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.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Three Sequoia Cones

In the early morning light, held tightly inside by the death of someone I loved, I sit on a log in the transparency of the sun. In the vibrancy of fresh air. In the clarity of the mountains. The trauma of death has shaken me.

I think about my failings — working too long on tasks and not spending enough time with Ev. Not loving freely from the heart. Not slowing down often enough to be present to the suffering of others. This is who I’ve been. 

I hold three sequoia cones in my hand, each cut down by Chickaree squirrels somewhere above. They mark the presence of death, and the memories of life given and life received. The seeds are held tightly inside by the cones.

Yet the cones won’t open without the trauma of a forest fire. 

The seeds are tiny, like flecks of afterthoughts. The massive sequoia trees around me, strong and beautiful, rose up from seeds like this and are now 300 feet tall, 30 feet around, and 3000 years old.

Grief has three cones:
One is anger.  
One is apathy.  
One is kindness.

Which seeds will I plant?

The journey once begun, begins again.

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