The following entries (from beginning runner to half marathon finisher) represents a continuing journey of tremendous grief and sorrow, and of transformation - largely through the therapeutic power of running. The sorrow that has broken my heart open wide has in time allowed me to experience the beauty of being in the present moment. And of course, without the support of family and friends to guide me, I would not have made it this far.

If you have lost someone in your life, I offer these words and verse (some Kristy's, some mine and others) with the hope it may touch your heart and help you heal.

Monday, August 31, 2009


This haunting song reminds me of Kristy each  time I hear it.  
I have changed a few of the words to make it personal. 
Hear the tune and watch the video.

My love is like footsteps in the snow, baby,
I follow you everywhere you go, baby.
The pain as light has come to wake you
And you forever realize
That you inspire the dreams that guide me baby.

You're a half a world away
But in my mind I whisper every single word you say.
And before I sleep at night
I pray to you, my lucky star, my singing satellite.

You follow the winds that bring the cold, baby,
You light a fire in my soul, baby.
The lightest touch of feathers falling
Your love may be invisible
But you inspire the dreams that guide me, baby

You're a half a world away
But in my mind I whisper every single word you say.
And before I sleep at night
I pray to you, my lucky star, my singing satellite.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Somewhere in the desert of New Mexico

Last week I traveled to New Mexico and spent a week with my sister. The purpose of the trip was to drive to Santa Fe and attend the Indian Market. For the last two years I have driven the thousand miles to Santa Fe to sell my paintings. This year I did not sell at the market but decided to go and experience it as a "tourist". I'm so glad I did. I was not able to walk around and visit all the artists in previous years as the market strongly suggests you be in your booth at all times. But this time I did and saw so many beautiful things and met so many talented people.

A few years ago Kristy helped me to prepare for my first market. I set up my booth in the living room and we hung all the paintings. She had a good eye. She also helped me name each piece. She took her time and made sure everything was ready to go. Unfortunately she had a race during the same weekend but we often talked about her coming with me in the future.

Now more than ever I think of our conversations about the future. Her passion - triathlon competition, and my passion - painting. We were committed to helping each other to reach our goals. When I say reach I really mean surpass - both of us knew we would never be satisfied but would always strive to achieve more. You can never reach the end of your passion. It is always there to drive you on. It's what keeps you going.

As my sister and I drove through the vast New Mexico desert we spoke about Kristy. She was present with us every step of the way. I can never forget her strength - I find it is always there if I open my heart and listen.


For a long time I have been afraid to fly in small planes. The turbulance always makes me nervous and I dread what could happen. Yesterday I flew in a small plane as I returned from my sister's house in New Mexico. I wrote this as I looked out the small window.

I can still remember when I was afraid to fly
Tightly strapped into this plastic cocoon
Immobile as larvae and conscious of nothing
Waiting for the silent signal to breathe

The fear remained a nameless passage
A constant travel companion with no identity
Always lurking and watching for a chance
To set out upon its dark journey with god speed

But my companion no longer lurks in empty bags
Or travels silently speaking its false name
For I am transformed by you my love
And this sad fellow has no more grip on me

My hands do not get sweaty nor my face pale
I do not hold my breath or bargain with fear
For I am never closer than when he appears
And I am dreaming myself into you as we soar

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The sun set for my sister and I on Monday evening. We watched as the sky slowly exploded into an orange yellow soup. The next morning I wrote you this poem and tried to tell you....

Another eternal sun sets
When we are together as one
What once was blue is scarlet and gold
Suspended hope with suspended dreams
Bound by moments of changing beauty

You - as blinding as the dying sun
As vibrant as the rising moon
Everything and anything can bring you near
Yet even this will fade to black
As a dying rose drops its heavy crown

I never tire of your laughing eyes
I wait each day to relive the memory of you
If I am not dreaming you how can I remember?
A second death would but follow the first
An endless fall much darker than the one I know

