September 7, 2012

at a deep silent lake of grief
3 adult children sit on a low dock
dangling their feet in the water
it is dark and the dark is cold and clear
though a grey mist is forming
a fog that becomes more dense with distance
no way to make sense of the vague shapelessness there

a man stands waist deep in the utterly still water
hands at his sides
shoulders drooping
also seeking somewhere to focus his eyes

the stars have been coming out
one by one and in groups
to shine their light on the people
so many that it is remarkable
reflecting off the smooth lake
steady through the ripples
everyone is grateful for their light

and there are others at the shore
on the dock
toes in the water
arms open
children splashing lightly
playing around their legs
feeling the weight of the water
quietly understanding what their age allows

someone skips a stone
and all wonder when it will stop skipping
slide into the silent water and fall to the bottom

all the while the ripples spread, more stars come out, the stillness grows

no one tries to deny that soon they will be completely submerged
and that when they emerge
the water of that lake will never completely dry from their skin
and that they will return to the lake
often at first and always for the rest of their lives
and though grief is lonely
they will never be alone in their remembering
the ripples of this life will never stop spreading


8 Responses to “……………………………………………”

  1. rachel Says:

    Shawn, i shouldn’t have read this tonight because I don’t know if I will be able to stop crying and go to sleep now. It is beautiful. I really think you should put it on caring bridge. Thank you.

    • Shawn Says:

      sorry and thank you
      i actually wrote it for the caring bridge site
      but then wasnt sure for mom’s sake
      i’m glad you liked it
      it was for you and yours and ours
      i love you and hope you rest

  2. Jim D Reppart Says:

    Shawn this is the most accurate and poetically beautiful description of what we are all experiencing. Please post it on the Journal of caring bridge.

  3. Lindsey Says:

    Thank you for this. Much love to you all.

  4. Shawn, you are so gifted! Beautiful words, well chosen, and meaningful–especially to those who have stood at the water’s edge. So beautiful. A thoughtful, thought-provoking, gentle expression of faith in the waters of grief.

  5. Gail Brown Says:

    Sad but beautiful, you are so gifted, my son. Love Mom

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