Tag Archives: death

The moment’s impermanence

“What solidity of sentiment it takes not to let an awareness of the moment’s impermanence dilute its richness, its sweetness, but purify it and saturate it with the utmost ‘fullness of being’.”― Maria Popova There’s a brief interval each year when many of the flowers, though fading, are still in bloom, and the weather is …

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But you knew

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”― …

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Each must be the last

“Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.” ― Elizabeth Enright A great many of us have experienced an unusually warm autumn so far, though it seems the cold weather is creeping in. Eager for cooler temperatures, having had …

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Packed up, but still

“Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land. My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave…”    —Thomas McGrath Many years ago, when the movie Dances with Wolves came out, there was a sort of fad of people thinking up American Indian names for themselves that were …

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Like a handprint on my heart

You’ll be with me Like a handprint on my heart… — Stephen Schwartz Many of you will remember my earlier post about going to visit my “other Mama and Daddy” on the first Christmas after Jeff died. My siblings and I were blessed to have a second set of parents who provided us with another home …

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No endings

“There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one.” ― Hilary Mantel “…life is eternal And love is immortal And death is only a horizon Life is eternal As we move into the light And a horizon is nothing Save the limit of our …

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Perceptibly nearer

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence…yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. The vast and shadowy stream of time sweeps on without break, but the …

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Linger in the beautiful

“Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.” — Okakura Kakuzō Exactly five years ago tomorrow, I published the …

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Just before you

“The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.  Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the …

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A willingness to wander

“The thing about healing, as opposed to curing, is that it is relational. It takes time. It is inefficient, like a meandering river. Rarely does healing follow a straight or well-lit path. Rarely does it conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner. Walking with someone through grief…requires patience, presence, and a willingness …

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How else

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone…” — Vita Sackville-West I agree with Sackville-West that writing enables us to capture …

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When we fully understand

“When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains…it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other.” — Clarence Darrow The photo above was made at Drew and Megan’s Atlanta home, just ten days before Jeff checked into Walter Reed Bethesda with breathing problems, never to return home …

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Among these winters

Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by. For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive. Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise into the seamless life proclaimed in your …

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More present

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery At times the pain of missing Jeff stabs me with a grief so severe and sudden that I wonder how I will survive without him. More often, though, I feel …

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Open to the day, 2016

Hello friends, I’m still treading water, but thinking of you. Please keep those thoughts, prayers and comments coming. They truly brighten my day, and I look forward to responding to each of you when I get a bit of a break – hopefully soon, as fall semester ends a couple of weeks before Christmas. Meanwhile, for now, another re-blog …

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The strength

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” —Helen Keller I’m not exactly sure how we’ve gotten through the past three weeks, but somehow we have. Some days are much worse than others, but all of them bring small reasons to be grateful. I can acknowledge that in my …

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The wise will know

If we call for the proof and we question the answers Only the doubt will grow Are we blind to the truth or a sign to believe in? Only the wise will know And word by word they handed down the light that shines today And those who came at first to scoff, remained behind …

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Memory of the heart

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore forget not to say often, I have all I ever enjoyed.” — Lydia Child It’s not good to live in the past or long for bygone times. Ecclesiastes 7:10 reminds us “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such …

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Like butterflies

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”  — Carl Sagan Ah, but Mr. Sagan, you of all people should know that infinity is poorly understood, even by humans. Perhaps our most profound mistakes occur in our perceptions of finality; in our willingness to accept the limits drawn by what we …

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Of the soul

“Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Oddly enough, it’s my belief in the sentiment expressed here by Longfellow that underlies my enjoyment of visiting graveyards and cemeteries.  When one believes in the …

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Indistinguishable elements

Dear blog readers, Yesterday afternoon Jeff and I got shocking news of the unexpected death of a dear family member, Larry.  Those of you who read the comments may already know of him through his thoughts that he often posted here.  Larry was the husband of Jeff’s younger sister, Jennifer. He died Saturday at their …

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Love and laughter

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” ― John Grogan One …

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Sensations more painful

“There are few sensations more painful, than, in the midst of deep grief, to know that the season which we have always associated with mirth and rejoicing is at hand.” — Sarah Josepha Hale This week, a dear friend of ours lost her close and steadfast friend of over 37 years, after a courageous battle …

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A graveyard can teach you

“Spending time in a graveyard can teach you a lot about living. When I stopped at each grave I swear I could almost hear the silent stories of perfect strangers. Their tombs like silent philosophies of all the ways a life can be lived.” — Simone Nacerima Graveyards are a common motif at this time …

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Open to the day

That more and more a Providence Of love is understood, Making the springs of time and sense Sweet with eternal good; That death seems but a covered way Which opens into light, Wherein no blinded child can stray Beyond the Father’s sight… That all the jarring notes of life Seem blending in a psalm, And …

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