Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday, I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Desert


When someone close to you dies, you begin to walk among the dead. My essay at Open to Hope.

        *

Desert                 


A dry, desolate land of rocks and sand.
Beyond the outskirts of civilization.

I rise with the sun, even though I haven’t slept,
go to bed when I can’t stay awake,
eat when I have to.
No one needs me to do anything anymore.
It feels wrong to live alone.
It feels wrong to be alive.
Each morning I plant the seeds
of grief in a small garden,
water them with a bucket I carry from the creek.

Each day I remove stones from the soil,
stack them in a cairn for my dead.

In the afternoon I sit in the doorway of my hut,
let the sun warm bones
that have been cold too long.

Feelings of anger and despair rise.

Loneliness often stops to visit.
It doesn’t talk much.
Neither do I.
I make tea from the plants in my garden.
It’s bitter, but I’m getting used to it.

Each night I read about the desert dwellers
who observed this land and listened
to the cactus wrens sing
even when their throats were dry. 

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