a fearful thing

My loving, kind, hilarious, and talented brother took his own life this week.  Why and fuck are two words I continue to say at least once an hour.  The tears flow as I think of his beloved wife and the days, weeks, and years ahead of her. My heart breaks as I think of my other two brothers that are grieving their best friend and faithful companion.  And I fall into a puddle of grief as I imagine the heartbreak of all our parents.

Why?

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Why?

When I was little, we would go to the beach and play in the waves.  Sometimes a wave larger than we were expecting would crash over our heads and take us under the water.  Sometimes we would swallow large amounts of salt water.  Others, the wave would tumble us into the sand and we would be dragged along the ground.  Others, the waves would be so strong, we would be tossed like a shirt in the washer and not know which way was up.  Most of the time, the wave would give us all three in one swoop.

This is how I experience grief.  I will be doing a simple chore, and suddenly, like a wave, I am taken under by sadness.  A memory of a happier time or the idea of my brother being this sad and hopeless will pop into my head.  Sometimes I simply weep, others I fall to the ground into a puddle of sadness.  Occasionally, the grief feels so deep and overwhelming, it reminds of tumbling in the waves, being hit by the sand, not knowing which way is up.

And just as suddenly as it all came on, I am back to swimming through life, knowing that the next wave will be coming- not knowing how strong it will come on nor how hard it will tumble me about.

As I swim and wade through these waves of grief, I catch my breath and try and soothe my tired and wounded soul.  I try and find moments of hope, quiet, and gentleness.  One way I find that is through poetry. It helps to hear the words of the broken hearts that have gone before me.

‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
to be,
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
to love.
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.

Tis a Fearful Thing
~Yehuda HaLevi

 

Your body is away from me
But there is a window open
from my heart to yours.
From this window, like the moon
I keep sending news secretly.
~ Rumi

To live in this world
you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
~Mary Oliver, “In Blackwater Woods.”

Go out to the world and love each other today.  Be kind.  Be gentle. Be love. Be you.

14 comments

  1. kpweiss · May 25

    I’m so sorry for you and your family!
    My sincere condolences for your loss.

    • Staci Lee · May 25

      Thank you so much.

  2. I’m so sorry friend. Your heart is so big and beautiful and I don’t understand life sometimes so the way you explain this with your words is a gift you have a gift to write out how people feel in times of great loss especially when it’s sudden, unexpected. My heart breaks for you and your family.

    • Staci Lee · May 25

      Thank you, friend. xx

  3. whippetwisdom · May 25

    I am so sorry for your loss, you and your family are in our prayers. May your brother rest in peace 💜

    • Staci Lee · May 25

      Thank you.

  4. Jayne · May 25

    Beautiful expressions of your grief. You are feeling your feelings and letting the deep hurt, hurt. That too is a sign of hope.

  5. Barbara Marincel · May 25

    Reblogged this on Life is Grace and commented:
    This, from a dear friend of mine in California. Please read and take her closing words to heart.
    And if you are hurting so desperately that you can see no way out but to take your own life, know that you will take many others with you. And, I beg you, seek help.

  6. Pam Sogge · May 26

    Such heartbreak Staci. So very very sad. My deepest sympathy.
    Pam

    • Staci Lee · May 26

      Thank you. 💙

  7. Lisa Gordon · May 26

    Staci, I am so very, very sorry.
    Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Susan Licht · May 28

    Oh Staci, I’m so very sorry to read this. My brother took his own life..those waves continue to come and go. Sending prayers and love to you and your family.

    • Staci Lee · May 28

      I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing that with me and thank you for your prayers. 😍

  9. dianeschuller.com · June 13

    Oh Staci, I realize these are mere words but I am so sorry that you and your family are having to bear this. You’ve written so eloquently about your brother’s dying and his living. I’m sorry too that your brother felt so much sadness that he took his own life. Warm hugs across the Internet miles.

Thank you for your kind words.

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