Tag: Death


Three weeks today since I’ve written here.

My baby brother died.  He died on Christmas Eve.  “Awww”, you say.  And the guilt comes at the final acceptance that I dare to make it about me.  Yet it is about me…again.  It is still and always about me.

Hank is gone.  That is, his physical presence is gone from this particular life.  His spirit is alive and well; I have no doubts; we’ve talked.

I could eulogize him here.  I could tell you about his childlike sweetness and total lack of guile.  I could tell you how much I wish I’d called him every time I was in his town and didn’t.  I could tell you how I wish I’d listened better when he spoke.  I could tell you how I wish I’d made more effort to invite him to my home.

Or I could tell you about our conversations since Christmas Eve.   I could tell you just and only what I want you to hear… the nice stuff.  I could choose to just tell you the nice stuff.

It has been my habit, by cultural and parental training, to just talk about nice stuff. ..until I either explode at someone inappropriately or just hide so no one sees me angry, hurt, sad, lost, in pain…mostly I hide.

Today I am out of my hidey-hole bringing the anger, sadness, loss, and pain with me.  I bring these very real emotions to the light of day.  I bring them to you the reader not to be fixed, but to be acknowledged.   Like the cat bringing her kill for you to see.  She isn’t asking you to change the state of the dead bird.   She is sharing with you her ‘catness’.   I am sharing with you my humanness.

That’s all.  And it is enough.


Someone brought a beautiful tray of fruit.  Daddy spotted the raspberries, grinned and reached for a bowl…”Jodie will love these”… horror stricken, he remembered.             -the morning after my mother’s death


I was thinking about compost. The skins, the seeds, the bones of the foods that nourish us; the leaves that soaked sunshine to feed the tree; the flowers that fed the hummingbird and our hunger for beauty. Each is essential to hold the very fabric of life together. When their useful life is over and retired into Mother Earth, she reconfigures their death into nutrient that feeds new life.

Our stories, our beliefs are compost. They once served us, held us together, as skin. The seeds helped us grow to the now when we understand that we ARE the seed.

It’s time for harvest. It’s time to peel the potato, to uncover ourselves, to be / to show in the raw the very essence of who we are. The seeds that once helped keep our hearts from breaking, the ego that led the way, are ready for the compost.

If we don’t relinquish the stories when their job is done, they begin to stink. The good news is, no matter how long we hang on to the dead, non-serving refuse, the moment we let it go and bury it in Mother Earth, she can and does begin her magic… birthing  sweet smelling new life.

What comes forth is not what goes in. It is just simply more pleasant to deal with fresh potato peelings than rotten eggs.

As we peel the potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, may we be mindful to be our raw, juiciest selves.

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