Inconsolable Losses (personal)

“When you realize how perfect everything is

you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”


Buddha

I’ve been lucky or blessed maybe. My encounters with death or loss have been extremely few and far between. I lost my parents … pretty much the way it should be… to old age, well into my own adulthood. Blessed be.

When I was young, I hated it when people would accuse me of leading a “sheltered life” but, truth is, I did.  Pretty much. As a result I was rather ill equipped to deal with a lot of life’s little slings and arrows. But… you live and learn. “Tomorrow’s another day” my Mom would always say.

I know what I know

I’ll sing what I said

We come and we go

That’s a thing that I keep

In the back of my head

Sometime in my late 20’s I fell in love with the most amazing man, an artist.  Toss all these guys into a Rock Polisher, tumble them a bit, and see what gems emerge: Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain, Dali, Picasso, Magritte, Tom Waits, Jack Sparrow … and a bit of Keith Richards too… and you get Mik.

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” ~Kerouac

It’s kind of a long story, easily a book’s worth, but in many ways, it’s really just a short story. Y’know … if you edit out a lot of the superfluous details.  Just a straightforward story of Love really.  And heartache.

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. ~Zora Neale Hurston

It was twenty something years ago, at the ripe young age of thirty, I learned one of my first major life lessons about inconsolable losses. Divorce.

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,

your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,

yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,

in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,

but now it’s come to distances and both of us must try,

your eyes are soft with sorrow,

Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.

We were married actually, but not for terribly long. (No kids.) Hard to explain that one, but just take my word for it.  Promises were made and broken, pets and friends were divvied up, and many very long nights were spent (by me at least) moping and weeping. And writing. I reached a point where I was able to let go of the trivialities of it all, but I … struggled, I mean, really struggled, with an absolute form of letting go. I refused to, actually.

I’m weird that way. Loyal to a fault. Irish. I dunno.

The way I came to a place of acceptance eventually, after countless spiral notebooks filled with pathetic self indulgent whining, was the realization that some losses are simply inconsolable. Release came in the realization that there are losses that you just never will take the well-meaning advice of friends and family:  “Get over it”.

No. I won’t “get over it”.

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”  

~Rene Magritte

So I didn’t. After a period of extricating ourselves from the marriage part of it, we succeeded in salvaging a true friendship, uniquely ours, well guarded and secure. An inside joke we had was my idea (threat)  to have a t-shirt made that said:  “I married {his name} and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”  Heh.

But I did move on. I re-married & have a beautiful daughter. She has my eyes. Years ago.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart

and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

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Lifelines

The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.  ~Hunter S. Thompson

Two weeks ago yesterday, I got the call I’d known for years one day could come. My ex husband had died. My dear old friend, once lovers but so much more. Cherished friend. Soul friend.  

It was like someone had punched me in the gut.

Take me home

you silly boy

put your arms around me

take me home

you silly boy

all the world’s not round without you

I wandered around in a daze for several days and listened to lots of songs on youtube. Talked with friends, asked questions, cried a lot, and came again to that same place of acceptance. Some losses are simply and utterly inconsolable.

It was slightly easier this time, oddly enough. Having lost him once already, I had twenty years of distance from the glorious mundanities of his life. I have long since moved on with my own life and living, but now … this … it really has finality.

Gone.

I see my light come shining

From the west unto the east.

Any day now, any day now,

I shall be released.

Strangely, after those first shocky days, I felt a burden lifted, a release, an acceptance. Relieved of duty. I don’t have to save him now.

Father/Mother … into your hands we commend his spirit.

I guess I can let go. Finally.

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true

But  you and I know what this world can do

So lets make our steps clear that the other may see

And I’ll wait for you

If I should fall behind

Wait for me

It’s strange, the calm I feel.  It is finished. Peace.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Black bird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

all your life

you were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise,

You were only waiting for this moment to arise,

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

See ya on the flip side, babe.

Blessed be.

22 comments

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  1. This is hard, seeing it in black n white. Obit published today (which I helped to write).

    Photobucket

  2. for being so caring and supportive.

    strange times.

  3. gain and loss the one taste….

    bittersweet…..

