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"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass







Monday, June 4, 2012

pocket of sorrow, six feet deep

it rained.

i unpacked them from the car
all of us hesitant, unsure how to begin
how to act out here, in the rows marked with grief.




it was their first time standing at the foot of the deceased.
it was my first time bringing them into a part
of me that wasn't strong and all knowing.







i have told them about him.
how he grew me in his quiet love,
how the glass-top lake seemed to sparkle when he smiled.


i have placed their feet in the soil of my youth.
i have filled their lungs with the same country air.
and i have sung them to sleep under that Northern sky.





yet, for six years i had kept this place closed.
this place of heartbreak.
i had traveled alone, stood by his sleeping head and whispered my words to him as the raven called my grief from somewhere above me.

i brought to him now my new birth, signs of the life that continued without him.
Ava's pink raincoat appeared garish against the muted green.
their youthful breaths seemed indulgent among those that have none.

i swallowed against the anger that his arms were right below us
yet he could not fold them around these babies,
he could not hold me the way he used to that reminded me i was home.



angst as their warm new flesh traced his name on the cool hard stone.

they watched me, unsure -







as my eyes flashed
jaws clenched
until at last i gave way to the well of tears.










and in the holy reverence of childhood,
they did not retreat.
they stayed right there in the moment with me

as a window into their mama's soul was reveled to them:

in my heart, lies a pocket of sorrow, six feet deep.

i knelt down and pressed them to me
allowing their warmth to find the spaces grown cold,
never so fully aware of just the thin strip of earth that separated my childhood and my motherhood.

around us the rain made
soft pools in the dirt that i had watched
cover him with darkness all those years ago.

i felt their strength flagging me on each side
the divinity of their pure love poured out for those they had never met
slowly healing the red of the fresh raw.


i stood and faced the tree line, hands finding mine in the organic rhythm of mother and child.

today, i knew this ground not only cradled my past in its belly,
it had allowed for love to grow us here.

and to this cycle we will always remain -

part of this ever turning of soil,
this risky business of bringing to the surface both death and new life.




{linking with SDG , Just Write , imperfect prose, TOYS}
 read to be read at yeahwrite.me

73 comments:

  1. Heartbreaking and very, very beautiful.

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  2. I have missed you, glad to read your beautiful words. Sorrowful but sacred all at the same time. And your pictures are gorgeous.

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  3. These words here are so beautiful, so raw and aching. The sorrow was so evident that I wanted to do something, say something, that would slice through and help in some small way to walk you toward peace.
    And yet, your beautiful children did that, didn't they? In that thin strip of earth between your childhood and your motherhood. Pure love.
    No words to explain how this post moved me. Sending prayers to heaven for you and your sweet children.

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  4. Oh, my. These words are a divine mix of sorrow and hope- which is the very heart of life on this side of heaven, isn't it? So glad you are back- beautiful as always. Praying for you and that precious clan of life you are raising and loving.

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  5. I was hanging on every word, Tara. And I didn't want your story to end. I'm going back now to read it all over again...

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  6. risky business indeed.
    thank you for bringing us there with you. to the battlefield of your heart.
    and thank you for allowing your children to see this part of you who mourns and yearns for what this world can no longer provide.
    Hugs to you, friend.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this story of sorrow, memories, and love. Sharing those moments with your children must be a sacred, cherished memory. And those pictures are beautiful!

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  8. sniffle. what a moment you've captured.

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  9. You are so brave. I visited my father's grave on Valentine's Day, 1999. I was pregnant with my Noah. I haven't been back since, 30 miles away. I can't do it. My son often asks to see his grandfather's grave but I'm never ready. Others offer but it has to be me. I can't handle the emotions.

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  10. Oh this is just a gorgeous piece of writing. Honestly one of the best blog pieces I have EVER read. And I'm not just talking about this competition. Simply beautiful. I cried.

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  11. Wonderful and beautiful and heartbreaking and strong and touching and inspiring and powerful...
    I could go on forever. You really have a very special gift. I absolutely love your writing.

