Monday, August 1, 2011

i'm inspired to write, usually, because of a weird, random thought,
a deep one.  something that i just HAVE to get out of my head to make room for more nonsense.
something you're not sure you could talk about to anyone,
but could at least write down on paper.
it could be something someone says or does that gets me thinking,
sparks my creativity.
sometimes i'll hear a song, that again, kicks my brain wheels in to high speed contemplation.  like this song.
or many times, it's an experience.  a life event.
that stops me in my tracks.
that makes me need to write.
death is a life event.
like a birth, a wedding,
something you never forget.
and no matter who it's for, no matter how close or distant the relationship,
it effects you.
death reminds you that we're only here for a little bit,
even if 100 years.
it goes fast.
are you TRULY living your life?
or waiting, pacing, sitting, stewing, fearing, procrastinating. . .
NOW is a good time to figure out your life's purpose.
to take that leap or make that change.
because before you know it, there you are.
an uncle died.  a deep sadness and loss for my family,
an empty place in all of our hearts, our holiday table, our future.
it's such a weird place to be.  especially for those who loved him most.
surreal and dream-like.
death has that effect on the living.
the initial shock and sadness to eventual ache and longing for what once was.
to try and pick up and move forward with that emptiness.
that's the tricky part of death.
not the planning, the wake, the funeral, the details,
you float through all of that.
it's the after.
it's the moving forward, learning to live again without them, that we can't prepare for, that we just LEARN to do, over time.
my husband and i both come from big families.
and although we may not be close with everyone,
have had our share of loss and disappointment, anger and upset, 
and may not have taken the time to really get to know every one,
our lives are forever intertwined with theirs,
that is what makes you FAMILY, after all.
it never ceases to amaze me. . .death.  how awful and heart wrenching and debilitating grieving can be,
finding yourself in that awkward moment above a casket or an urn,
wondering what just happened and how did we get here.
and they were just here yesterday and now they're gone.
how odd it is, that we are so easily plucked, it seems,
from this world.
like a flower from a field.
but how beautiful some of those moments can be.
the little reminders wedged between those uncomfortable places,
showing us we always have love,
each other,
that we're NEVER alone.
how sweet the recollection of memories can be, the celebration of a life.
the images and stories that take you back and fill you with love, joy and appreciation for the time you had with them.
the SLEW of evidence left behind, that, although you may be gone now, you WERE here,
you lived 
and you were loved.
whether we see it coming or we're caught off guard,
it just is.
a part of life.
and like a great wedding, family is brought together,
in an exchange of smiles and tears and hugs.
eyes are met, hands are held, stories are shared.
to remember but to give hope to the future,
and ensure support for the rough days ahead.
a funeral, although sad, sometimes awkward and uncomfortable,
is the best way we know how to honor and celebrate a life.
a funeral on a sunny day, helps.  helps keep your spirits lifted.
but it just seems so appropriate, often times, to have rain.  like today.
a stormy day, here in MN,
as we celebrated my uncle, huddled close together in our families' church,
thunder rumbling above us, rain tapping at the windows, 
as the priest spoke about this man and the life he led,
to the fullest.
candles flickering through our tears, music ringing in our ears,
we said our goodbye's, to a good man,
who unexpectedly but quickly moved from this life to the next.
as his brother finished paying tribute to him, the church bells tolled.
and as we sat in silence, listening,
you couldn't help but wonder of the significance of that ending.
bells swinging under a storm-filled sky.
the priest said that was actually a sign.  that if BOTH were happening at the same time,
thunder and church bells, it was a sign that God was SIGNIFICANTLY present.
He was.  you could feel it.  and it brought a moment of peace for a life lost.
death forces you to reflect, whether you like it or not.
at your own life and the lives of those you love.
maybe a little yearning, maybe, to figure out your purpose.  
to take care of yourself so you can better serve others,
selflessly and gracefully.
to learn to live with 'spiritual readiness,'
living life and appreciating every second, fully and humbly, knowing it will some day, come to an the meantime, learning to give more, share more, judge less, listen better, laugh often.
all those little things we can do, to help make someone else's life better,
a little easier.
my uncle did just that.
and for that, he will always be remembered.


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