Broken Road

By
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At the temple there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.
 
Arthur Golden
 
I’m grinding my teeth again and sleep is elusive. I fumbled around last night looking for my nightguard. It wasn’t where it usually is. Then I realized I had no water either. Not even five pillows could cradle my bones in comfort. Everything was off. Nothing was right.
 
Yesterday I learned that another friend had died. She passed yesterday, alone at home.
 
Alone.
 
I am still reeling.
 
I sit down with my pen and write furiously, thinking it will serve to empty my twitching brain and be salve to my breaking heart. It helps, but there are natural limits to things. Only so much is allowed into the crowded spaces. And only so much can get out …
 
Death comes marching along without regard for clocks or calendars. It jettisons the spirits of those who have have reached the end of their journey. It is abrupt. It is wrenching.
 
I’m upset because we just spoke Wednesday night. I’m upset because we had a workshop of sorts we planned to co-host in two short weeks. I’m upset because death is intrusive and alarming and for all the “things” and “stuff” in my posession, there is no tool to fix this. No glue to hold together the broken parts. No map to discover exactly where the hurt lies.
 
I can’t help feeling like I missed something. I wonder if I had been less concerned with the things that I have no control over in my own life if I might have been more available. I wonder now if I was listening hard enough with my heart.
 
I feel selfish. I feel consumed by the wrong things. Like being pissed about a change of weather while driving and completely ignoring the fact that the road beneath has crumbled. The way forward is jarring and uneven and I’m still blaming it all on the rain.
 
I had help finding sleep last night in the form of a tiny dose of benadryl. I had a hard sleep but woke with a dozen dreams coursing through my veins.
 
Jen, I’ll miss you. Your creativity and wicked sense of humor were no match for this broken world. There will be a void that goes unfilled.
 
Somewhere there is a chair, in a circle, with your name on it. It will rest empty forever. It might have saved you to occupy that space. Or maybe God always had a different plan.
 
This heartbreak adds to the heaviness of having lost another piece of my heart last week. So. Much. Loss. November is full of gratitude and celebration, sadness and unfathomable heartache.
 
They say you can’t be sad and grateful in the same moment but I’m here to tell you that you can. Recently I read the words of a friend describing gratitude and grief. They share the same path. I feel that now. The road is wide and holds us all. Broken, questioning, joyful and hopeful alike.
My prayer now will be that I am mindful of the condition of the road and less mindful of the current weather.
 
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All I can do right now is be still. Sit and allow myself to be healed by the empty quiet.
 
Rest in peace, Jen. Your struggle here has ended and the veil has lifted. I hope it’s beautiful where you are ♡
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