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  12. I still feel the rawness of your experience and I love how you will speak in the midst of the fresh.
    Amazing how somethings change and they stay the same.
    I rest in the midst of these words:
    "and to this cycle we will always remain -
    part of this ever turning of soil,"
    I like you a lot, Tara, A LOT! <3

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  13. You took my breath away with this one. I don't even have words.

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  14. Don't know what I love more. The pictures or the words. The pictures are so beautiful they could stand alone. You could feel the tone you carried on this day.

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  15. There is a quiet strength in our children that amazes me. Sometimes the power they bring to the simple and the sublime is incredible. Very sorry for your loss.

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  16. You are a gifted writer . Thank you for being brave and sharing something that you have kept all these years.

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  17. This post touched me deeply, Tara. "In the holy reverence of childhood/they did not retreat./they stayed right there in the moment with me."

    That line's going to stay with me. And I'm so glad you have such love in your life.

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  18. Prayers to you and your sweet little ones.

    The events we have avoided, the hurts we have buried are best faced with God at our side to help us see, to hold us as we grieve, to comfort us and to lead us to a better place in our hearts and minds.

    Thank you so much for sharing this difficult moment. I have no doubt you have blessed and encouraged others through it.

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  19. Ohmyheart, this is stunning.

    Beautiful words, photos, and heart.

    (I'm so very sorry for your loss.)

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  20. Lovely. You took raw emotion and refined it into something beautiful. Ellen

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  21. As the raven called out my grief somewhere above me.... beautiful. You've outdone yourself with this one, Tara. Stunning imagery and emotion. I always enjoy your posts, but this one, wow!

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  22. This is beautiful. My son never knew his grandfather, and I haven't imagined the time when I will take him to his grave- until now. Thanks for writing this.

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  23. Beautiful embrace of everything that life brings. Scary and wonderful.

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  24. Tara, your words embrace my heart as I ponder what it would be like if I could go back there but it is thousands of miles away. Thank you for taking me there with your words. How beautifully written is this tribute to the past and the present. You are a gifted writer and you share your gift so well.

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  25. Oh wow...the tenderness and rawness of your words is so good. There is something so right and necessary in sharing these moments with our little ones. Because as much as I want to shelter them from the pains of this world, I want to prepare them too for the moments like this in life that are inevitable. And, you know, I've found surprising comfort in the arms of my three year old daughter as I've grieved my own losses. Somehow she has a compassion and understanding well beyond her years. Thank you for this.

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  26. There is absolutely nothing I can say in this small comment space that will do any justice to the beautiful piece you wrote.
    Amazing job with the words, and the images complimented it perfectly.
    Beautiful.

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  27. Both your words and your pictures are always so beautiful, Tara. I know that was really hard for you but I think that was really good for them and you too. Sometimes it's okay for our kids to see us grieve.

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  28. the pictures and the words--so beautiful, so raw, so aching and honest.

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  29. It's funny how our kids get it. They do somehow. We don't always need to protect or pretend with them. I think some of my most touching and profound moments with my kids is when I've just let them see me, you know? We can bring them in and draw them close.
    This is beautiful, powerful. My heart goes out to you and your deep loss and sorrow.

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  30. Its amazing the way our children can heal and strengthen us, isn't it? Their tiny little hearts will never know how much they can save us...

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  31. What a difficult task. My son was at my mother's funeral, but he was just an infant. Not sure how or when I'll broach the subject with him. All I know is it won't be easy.

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  32. All I can say is I'm so very sorry what you have suffered. Deep anguish came seeping out of your writing and the photographs. A beautiful, poignant piece.

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  33. I could hear the ravens crying your grief. What a description.

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  34. A beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your words.

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  35. The title alone got me. Beautiful, heartbreaking, so touching.

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  36. That was so beautiful. I remember when my grandfather died. I was 12; it was the first time I had seen my mother cry.

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  37. I felt as though I was right there with you... powerful and elequent words. Your writing is so poignant, I'm so lucky to be able to read your work!

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  38. Beautiful. I wish I had more words for you but I don't. This was truly beautiful.

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  39. wow, such beautiful words. hoping you find peace in Him today.

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  40. A sad reality, but a wise step.