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The following poem was written by Laurissa


this moment of presence is infinite
in it’s fleeting, elusive permanence
all directions radiate out from center
from Now all connections with all beings
alive even in this silky silence
where full moon light scarcely penetrates clouds
and bats circle me without sound

a house holding me
me holding space solid as stones
weightless as feathers
of which I am the same
I would release every thing
every thought, every memory, every belief
that forms me
let sunlight be my name
until water claims me again
for desire I cannot release

who would it be that I am
imagining looking so deeply into me
whose eyes can hold my untamed gaze
and let me enter without resistance
leaving past and future, stress and projection
leaving the scurrying mind
in the center of a wet spring meadow
in glorious rich greens
where they shall consume themselves
as we turn and walk without looking back

I do not know the name of what comes for me
nor why I resist
I know the sounds and memories that ache and echo
and that rarest beauty emerging from inconceivable loss
but I don’t know if anyone hears
the songs we sing alone
nor how far I shall wander to receive the seeds
my body will transform and birth
into still other forms of intelligent light
I do not know how I became this dance

so I walk the river at night, denying sleep
because an awakening demands it’s moments
feeling the effortless rise and fall of my chest
as I take and release the invisible
in all these words my lips remain together
I endlessly circle around the One
I will not utter or write
for tonight I fear to reduce
the miraculous to banality
the mystery of all presence united
by gossamer filaments of indestructible
indefinable actuality
I reach out for words as forming
shapes in the air before me
to convey and comprehend these waves
undulating through the space I am
and then lay them aside
as they fade back to formless

returning to the ancient symphony
where all space and time
explode in wonderment

Monday, August 24, 2009


I know what you mean
when you talk about the flashes
of strobes and rapid fire
blinding with feelings

you see... that day
I watched you from across the road
as I watched everyone else
while my soul took them all
searing bullet after bullet strobe
of images of chaos and confusion

my body she immobilized
for spending our time
was best a secret
the way she liked it I knew
and even now I try
to indulge her

but you know
that its too late for me
because with her
I already let myself loose


Sunday, August 23, 2009


Photo and verse by Elliot

I like to suffer says the madman
as he walks out the door again

suffering is my home he says
when wild winds rage the sea
or pounding tar machines
race to hurl themselves at me
leave nothing i can see

except bitter sweetness
of life and memory.......

Saturday, August 22, 2009


"Finished in Beauty" one of Kristy's favorite paintings

Wide shoulders
Thick legs
Veins that have been a beacon
He says it is his vision
that is good
He says
his girlfriend
He asked if it hurt
I bit his cheek
I show him my pallor
My softening legs
He lowers his eyes.
My wine glass remained full
as I drank.

And I felt wanted?

by Kristy Gough

Friday, August 21, 2009


Collage by P.S.

Don't speak.
Don't laugh don't smile
Let the merry go round wind down
Whispers of childhood are all I can allow

I only hear within myself
My voices cry a chorus
of timeless plays
and fading colors

You think these perfect?
These deals I've touched
But I can see no beauty
You stole it when you called out
Love - but didn't know it's name

I thought my grip was strong
But my calluses were worn thin
And my blood was warm and red
It hurt when I saw it puddle on the ground.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


What is your name and where were you born?
How many other children do you have?
Did she make any money when she won the race?
How long did she live in this and that place?

Please keep yourself from smiling at me
Don't tell me any more little jokes
Don't say you are sorry my daughter did die
And too slowly wipe a tear from your eye

You have a family too I would think
Those that you guard from all that you fear
Should I presume to speak with such candor and mirth
Can you please prove to me just what that is worth

There is a world and a justice too she said
And not one of us here is walking alone
Look around and see clearly where you are going
What you now reap is what you've been sowing

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I sat down at the table while she looked at me
"Do you have anything you would like to say?"
My throat constricted - I felt weak and sick
Like I would either throw up or start screaming

The words raced in my head and fought back
Anything? Does that mean everything or nothing?
For I am an empty shell, a scratch upon the floor
a mast without a ship, an open mouth panting

A man spoke for me in a brown honey voice
"Thank you for coming here," was her reply
I show them I have been writing to you each day
Words I cannot swallow - ripe and rotten with tears

This was her favorite sketch I hear myself say
She said if she were a child she would admire it
The trees are like ghostly green shells
Disappearing into a spider's darkly woven horizon

I am walking out now down the carpeted hallway
Back to my prison reeking of grey-green and black
I turn to look and you are profiles huddling together
Someone murmurs - "I see they were very close"

I am holding on to so many memories
Greedy hands rip them out page by page
They are poked and prodded again and again
Once more they ask - "How do you define
My Love, My Life?"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So many have helped me through the past year. I could not have made it if not for their love and compassion. I do not have the right words to thank you, so let me just say I love you.

