We suffered a tragic loss the eve of Mothers Day. That Hallmark greeting card bonanza was made even more ironic by a tragic twisting of the Knife of G-O-D, a word someone called an acronym for a Force which Generates, Organizes, Destroys.
Whatever it means, it challenges breathing with compulsive questioning. It defies description, like the Pattern they call War, as poet Amy Lowell put it.
This twisting,: the death of a child whose family is known to you, was an event that dredged up every loss you've ever had.
All the losses of your beloved Ones come home to roost in your heart/soul/mind to nest like some broody bunch of pack rats. The shit they disturb is about as tough as shit gets. You dig it out by hand, the old way, you invent new ways to do it but it's still the same old stuff. If you don't learn how to compost it, I don't hafta tell ya it's gonna stink. It's just gonna stink.
Pictures convey feelings quicker than words. The image here is intended as a melancholy one of Slocan Lake to convey the unspeakable vastness of the vista. Four youths in a canoe - all lost, all drowned. Within minutes of its capsizing.
If Bardo is unspeakably silent, theirs must be more so.
What I Know The Hard Way is:
- There is no end to grief when you live to see children die.
- This event is no exception to that cruel lawful rule.
- You don't get to argue with it.
- You don't get over it.
- You take one step at a time. First one foot, then the other.
- You learn to live with it. Somehow.
- You try...you try.
Even if you aren't there and they aren't *your* children, if you didn't know them well enough to have had a say, grief is still your bedfellow. The weight of memory, the gross, brutal weight of all those you loved who died too young returns to haunt your days, to impact your nights. You mourn loss as if it were your own because what they brought straight back home to you is the terrible stillness of the Silence, their passage-journey into the unknown, known only by the fact that each of us Will make such a journey, a day one day, all of what is this Usmess, our ourselves. Must.
. Dan Nicholson, publisher of the Valley Voice, our local newspaper, speaks on page 4 of the newspaper's latest issue. His is an authentic, eloquent voice connecting us with their intimate lives. I invite you to begin finding them for yourselves, abetted by Dan's excellent memory.