Life. And death ..

We all know that someday, the inevitable will come.  Right?  With life, comes death.  But it’s amazing, isn’t it, how the loss of someone we love, at times even those we don’t know, absolutely rocks us at our very core.  Life for a moment, a day, weeks on end.. stands still while we see the rest of the world still spinning.  It is one of the most surreal experiences I believe we can ever go through.  Yet it is very real.  And I believe, it is often at that point, the meaning of life shifts for each of us.  If we let it.  Death forces us to truly look at what might be more important than we ever thought it was in life.   There is a shift.

……………

I have lost – what seems for my age – far too many that I am close to.   Immediate family.  Dear friends.  Colleagues.  To suicides.  Accidents.  Heart disease.  Cancer.

It has reshaped how I live my life, how I try to spend my time, how I try to speak to those in particular, that I love and what I view as important throughout the course of any given day.

Yet, when I see someone else affected by a loss of their own, trying to find the right words is never easy.  And it seems right now, there are many I know, experiencing a loss.

I posted what is below, today on Facebook and it seemed to strike a chord.  I wanted to share it again here, as it doesn’t seem these words are widely known or easy to find (I found her poem in the book, What I Wish for You).  Yet they are some of the more powerful, poignant and beautiful I’ve ever seen:

………………

“Was looking for something – something that I might say to comfort a few friends and family who’s hearts are incredibly heavy right now. Came across this. And wanted to share.
By Amy Ludwig Van Derwater

When sorrow comes
to those you love
stay close.

When sadness is
more powerful than words
more powerful than deeds
your warm hand
your quiet company
your self in a chair
saying nothing
will be a gift.

You may wonder
“What can I do?”
There may be
nothing
you can do.

You may wish
to run
Do not run.

Hold hands.
Eat soup.
Listen.
Trace a sunbeam
with your fingers
on the table.

Let yourself smile.
Let yourself cry.

When sorrow comes
to those you love
stay close.

When sorrow comes
to you
let others
stay close too.

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*Another snow day.

I just heard one of the local Sioux Falls 10pm anchors say, “she recommends you take a multivitamin and maybe go tanning”.  The statement rounded out a report about a growing number of people experiencing depression due to the seemingly never-ending winter here.  Tanning.  Extreme measures apparently for extreme situations.  That’s not really something you hear people recommend anymore.

……………….

I’m not sure that in 6 years of school in Madison, Wisconsin .. we’ve had as many snow days as we’ve had in 3 months of school in South Dakota.

The house has been bustling it seems, at least a couple days each week this ‘spring’, with our 11 y.o. home from school.  Snowbound.  There have been countless late starts.  Early releases.  Days of no school at all.

Today was another early release.  And while the snow had only been falling a couple of hours .. by the time school had gotten out, the normal trip in to bring her home took 3x as long as usual.

I cancelled some afternoon business meetings I had really wanted to get to as a result.  I just didn’t want to risk it.  Again.

snowy roads

One of the more heavily traveled roads in and out of town ..

Country roads here are a different beast than they are, back in the Badger State and the Prius has been a champ of a car so far.  While I adore the gas mileage and it’s been a great vehicle for us, I desperately need 4 wheel drive.

Why?  Because everyone else has them and I’m the little (wo)man out there fighting the good fight, it seems.  Everyone’s always waiting on me to stop holding up traffic.  Passing.  Splashing.  Waiting for me to hit the ditch so that they can pass.  Well, they’re not that crass.  But you get the idea.  Either that or I need chains for my tires.

When snow falls here, it doesn’t fall.  It blows.  Sideways.  And where there aren’t massive random drifts, the snow sticks on the roads really, only when vehicles drive over it.  Creating an unbelievable icy mess even the plows seem to have a tough time clearing and getting out in front of.  So everything instead, shuts down.  Schools.  Businesses.  Highways.

This past month snowstorms have closed the Interstates here north to south and east to west pretty much across the entire state on multiple occasions.   And kept us home more than I’d ever imagined.   Hard to believe.  The Cowboy worries it’s just hard for me to be home so much.  A big switch from having a job that had me going into work to report the news regardless of the weather – getting into the anchor desk however I had to get there.  Now, being a product of the news and bunkering down at home to ride what has been at least one major storm a week.

Short of getting a little restless, and having my own work from home days disrupted by a house full of family that was supposed to be elsewhere for the entire day .. it’s been strangely entertaining and a bit refreshing to have everyone around and just spend some down time together with nowhere else to go.  In part, because we can’t.

Speaking of refreshing .. this snow shouldn’t stick around long.  And hoping it’s the last we see of it this spring.  Temps are supposed to be in the 70’s by the weekend.

Aerial Ballet

Stunning shot. Just stunning. I’ve not posted in awhile and am not even sure where to start when it comes to getting caught up on what I’ve been doing over the past what now, month? Spending a lot of time lately on my butt. Online. Working not necessarily on my own work anymore, but on content creation for others. And in continuing to work on a new website for the work I am doing and hope to grow .. I stumbled across this tonight. Striking. And a delicate dance of sorts seems fitting for the day today. I am looking forward to getting back to writing for myself again.