Grief never leaves you – you change over time as you adjust to the empty spaces. Looking at a calm sea is rather like the face you show the world when a loved one dies. But, under the sea, there is a whole other reality with sea life, plants, and currents. Under the calm exterior, we remember.
It has been two years since my brother Bobby died. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. I can’t believe he is not still alive and well. I can’t believe how painful it is when I stop pretending he is at home with his family or out walking his best pal, Louie. I miss you Buzz!
My Kahu, Dennis Alger shared this poem with me and it really resonated even though it sounds as if it’s about someone’s mother crossing over the rainbow bridge. I think it applies to any loved one. It made me think of Bobby and my mother.
Empty now…or is it?
The birds in their exuberance come the feeders
But the seeds they once scattered are gone.
The honey house, the gardens in winter
All seem void in this her absence.
The house, the labor of love from fifty years ago
Sheltered and survived life passages over the decades.
The home where friends and family and students
Gathered to study, eat, share complex and pertinent conversation.
All of this changed now, it seems; the end of an era as
The matriarch, the one always in charge
Has taken her leave, has made her choice, has left this garden
For another, and we are left to ponder the emptiness.
To remember, to appreciate, to enjoy, to give voice to
The ways our paths crossed, our lives intersected, our minds connected.
We were bidden to pay attention, do our homework, know the facts
And see the beauty in the midst of
Scattered birdseed, jars of honey, wooded hills .
Wild assortments of flowers and all of Earth’s children
These things that point to, speak of, and
Are rooted deeper than the topsoil in faith made manifest
In acts of generosity – to family, church, community
And a few strays among us –saying at times
“Never mind,” to the recipients with a kind laugh
Knowing from whence comes such spirit.
And spirit remains as loved ones remember and others
Clean and sort and organize and laugh and cry
In the process of settling in another
Generation in a home well-acquainted with the “bread of
Tears,” faith, hope, love, thoughtfulness, and laughter
As a breeze through the trees, honey in the tea, and birdsong.
Mahalo nui loa to Kahu Dennis Alger for sharing.