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  41. I am speechless, Tara. Just: wow.

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  42. wow. i know for them this was a powerful moment...and to me as well in the reading...i am glad you did this with them...felt....

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  43. Tara...this is hauntingly beautiful...I love how you allowed your children in to your buried sorrow...and the pictures are just perfect. blessings to you~

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  44. This is beautiful, and powerful, and heartbreaking, and healing - all at once.

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  45. I am at a loss for words. this was stunning and raw and poignant.
    I haven't taken my kids to a grave yet....but they have seen me very vulnerable recently. so I can relate on a similar level.
    i am so very sorry for your loss, but grateful that you shared your heart here. so beautifully written.

    I am in awe of you.

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  46. The one image of your boy is haunting. This was a raw and beautiful post.

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  47. Beautiful writing, beautiful children, beautiful photographs, and beautiful eulogy of heartfelt grief.

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  48. an achingly honest and beautiful sharing of your heart with us and with your children...I'm glad they were there to comfort you...so sorry...if it is okay, I'm sending you a {{hug}}

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  49. I'm so sorry for you painful loss..."and in the holy reverence of childhood,
    they did not retreat.
    they stayed right there in the moment with me"...children need to see our fragility, it makes us all stronger and more compassionate. Such beautiful writing...you open your heart with such grace.

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  50. Sometimes it's hard to allow little eyes see our sorrow. Children hold a vast amount of comfort just waiting to wrap around the pain in our hearts. Such beauty in those little ones.

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  51. This made me sad, and I'm not very good at writing about sad, so forgive that I sound like I'm in the 4th grade. I loved the repeated themes of pockets and bellies...something about the words made me feel like sorrow was being uncovered, unpackaged. I don't know. I'm bad at describing such things, but this was very powerful.

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  52. Tara -- you have taken my breath away...

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  53. i am proud of you. for helping them face this hard and unsure place. for trusting them, in this way. i see such love for you in your beautiful son's eyes...

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  54. I've read this twice now, so so beautiful. "and in the holy reverence of childhood,
    they did not retreat." What strength and wisdom our children have sometimes, that we lose in our years. Your children {and your heart} are just beautiful.

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  55. It's both heartwarming and heartbreaking... You're doing a great job helping them through this phase in life.

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  56. wow, this one made the tears spill fresh. achingly beautiful.

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  57. I have two kids, 11 and 13, and we lost my dad six years ago. This made my heart ache. Thank you for sharing it.

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  58. These moments of learning, profound and significant, in a string, make up our lives. You expressed this one in a wonderful way.

    http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2012/06/07/art-in-some-stanzas/

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  59. Exquisite. Children are wise souls. They know what we do not. When do we forget?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing this over at the Take Off Your Shoes, You're on Holy Ground (TOYS) linkup. This was holy ground indeed.

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  60. I don't know what to say...This was beautiful. Heartbreaking. Excellent.

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  61. Tara,

    I am so sorry for your ache and for this loss. Was he your dad, brother, son? I am sorry, friend. Thank you for peeling back the veil for us and for your children too. "As a window into their mama's soul was revealed to them..."

    Powerful.

    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

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  62. Wow, your writing is soul clenching!

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  63. So brave Tara to let them see the deep pocket, so deep...they needed to know, to see into the window. We know your loss and we don't. You have connected with your story in a holy way with the image bearers of God.

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  64. "never so fully aware of just the thin strip of earth that separated my childhood and my motherhood."

    So beautiful. My favorite line. I also especially love the way you interlace the photos with the poem. Really lovely.

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  65. This reaches down deep inside of me... And gosh woman I so wish I could sit across a table from you and have tea and talk. We'd have a lot to talk over I think.

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  66. This is so raw and vulnerable, Tara. Thanks so much for giving us a peek into your private moment. You are growing, healing and moving past this hurt. Beautiful post and pics. LOVE the tree pic especially!

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  67. oh, Tara, i loved this for so many reasons and in so many ways, its hard to say. after being up with my child having a night terror last night until 3 am, i was having a hard time writing. well. i may have found some inspiration, girl. love you.

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