Sunday, October 20, 2013
Tears flowed as news came, death has no bias or preference. It takes indiscriminately and leaves devastating voids in its wake. And some, with best of intentions, smiled through tear stained eyes, heads tilted to side, and spoke of heaven being a little brighter with its angel home now. Heaven was little more than a thief in the night, devious thief, taking that which did not yet belong there.
And they say that He walks through the suffering with us, but what do you know of her heart, the gaping wound blasted through, eyes pried bright like the deer on a highway just before impact; but the impact has not yet come, the full, devastating weight of this tragedy, and now slow motion torment of the oncoming breakdown tears us all apart. We were not meant to bury our babies; we were not built for it.
Oh heaven, you devious thief, she was not yet yours.
For the time being, love is keeping her afloat, drowning out the coming silence, keeping eyes moving rather than allowing them to fix on the empty bed or toys that have fallen still. Love is keeping her moving. Love will keep her heart beating.
We are laughing through tears and crying through jokes and stopping to hug and fall apart and remember these last 20 years as friends and how we are now called adults. We remember days of old and marvel that we are now old enough to have days of old. Salt and pepper has replaced lush brown, and we have said goodbye to babies who did not make it to our world and now bury a baby who graced us for too short a time. We laugh at body aches and cry for infertility and divorces and how broken we grew in the years since we last poured wine. But we are all still growing, some better and some wider and some just older, but we cannot help but to grow. And somehow in distance we have continued to grow together, and I still call you sister. Precious sister, lean in now.
Oh heaven you devious thief. She was not yet yours to take. You had no right to snatch such life, leaving empty arms and broken hearts.
So we will stand together now, arm in arm, hands interlocked, cheeks salty wet, bracing each other, bracing her, and there are no platitudes to lay thick the grief that hovers. Adulthood has steamrolled us, but somehow in the midst of it, we have smiled at each other and whispered "I love you."
I love you, friend.
Mourn with those who mourn.
Posted by Shauna Okongo at 10:36 PM
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Wounded wings stretched high, damaged feathers rustle in the night air.
Toes to the edge; listen for the echoes of rocks tumbling down the canyon walls.
Long, careless tumble.
You do not want me, and yet I am plagued by thoughts of you.
Something was different. In your kiss, in your eyes. There was something different.
I saw it, you saw it too. When you looked at me, you saw right through me, I felt it.
Maybe I’ve imagined it all, but it felt so real.
And then you pushed me away.
I’m terrified of being hurt, but I fear it is already too late.
The heart burst forth from the chains of regret and leapt in to your outstretched arms,
not realizing that those arms were already pushing away.
You don’t want to get hurt, so you choose not to engage,
deeming the risk of hurt as too great, not worth the risk of falling.
For the sake of knowing how it feels to fly, I would risk the fall.
But if you wanted me in your life, it would happen,
and I need to accept that you don’t, no matter what I felt.
And I thought I could be friends with you and wait it out,
but it turns out that I’m not that strong.
I have held you and you have held me.
We have laughed and shared stories;
your eyes have seen through me and your fingers have traced my lines.
Fingernails across a strong back, lips to neck,
and I cannot separate it out, the having of that, and the not having that.
Toes to the edge, I tumbled down, careless and ridiculous,
laughing till I realized I would not be caught,
then cried the ugly cry that leaves swollen eyes.
Free fall with damaged wings and bruised up heart.
Careless, foolish bird.
But, oh, to fly again.
I would risk it all.
Posted by Shauna Okongo at 6:43 PM