The 5th year of our white Christmas tree - in memory of Josh
I found this ornament while organizing my closet a couple of months ago and put it next to his initials….right in the front of the tree
RIP Josh. We love and miss you.
I stood among the heaps of dead. They lay crumpled, useless, defunct. The vital force was fled. A bullet or a mortar fragment had torn a hole in these frail vessels and the substance had leaked out. The mystery of the universe had once inhabited these lolling lumps, had given each an identity, a way of walking, perhaps a special habit of address or a way with words or a knack of putting color on canvas. They had been so different, then. Now they were nothing, heaps of nothing. Can a bullet or a mortar fragment do this? Does this force, this mystery, I mean this soul - does this spill out on the ground along with the blood? No. It is somewhere, I know it. For this red-and-yellow lump I look down upon this instant was once a man, and the thing that energized him, the Word that gave "to airy nothing a local habitation and a name," the Word from a higher Word - this cannot have been obliterated by a quarter-inch of heated metal. The mystery of the universe has departed him, and it is no good to say that the riddle is solved, the mystery is over - because it has changed residences. The thing that shaped the flare of that nostril, that broadened that arm now bleeding, that wrought so fine that limply lying hand - that thing exists still, and has still the power to flare that nostril, to bend that arm, to clench that fist exactly as it did before.
Because it is gone you cannot say it will not return; even though you may say it has never yet returned - you cannot say that it will not. It is blasphemy to say a bit of metal has destroyed life, just as it is presumptuous to say that because life has disappeared it has been destroyed. I stood among the heaps of the dead and I knew - no, I felt that death is only a sound we make to signify the Thing we do not know.This is a profound thought written by one who, after looking at the dead; no, really, deeply looking at them, contemplates what has occurred and after deep reflection, is convinced that a piece of metal cannot destroy the "mystery of the universe" that resides within our earthly vessels, nor can a plain, brown extension cord.
Death is not the end but rather the beginning of another beginning.
Death is not the end but the transition to another form of living.And perhaps the living bears some responsibility for as long as our loved ones are remembered, they stay alive. I underlined this passage from Doris Kearns Goodwin's Pulitzer Prize winning book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. This little verse, given to Eleanor by a friend after FDR's sudden death, encouraged her to "make the rest of her life worthy of her husband's memory. As long as she continued to fight for his ideals, he would continue to live."
"They are not dead who live in lives they leave behind. In those whom they have blessed they live a life again."RIP Josh.
It is still painful - feels raw - piercing right to the depths of my heart and soul - a mother's pain...
- never ending
- emotional torture
- lazer sharp, pointed, stabbing pain - making it difficult to breathe
- fueled by guilt, regret, remorse
- a longing for life which will never be fulfilled
- a deep, profound sadness which feels bottomless
- like a boat which enjoyed calm seas and is now pummeled by waves - relentless, furious, uncaring, fierce, brutal, attacking
Precisely at the same hour in which Mehring and Langner were being done to death, the overwhelming plurality of human beings, two miles away on the Polish farms, five thousand miles away in New York, were sleeping or eating or going to a film or making love or worrying about the dentist. This is where my imagination balks. The two orders of simultaneous experience are so different, so irreconcilable to any common norm of human values, their coexistence is so hideous a paradox, Treblinka is both because some men have built it and almost all other men let it be - that I puzzle over time. Are there, as science fiction and Gnostic speculation imply, different species of time in the same world, 'good time' and enveloping folds of inhuman time in which men fall into the slow hands of the living damnation?In the margins I wrote: Different species of time in the same world? Yes! Grief time vs. normal time.
Chronos is quantitative minutes. Kairos is qualitative moments.
Kairos is pregnant time, the time of possibility – moments in our day, our week, our month, our year or our lifetime that define us. It is a crossroads. It has the ripe opportunity to make you bitter or better. It is a teachable moment. It is the right or opportune moment. They are rarely neutral and always leave an impact on us.and:
Kairos moments are a string of moments that possess possibility – clarity brought on often by pain, uncertainty or crisis. They force us to be absolutely present: to ourselves, to God and to the experience of reality that we’re facing.and the bottom line:
As human beings, all of our growth happens in kairos moments.
"What insights have I had? What have I realized? What meaning am I making of this terrible loss?"