You are there when I need you
I know you understand the pain
You don't have to ask me
again and again

It's the small talk that sees me though
You ask me of my day
We talk about the dogs awhile
How they sleep and how they play

You are another part of me
You've taken much of my grief
For when you've shown such love to me
You've harbored a fragile peace

Can I live within your calming grace
Can I dwell within your banks
Can I tell you how you've meant the world
Can I offer you my thanks

Monday, August 10, 2009


Three days after Kristy died a woman called to tell me her son had died five years before. She offered me her experience with the pain of losing her child.

You called to say you knew
about my pain and grief
For your son had also died
5 years you struggled for relief

You darkly spoke his name
while recounting all the years
which lead you to announce
There would be no end to tears

You kept his phone alive
to hear its tinny beat
though others thought it odd
to you a simple feat

They offered me money you said
As if it could give you peace
But the blood dripped from their hands
and offered you no release

She's been dead for three days, I said
My thoughts can find no rest
You never will, was your reply
As his phone beat in your chest

Friday, August 7, 2009


Kristy had a great love of music. She enjoyed all types. I would regularly make copies of my new CDs (don't tell anyone) for her. She is the one who turned me on to the Lilith Fair series. Later, I got the individual CDs of each artist and we enjoyed them together. Any music with violin, cello or even banjo was always a hit! She loved chamber music and Cajun. I was thinking about this when I wrote the following.

we both loved the cello
with it's throaty lament
and joyous rhyme
earthy inner chimes

reaching skyward
naked with longing
like a dog
chasing after its bone

P.S. If Kristy were here she would be wishing her big brother Val a happy birthday. She loved her big brother very much.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I walk the same road but I do not feel
I see the same sights but I do not connect
If you were here instead of me
What would you be seeing?

I am you and now you are here
You are my eyes seeing what I see
Our fish bowl lenses glaring
And your heart beat blocks the sun

Sometimes when I do the simplest thing
I pretend that I am you
I am still here waiting for you I say
Tell me what would you be seeing

For if I knew I could make it happen
I would do all of your bidding
I could go forth with all your heart
And I would know what you are seeing

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Did you see it coming?
That split second
When you thought
I must get out of the way
This can't be happening

You lay on the road like a rag doll
Tossed aside like an angry child
He cradled you in his arms
Your splendor had been rewarded
With a broken, ugly crown

Sometimes when I close my eyes
I feel the car's impact
The searing pain and drunken darkness
Most times I feel the shock
This was not supposed to happen

Did you fall asleep peacefully?
Did you know who and what you were
Did you dream your life again
Or did your body fight on without you
While you looked down from above

I felt you close for days and days
As if you didn't want to leave
The wind was you, the sky was you
You were everything and nothing
But ..... did you see it coming?

Monday, August 3, 2009


Eyes like two comets
hands like an anchor in my heart
oh to be drifting
like a drunken flower beast
beating my wings against the comforting breeze

Do you see me now?
are you piercing through the night
with a thousand glittering eyes
or a moon shadow watering the ground

Your heart the tangled forest
damp and swollen, nearly bursting
speak to me again my love
breathe yourself into my heart
let me rest my head on your shores

Saturday, August 1, 2009


A whisper echoes in my ears
I'm waiting for you
I can make your life easier
I only want to help

I am small and bent
I cannot bear the load
Today I stopped and I knew
I could weep no more

For my eyes are dark with tears
My throat is tired and sore
A volcano lives in my chest
It is over flowing

So I took you in my hand
With this pill, I thee wed
To honor and obey
From this moment forward

And for my part in wedded bliss
I ask to sleep at night
I ask to lay my burden down
For one tiny solitary moment

Let us be together every day
Let us renew our vows each evening
As the solemn ceremony unfolds
With this cup I take you in

And as I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to take
And with this pill I close my eyes
If I should die before I wake