Night time can be the hardest time for those of us who have experienced the death of a loved one. The beauty of a sunset may provide a fleeting distraction but when the dark descends the sorrow slips in.
Our grief and loss often eases over the years. The emotions that once flooded us become a gentle mist settling on our soul.
Yet there are times when the grief of the early days revisits us with the powerful force of desolation.
One such night occurred for me five years after my first husband Bruce died of a brain tumor.
It was between my birthday and Bruce’s birthday. It struck me that night that I would be growing older and he would not.
He would never meet the grandchildren born after he died. He would not walk on the beach with his sons.
He would not share retirement with me or play his guitar at dusk.
I painted that night as I often did when it was hard to lay down in an empty bed. As I painted I remembered Bruce telling me that we are never alone.
“We are all connected,” he said, “no matter how far apart.”
“It is so beautiful,” he said. “Can you feel our connection with everyone? It lightens the darkness.”
I wrote a poem that night, to honor Bruce and to remind myself I was not alone. I could live again in the “after.”
I did not know that night that a year later my son Robin would be shot and killed. The poem I wrote for Bruce became a mantra for me.
I would NOT become cold or filled with fear. I would NOT give up. I would live well.
I want to share that poem with you tonight. Many of you have written about the sorrow you are facing. Your words of loss touch me deeply.
I want you to know you are not alone and you too can live “after.”
The sun will rise again.
THE SUN WILL RISE AGAIN
Sometimes I wonder who I am
and where my life will go.
I struggle with this rugged path
and all the things I know.
I cry the tears of deepest loss
and wail the silent scream;
and yet each day I start again
and seek to live my dream.
I turn away from thoughts turned bleak
and breathe the morning air.
I raise my face to wind and sky
and whisper “I will care.”
I won’t be cold, I won’t be numb;
I won’t be filled with fear.
I’ll walk with hope and live for you
and all that you held dear.
And when the night begins to fall
and darkness fills my room;
I’ll write to you and draw for you
and paint way the gloom.
I’ll close my eyes and hear your voice
“Sleep well my dearest one.”
And with those words I know you’re near
until the rising sun.