The good news is that healthy grieving does result, at the time right for each of us, an experience of integration. We take stock and say: I am changed by our loss, and I have changed my live as a result of my loss. And we are not shriveled permanently like a dry stick because of our loss. We can feel alive again…probably wiser, maybe quieter, certainly full of gratitude and a desire to contribute from what we have been through.
And all in good time. All in good kairos time.
Guilt. Hateful guilt. Guilt, corrosive as brine. Like typhoid, one can harbor for a lifetime the toxin of guilt.In another part, Stingo personifies his lust in a way that puts the reader in the body of a virile twenty-two year old male virgin, completely obsessed with sex.
Grief conspires to ensure that it will in time wear itself out. Unlike depression, it acts to preserve the self.
Mourning, as Freud made clear, is a natural part of life, not a pathological state. "Although grief involves grave departures from the normal attitude to life, it never occurs to us to regard it as a morbid condition and hand the mourner over to medical treatment. We rest assured that after a lapse of time it will be overcome."
Grief is not a disease, it is necessary.
Grief gives much to the living, slows time that one might find a way to a different relationship with the dead. It fractures time to bring into awareness what is being mourned and why.
Grief, lashed as it is to death, instructs, it teaches that one must invent a way back to life. Grief forces intimacy with death; it preserves the salient past and puts into relief our mortal states. All die, teaches Grief.
Grief is at the heart of the human condition. Much is lost with death, but not everything. Life is not let loose of lightly, nor is love. There is grace in death. There is life.Grief vs depression:
Grief, like depression is a journey one must take largely unattended....I had less energy but enough to see me through. This is never so in depression. Weariness pervades the marrow when one is depressed; it is what renders despair intolerable. I bled out during my depressions. This was not so after Richard died. My heart broke, but it beat.
Time alone in grief proved restorative. Time alone when depressed was dangerous. The thoughts I had of death after Richard's death were necessary and proportionate. They were of his death, not my own. When depressed, however, it was my own death I sought out. In grief, death occasions the pain. In depression, death is the solution to the pain.
I read deeply, if fitfully, after Richard died. Such consolation was never possible for me during the times I was depressed. When depressed, I could not concentrate well enough to read; little made sense to me and the written word left me cold. When depressed, nothing could open my heart or give me courage. I was too dulled, too incapable of receiving life; I was dead in all but pulse....Grief on the other hand, rendered me able to take solace from those who had written so well about loss and suffering.I found her thoughts about grief helpful - that to be human will mean, eventually and inevitably, that one will face the death of a loved one and will need to grieve. It is unavoidable. It is a part of living. It is a part of one's journey. And to grieve is absolutely necessary if one is to reconcile with death and find a "way back to life."
Then there is shame that thwarts us. Shame is of two kinds. The one is harmless, but the other a plague.This "plague" fills her body and mind, leading her thoughts towards death.
Then I believed that I could conquer love,A haunting description of Phaedra's suicidal ideation:
conquer it with discretion and good sense.
And when that too failed me, I resolved to die.
And death is the best plan of them all. Let none of you
For she would willingly bring her life to anchorWhen the awful deed is done, the chorus says:
at the end of its voyage - the gloomy harbor of death.
Woman unhappy, tortured,
your suffering, your death,
has shaken this house to its foundations.
You were daring, you who died in violence and guilt.
Here was a wrestling: your own hand against your life.
Who can have cast a shadow on your life?Her husband Theseus' words echo perfectly what I felt 46 months ago, on that horrible, unspeakable day. (My edits are in parenthesis).
O city, city! Bitterness of sorrow!
Extremest sorrow that a [mother] can suffer!
Fate, you have ground me and my house to dust,
fate in the form of some ineffable
pollution, some grim spirit of revenge.
The file has whittled away my life until
it is a life no more.
I am like a swimmer that falls into a great sea:
I cannot cross this towering wave I see before me.
My [son]! I cannot thinkI have no doubt that "pre-Josh", these gut-wrenching words of sorrow and woe would have gone in one ear and out the other, bouncing off my naive heart. Instead, they have pierced and penetrated my death-initiated soul with arrows of truth.
of anything said or done to drive you to this horrible death.
You are like bird that has vanished out of my hand.
You have made a quick leap out of my arms
into the land of Death.