    • banger on March 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    We always will lose everything. But we can be here each moment and here’s wishing you that. In each moment everything is there and nothing is ever lost, ever. Still one grieves with ones own grief for another and I do so now.

    • Diane G on March 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    this is just too beautiful, my friend.

    (((hugs)))

    d

    • RiaD on March 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    way to remember…

    my heart goes out to you

    {{{{*{dear lady}*}}}}

  4. for sharing this.  If and when my ex succumbs to the ravages of time, I hope I express myself half as well as you.  

    But in case you’re ever at a loss for words, I leaned a new Vietnamese phrase today:  My hovercraft is full of eels.  

    Keep on keeping on.  And don’t fake the funk.  

    • TMC on March 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    A close friend of mine sang this at this stepfather’s funeral. The music and lyrics have just stuck in my head

    Just Breathe – Pearl Jam


    Lyrics:

    Yes I understand that every life must end,

    As we sit alone, I know someday we must go,

    I’m a lucky man to count on both hands

    The ones I love…

    Some folks have just one,

    Others they got none,

    Stay with me…

    Lets just breathe.

    Practiced are my sins,

    Never gonna let me win,

    Under everything, just another human being,

    Yeah, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world

    to make me bleed.

    Stay with me…

    You’re all I see.

    Did I say that I need you?

    Did I say that I want you?

    Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool, you see…

    No one knows this more than me,

    As I come clean.

    I wonder everyday

    As I look upon your face,

    Everything you gave

    And nothing you would take,

    Nothing you would take…

    Everything you gave.

    Did I say that I need you?

    Oh, Did I say that I want you?

    Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool, you see

    No one knows this more than me…

    like I come clean.

    Nothing you would take…

    Everything you gave.

    Hold me till I die…

    Meet you on the other side.

    May the Goddess guide Mik on his journey to the Summerlands. May you and his family and friends find Peace.

    Blessed Be.

    Love, TMC

    • Xanthe on March 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm

     One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

    The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

    so many things seem filled with the intent

    to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

    Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

    of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

    places, and names, and where it was you meant

    to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

    I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

    next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

    some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

    I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

    –Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

    I love) I shan’t have lied.  It’s evident

    the art of losing’s not too hard to master

    though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

     

  5. Blessings be with you!

    • Edger on March 24, 2010 at 1:56 am

  6. Having read what you wrote, and the comments of the others in response, I am once again reminded why it is that I continue to gravitate toward Docudharma, and why I consider this place to be a home away from home.

    As the horizon,

    Dimly visible,

    In my rear view mirror,

    Recedes,

    Ever more faint,

    In the growing distance.

    The place ahead,

    Where the earth,

    And the sky meet,

    Draws ever closer.

    The pace toward that,

    Inevitable destination,

    Ever quickening,

    My brief journey’s close,

    Looms ever nearer.

    My heart so urgently,

    With pounding pulse,

    Holds its breath,

    Awaiting the answer to,

    That most important question,

    Did I dare to love?

    Maybe, just maybe, those of us who can approach that ultimate milestone in our lives, answering yes to the question posed in at the end of the verse, can feel at least some measure of peace and contentment.

    As we recall those who were part of our past, there will be some who we knew for too long, and came to know too well.

    And others, who were part of our lives for all too brief a time, and we are left to wonder, “What might have been possible had we known each other just a little while longer?”  These are the ghosts from the past destined to haunt us till the end of time as we know it.

    A life during which we were able to love and be loved cannot be in vain.  You ensured that, for your ex, half of the requirement was fulfilled.  He was a most fortunate person.

    During such times, such a sudden and final sense of inevitability, leaves us with a profound sense that unanswered questions will ever remain a part of our present and future.

    These are, without a doubt, the bittersweet sorrows that mingle with the joys of those pleasant memories of those boundless dreams of our youth.

    May much healing and comfort increasingly become a part of you, in its own time, place and manner.

    I can only offer the following as a form of tribute. I do hope that it might provide some soothing comfort…

     

  7. … your loving tribute to your friend. Thanks and my condolences for your irreplaceable loss in the cycle of life.

  8. Beautiful feelings, so well expressed.

  9. …as we realize we have all known someone special like Mik.

    …I was born four days earlier than him, 9/23/1953, thanks.

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