grief

STAGE 4

Her selflessness was her destruction She neglected and offered all of herself She smiled so big She spoke soothing words She needlessly apologized All in her final hours ———- A decade of growth An (unknown) six-month countdown June 24th, 2012 Eyes glazed, mouth gaping Still in her leopard sheets I gazed at her lifeless face Eyes dry, lips pursed She’s almost a stranger But I looked down and noticed my hands look just like hers But with life and warmth I consciously tried to memorize every moment, and all those before There is a light that never goes out Knowing that I would never feel the comfort of a mother’s love again         Author: Jessica Hanak Email: jessicamatela89@gmail.com Author Bio: I am a thirty-year-old Austinite with an occasional ...

GETTING TO CUBA

My obsession with getting to Cuba starts with my Aunt Suzanne, who unexpectedly died in the summer of 2015, which was very hard for everyone in the family. But of course, it was the hardest for her husband, Mike; they had been married for 40 plus years. We all saw how a part of him died the day Suzanne died. After Suzanne passed, Mike became more obsessed with traveling. I think the depression of losing his one true love drove him to want to do some very ambitious travel. He wasn’t well – he was sick for well over a decade, a heart transplant led to lung cancer for the 63-year-old nonsmoker. He probably should not have traveled internationally at all, so it took us all for a surprise when he told everyone we would be doing a family trip to Cuba the Christmas after Suzanne died. He wa...

GRIEF WAVES

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief lately, and how just when I think I’m over the hump of feeling “back to normal”, something else happens – a celebrity dies, I hear a certain song, or have 10 minutes alone in the car after its parked. I start thinking about my dad and how he would have loved the movie “A River Runs Through It” or what he would say about my fluffy orange cat. I start thinking about “No Country For Old Men” and how I’ve never watched it, yet I see it in the three-dollar bin at Wal-Mart every time I go to buy vitamins. Grief has its triggers.   My father passed away three years ago on Black Friday. I was working retail worried about waking up on time when I got the call from my brother with the vague words ringing in my ears: “he’s not doing good, I think you should ...

YOU ARE

After you took your life, Mom gave me your goldfish bowl. You filled it with shells and stones and one silver medallion, and everything in the tank was balanced just so. A large moon snail shell sat by the front, bottom left, upon two flat stones. These assorted tide-swept artifacts were once scattered across your table. I could imagine you working with thoughtful intention while Fela Kuti’s singing sailed through your stereo speakers. I carried the bowl gingerly back to my house and placed it on the kitchen table. Soon I knew how to carefully touch one of the shells with just my fingertip, without disturbing the arrangement. And I would think, “We’re close to each other again.” So much beauty in one bowl. Concentric ridges in the clam shells resembled whipped cream spread on a tiny pie. G...

THE WAVES OF GRIEF

  Days where the only thing on the to-do list was to make sure to eat and shower. Curled up in bed, Engulfed in a blanket, Surrounded by pillows, candles, my childhood stuffed animal, gentle music playing While riding the waves of grief. Unable to stop the pain. Tear stained and wadded up tissues litter the floor. Hands folded in prayer – praying that anything would take away the pain Yet the only thing that did was the pain itself. Unsure how a body could hold pain so deep and expansive. There were hours, Days, Months, Years Spent sobbing, Wailing. Riding the waves as they came and went. Crying so hard not sure how I would ever make it out alive. Yet those tears taught me about Gentleness, Compassion, Love, Surrender, And the power of transformation. Each one of those tears shed was ...

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