Friday, March 7


I'm not sure exactly how to write this post, or if I should write this post.

Last week we got an unfathomable phone call from one of my brothers, telling us that our youngest nephew had died without any warning during a nap.

One of the very best parts of living where we do is that we are located exactly half way between my side of the family and Luke's side of the family.  Because of our proximity (and genuine affection for our relatives) we get to spend lots of time visiting them or having them over here.  And it turns out that Wren's closest friends and playmates are actually her cousins.  To the extent that she unknowingly interchanges the term "cousin" and "friend" and despite our well-meaning explanations, she really doesn't seem to grasp the difference.

Like I said, I'm not sure exactly how to write this post, or if I should write this post.  Should I describe our sweet nephew, that bundle of 6-month-old with chubby rolls and toothless smiles: his squeals and gurgles and raspberries?  Do I find a way to write the aching grief that pervades our days, and how we try to  come around our little sister, her husband, and their 3-year-old daughter?  Maybe I could tell everyone that the little tribe of cousins- from toddlers up to pre-teens- each notice the loss and mourn; that the youngest ones seem quite confused by the rooms full of adults with blotchy red faces and seemingly endless tears.  I could list all of the insightful, heartfelt questions they ask at the times you'd least expect it.  Or maybe I should just use this space to philosophize about my own perspective on life, death, human suffering and despair?
It's a strange, slow time for our family right now.  I'll not write any of those things, but instead close with a poem that perhaps does some justice to the very 'now' feelings of loss; feelings that are bound to evolve and change for us all. I know that in many ways peace that has come and that in other ways peace will continue to come to us all.  But for now, I want to be honest about the universal rawness one feels in the wake of loss and grief:

To Bhain Campbell 1911-1940 (by John Berryman)

I told a lie once in a verse. I said
I said I said I said "The heart will mend,
Body will break and mend, the foam replace
For even the unconsolable his taken friend."
This is a lie. I had not been here then.