get it right every time, but I need to remember that forgiveness is not about them, or what they do. It’s about me. Forgiving doesn’t let injustice, malice and ill intent off the hook, but forgiveness empowers me to remove myself from the position of victim, to gain control of the situation and to do something about it for the sake of justice without being sucked into the emotional drama that happens when we take things personally. It seems paradoxical. It’s not personal, but it is very personal, in that I have the power to choose whether I allow it to rule my life and my response to the world around me. I can be more effective when I am free from the bonds of unforgiveness.

So this is my list, my way of coping. You may not agree. Or if you do, you may not be here yet, and that’s okay. Take time to grieve. Take time to sort this all out in your own way. If you need a shoulder or just a friendly ear, I am here with others who know that we must never cease believing in all that is good and just and true. It’s been a shocking week. Maybe we all, even those of us who have been paying attention, needed to wake up and take things up a notch.

Peace Love and Hope to you all.

kat ~ 10 November 2016


Seasoning – Part 4

Henry puttered around noisily in the kitchen. “Tea…where is the tea?” he muttered while rummaging through each cabinet and drawer. “Damn Helen! Why couldn’t you leave well enough alone. Always prying where you’re not welcome!”

In the parlor, Helen scanned the perimeter of the room. The plant stand near the window caught her eye. Whatever once lived in this dry pot of soil was now a sad, brittle bunch of leafless stalks. It reminded her of the wheat fields of her youth, golden and ready for harvest. But this poor plant was clearly dead. “Well, this is fitting.” She huffed.

Henry nearly dropped the tea tray when he entered the room and saw Helen standing near the window. She was in that spot. Gathering his wits he asked, “What were you saying Helen?”

“Oh, there you are Henry. I was saying… that it is fitting that you have dead plants in the parlor. It goes with the rest of the decor.”

“I’ve been meaning to do something with that. I hope you like your tea black. I’m fresh out of cream.”

“It’ll do.” Helen swept dust off the sofa before taking a seat. “Sit Henry.”

Reluctantly, Henry plopped into an armchair across from Helen, releasing a cloud of dust that caused him to cough. “I wish you had called before coming.”

Helen burst into a boisterous cackle, “Oh Henry! That is rich! I have tried to call you, and I’ve written. I am here, Henry, because you have ignored every attempt I’ve made to contact you! Quite frankly, we’re all worried about you.”

“Who’s we? Well it doesn’t matter. You can tell everyone I’m fine.”

“Enough Henry!” Helen’s voice shifted. “You are not fine! And I am not leaving until I am sure you are fine.”

Henry slouched in his chair, “Suit yourself.” Secretly a part of him was relieved. Though he was loath to admit it, seeing her there, in the light of day covered in dust, proved she was right.

—————————-

This entry is fourth in a series prompted by Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge. Read previous chapters HERE.

A note about the painting by Vincent Van Gogh:
The Van Gogh Museum’s Wheat Field with Crows was made in July 1890, in the last weeks of Van Gogh’s life, many have claimed it was his last work. Others have claimed Tree Roots was his last painting. Wheat Field with Crows, made on an elongated canvas, depicts a dramatic cloudy sky filled with crows over a wheat field.[90] The wind-swept wheat field fills two thirds of the canvas. An empty path pulls the audience into the painting. Of making the painting Van Gogh wrote that he had made a point of expressing sadness, later adding “extreme loneliness” (de la solitude extrême), but also says he believes the canvases show what he considers healthy and fortifying, the storm and crows powerfully offset by the restorative nature of the countryside.



No Words – A Trilonnet 

For Jane Dougherty’s latest poetry challenge to write a Trilonnet beginning with the opening phrase, “the light is gone…”

Struggling this week to find the Muse midst overwhelming workplace drama and our nation’s polarizing rage. I think I might need to stop watching the news and reading company memos. Ignorance is bliss!

The light is gone, there are no words
as grief’s consuming shroud descends
and swelling tears cascade like rain

The reaper’s sickle sweeps again
more innocents will meet their end,
our vain laments will go unheard

the aftermath’s familiar dirge
as liberty clouds common sense,
unanswered why’s and how’s remain,

no consolation for the pain,
resigned there’ll be no recompense
for terrorism’s bloody scourge.

A consequence of apathy,
thus doomed to repeat history.

kat ~ 24 June 2016


The Letter – Part 3 – June’s Story


“I couldn’t get out of that kitchen fast enough!” June set the box and packing paper on the floor near the fireplace. Beads of perspiration dotted her forehead and upper lip. She knew this was not the end of it but she needed to figure out how to deal with the questions that would surely follow. She looked at her sister’s portrait on the mantle.

“What were you thinking Annie?! You had to know Grace would find it. Of all places to store that blasted letter…a recipe box!”

June busied herself packing photographs. Some of the frames would surely bring a high price at auction but it didn’t feel right removing the photos. No, they would remain intact. She sighed when she took his picture from the shelf, holding it to her heart.

“Oh Tommy, Grace was always meant to be our secret. You didn’t tell Annie, did you? That would explain the letter, right there where Grace was sure to find it.” She held the frame so she could see his face. “You didn’t tell her did you Tommy?”

It was one night. A weak moment. Tom was inconsolable when he arrived at June’s door. Annie was in the hospital recovering from her fourth miscarriage. She had begged him for a divorce, he had said, telling him she was a failure as a wife…defective as a woman. Annie told Tom that he needed more that she could give. He needed a wife who could carry to term the children he dreamed of having. She said it was the best thing for them both.

But Tom didn’t feel that way. He loved Annie with all his heart. They could adopt he had told her. He begged her to reconsider, but her mind was settled. She demanded that he leave, screaming that she hated him, causing such a stir that hospital security had to be called. They escorted Tom to the street. From there he went to the only safe place he knew. He went to June’s.

June poured Tom a glass of wine, then one for herself. As she sat across the table from him she gazed at his strong shoulders crumbling under the weight of his grief. How fragile he looked. How lucky her sister was to be loved so deeply by such a sensitive man.  

They talked for hours, mostly about Annie, then about his dreams and hopes, his childhood growing up in the country, and as the wine flowed, June spoke of her dream of becoming a designer.

There was a chill in the air. Tom offered to build a fire. June joined him in the parlor with another bottle of wine. The crackling fire and warmth from the wine swirled around them, through them. Their eyes met. It was only one time…one night that changed everything.

And now Grace knew. Well, she knew that her mother was not Annie.

Three months after that night, June could no longer deny that she now carried within her the child her sister so desperately longed for. She lied to Annie, telling her that the father was a one-night stand, not someone she had ever considered seriously. Eventually June knew what she must do. It was the only way to make things right.

June glanced at the clock on the mantle. It was time for lunch. She called to the kitchen, “Grace, are you at a stopping point? I’m famished,” another lie, “what do you say we head out to the diner. I think we could both use a break.”

“Coming Auntie June. Let me get a sweater.” I’m not going to push it at lunch, but one day I want to hear the truth. I need to know why June gave me to my parents to raise. She owes me that much.

kat ~ 7 March 2016

This entry is by request. Clearly there is more story to tell. Thank you everyone for encouraging me! 😊

To read previous chapters click on the links below:

The Letter

The Letter Part 2

and the next part…

The Letter Part 4


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