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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Twenty Years

20 years have risen and set

days drawn infinitely long
while the years,
like the white belly of the bird overhead, slip by.

20 years my skin has grown.

as childhood made way for adolescence
shaping, curving around womanhood.

taunt and soft
as my skin harbored
two new lives beneath its surface.

while yours has remained underground.

20 years I have spent
matting the floor by your sleeping head
with my growing steps.

And yet,
I cannot escape the
cold February wind at my back.

those hot tears,
stinging, freezing
survivor streaks onto my 9 year old cheeks.

my hand
as it clutched the raw earth.

the thud.
still hitting my ears
as I let the earth drop

against the box that wrapped you in deaths embrace.

that whittling cold
seeped inside me
hollowing a corner of my heart

the size
of the jagged pit
I watched you lowered into.

This grief  - the grey wolf
expertly weaving between the barren birch
in and out of view.

silhouetted on the
still clear night
by the rise of another moon.

it's lone cry,
reverberating over the snow covered ground
releases my own.

This month marks 20 years of having lost my heart's beacon. 
While life has certainly continued its sweet song, Amber's prompt "Box" reminded me of the box that reshapes me still.


  1. Oh Tara. Those "survivor streaks" that the tears made on your sweet nine year old face. The cries released. What words to say to such beauty written about such a painful memory? This was breathtaking my friend. You are such a strong woman with such a gift for painting word pictures.

    1. i so appreciate you being here with me always, Danelle.

  2. "the rise of another moon." wow.
    to all the places i still mourn, your words land gentle. like the promise of a sweeter, purer moonbeam, arriving on the heels of a goodbye kiss.
    grieving is a subject i have been pondering often lately.
    good to know i'm not alone.

    1. well shoot darlin' - i think you're comment blew the original piece out of the water for beauty and soul. :)

  3. You have me in tears. And it hits so close to home. My little guy is going through a tough time as well, grieving for a very special person he lost (I just wrote about it as well).
    xo, my friend. Beautiful.

    1. there are just certain people that completely change our worlds aren't there? so sorry he has to walk this road of learning life without him, but i trust he will take the lesson of being loved well into everything he does. xo.

  4. Oh mercy Tara. This is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing it. Wow...Grief as grey wolf? Perfection...

    1. thank you so much for coming beside me, seeing beauty in this stark landscape. there is beauty and love in each season of life, and it's easier to find it with people at your side.

  5. Replies
    1. i so love it when you're here. thank you!

  6. oh my heart.
    felt that so deeply,
    the vivid picture you weave so well
    with your words.
    aching with and for you,

    1. thank you for taking the ache up with me. there is so much beauty in knowing you're not alone.

  7. Just came to read this again. Nbd.

    1. it's never nbd when you're here. :) would love to cozy up with you and some hot beverage and talk through life.

  8. Tara,

    Did you lose a sibling? I'm so sorry.

    Re your comment on my post "Why You're Never Too Old," ....."Holding on to the open and humble..." yes!

    Nice to talk with you again, Tara.

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. nice to talk with you too, Jennifer! I did not lose a sibling. It was my grandpa that i lost. the first lost that taught me so much about life.

  9. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

    1. i'm so glad that you're here. thank you.

  10. Wow. Just that. Wow. How do you do this? Achingly beautiful and rip-my-heart-out sad, all in the same piece?? My grandsons lost their dad when they were 17, 14 and 10. How I hope they'll one day process that loss so beautifully and honestly. I am so sorry for your loss, whether it was mother, father or grandparent.

    1. how i ache for them to know this loss and more as i lost a grandfather, but a father, oh. another level, but as i deal more and more with kids handling grief {i volunteer with a kids grieving group} the more and more i am breathless for how this grief and life weaves for these children. how they take the joy and sorrow and place them all in themselves deeply. there is a raw beauty to learning these lessons young.

  11. I never know what to say, your words are so beautiful, the pictures you paint so clear, visceral. But wanted you to know I read and am moved. Thanks for sharing, deeply grateful.

    1. oh, kimberly. thank you so much for your being here. i smile every time i see your name. you are such a beautiful soul. xo.

  12. Just the ache and how you have created beauty out of a raw ache that I imagine never fully goes away...Thank you, Tara.

  13. This line...survivor streaks onto my 9 year old cheeks...oh my GOODNESS!! Tara, you take my breath away. I'm so, so sorry for your loss, your heartbreak. Thank you for sharing this most precious and sacred grief with us.

  14. My son has watched several friends lose grandparents within a very short space of time, and I realized this is as close as he's come yet to losing someone to death. I remember many trips to the funeral home as a child, but none prepared me for losing my own dad twenty years ago now. I hadn't really thought about how those experiences shaped me until I watched my son walking through these past few days. He was truly cheered by the birth of his nephew in the midst of all the sadness. I'm aching for him already as I watch my mother decline and see his other grandparents growing slower.

    Just getting caught up on some reading after having been away. Always good for my soul to stop over here and read your words.

  15. Oh Tara, you have such a gift. I love the way you bring beauty into sorrow so simply. But I'm so sorry for your loss. I felt like I was grieving with you here.