For One I Loved and Lost

My Mom, Jane Gordon Cook, March 31, 1934 – July 7, 2021

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On July 7, 2021, my greatest cheerleader, most enduring audience, loving critic, incomparable supporter, and most beloved mother, Jane Cook, passed away from this life.  Life will never be the same. Writing will never be the same.  The following are some pathetic attempts at thoughts on her passing, in the knowledge that words can never express what we feel with great loss and great love.  As I wrote the following, I thought of others I loved who have passed and those I love now and foolishly hope will never die. Friends –Seize the Day and let those you love, know it – right now.  Jane

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#1 Your Love Is Still Here

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A lot of people died today,

but only one was mine.

A lot of people passed away.

I wonder, which were Thine?

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I know not what is at Life’s End.

A lot of people can pretend,

that Death is simply Heaven’s Bend;

but no one truly comprehends.

All that I know?– You were my friend.

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And I shall strive to live the part,

Your love created in my heart.

And I will trust, through all my tears,

that your Love still is here.

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#2 I Only Know Now

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And do not say to me, “It will…”

I only know what is no longer now.

And do not tell me “It will get better…”

Today I can only live in this moment,

 that this bleak Finality “is”.

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My eschatology veered sharply from yours,

the moment that my Some\body died.

The End Times are upon me

and I will live with ashes on my soul

in a world that cannot bear the sight of

the ashes I long to wear on my head.

If only the world could see the black armband

constricting the muscles around my heart.

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Some\body died today; Some\body who cared for

and was cared for by me;

that first and ultimate person,

who made the “I”, in “me”, a “We”;

that “We” is now forever and ever lost.

And like a limb lopped off of my being,

the ghost of remembrance of what used to be,

gives me no joy.

Encouragements of what I might be able to do someday

without my lost limb,

give me no comfort.

Loss is all. Loss is now.

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You long to leap straight and with daring ease,

back to the past of memories,

or to the future, which you believe,

is free of sorrow and heavenly.

Be free in knowing,

I do not begrudge you, your need or your worldview.

But please do not offer it to me.

It is a poor substitution for my grief.

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Death for me, has brought endless ending,

and Now, is only dross.

And in my loss,

the emptiness and lack of meaning,

is all I can hold on to.

I cannot see the shore, until I have drowned,

and all I can cling to

is what made me feel safe,

and gave Love its meaning

for me, for us.

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I have lost the one voice that’s been inside,

my head, my heart, for all these years.

Please keep your platitudes and thoughts you mean to cheer me.

I will, however, grateful be, if you would silently,

endure with me my tears.

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Time has finally condensed the story,

constricting like a deadly boa,

to Only Now.

The Now is the ache of the battering ram of emotions,

the unbidden memories that spell “no more”,

the gaping holes in my heart,

the “what ifs” and “shoulds” and “could haves, should haves, would haves”

… if only.

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Oh yes, with time, wounds stop seeping,

and may, in time, become scars.

Yes, duties and needs will stop my weeping,

but for now, my strength is bleeding out.

And in these lost and mournful hours,

 I can only know Now, in my heart.

For the You that was mine, and the life that was “ours”,

for me, in life-left, left me ever alone,

from the moment for me, we were finally apart.

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Going forward tomorrow I do not know how,

and your memories are slicing me through.

For today, it is true I may only know Now,

Yet one thing I do know — you loved me,

and Oh! How I loved you.

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I will always miss you Mom, and I wish I could tell you that again. I will always love you, Mom and I wish that I had told you that more. 

Jane,  July 18, 2021

Loss and Love Becoming

By Jane Tawel

Welcome to Happy Town..

“Welcome to Happy Town..” by In Memoriam: Mr. Ducke is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Loss and Love Becoming

By Jane Tawel

June 15, 2020

And so, we watch.  And listen.  There is sometimes nothing more. And sometimes the least we can do, is the best we can do.

 

And so, as all things must end, we grasp the final straw of a moment, wishing we could start a new haystack, start all over again, building something permanent, not something so easily burnt-up, burnt-out, smoldering within the hazy, choking smoke of our agonizing defeats.

 

And we look away from the fires, and we do not reach out our hands. These fires do not warm us. We run to the water, knowing that nothing lasts but the ebb and flow of life and death, life and death, life and death… like waves coming to shore but leaving for somewhere unkept.

 

Wishing hard will hurt the heart, but giving up will kill the soul. There can be no end to the mercy we must grant our pain.

 

“Yesterday, I should have done”. “Today, I must”. We tell ourselves tall tales while, Tomorrow beckons like a small flame easily snuffed-out by loss.

 

Each moment can be a new beginning to the hopes nestled in our cherished memories. Each intention falls short unless propped-up by a letting-go of self-containment. There is no joy in the prison of one’s certainty of aloneness nor in the sham of the inevitability of acceptance.

 

We do not long for a god residing somewhere past death, but crawl along the helpless shards of our afflictions for Someone better, Someone bigger, Someone who is not us but is with us. And every loss is a death and every death a loss.

 

And yet…. And yet ….

 

the soul responds to uncertainty with the certainty that death and loss are an illuminating darkness and darkness is what we were created to overcome. We fight the unacceptable with our acceptance that we are broken and with the stubborn wills of our need for wholeness.

 

We have never known wholeness. Its adopted spurious offspring are myths born of the illegitimacy of our need to numb our emotions and quell our rational fears. We claw at the desire to forget, clinging to forgetting like a raft in a hurricane. We remember in a panic and hold-on for dear life, for dear life, for dear life… to that which has almost drowned us and that which has kept us afloat.

 

In the suddenly YES! — we sometimes see fragments of a dappled radiance among divine clues hidden in plain sight in the world’s penumbra. We co-exist with Deity when we, weeping, Yearn.

We reveal ourselves to be that which from whom we most want to blind ourselves. And in our darkest nights, we awaken to a brilliance made porous by our pain. In the dawns of our best loves, we rise with tattered wings made translucent with the practice-flights of time.  Only with holes gaping in our souls, can there be light for the long journey.

 

We are most luminous when we are most changeable. The shadows see our lambent light and flee.

 

We long to look at loss and pain as dross, best left uncovered, undiscovered, unused. But pain is a geode, a hard, dirty clod, formed in fire, hiding its truth deep within.  Our hearts must be broken to find the glory nestled inside of us. The hard things formed in fire, when broken and opened, reveal a crystalline universe of reflective beauty, as substantial as heartache, as durable as hope, as fierce as love, as illuminating as the truth behind a waterfall of tears.

 

Every loss is a piece of the soul’s broken imagination. Each loss awaits the sticky residue of our tears, the paste of our determination, and the glue of our love. We gently hold our sorrow as long as it takes to see where it belongs, before we stick-back into place the broken part, reforming the wholeness within us.

 

The pieces of pain dug out from our depths are laid down, piece by piece, like small tiles, laid next to the bits and chunks of love we have mined- out from the moments of our best selves, and as we lay-down piece by piece of loss and love and love’s losses and losses’ loves next to each other, the mosaic of our life takes its exquisite shape. And it is dangerous and it is awesome to behold.

 

And with all the love and all the loss, we create the kaleidoscope of our celestial luminosity. And this is who we may yet become.

Geode

“Geode” by bobandcarol71661 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

(c) Jane Tawel 2020.