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 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

1 comment:

  1. My personal tastes in poetry include admiration for the effort made to make thought memorable through rhythm and rhyme. I like this poem for that reason, even as my sadness is renewed by understanding it. The message goes out to others, just as this woman's message was for you. You have joined her community, and her experience, barren of hope, is a warning that this horrrible loss will not end for you, nor anyone who has suffered a similar loss. But how similar? Kristy was unique and you are unique. Must your experience be exactly as hers?

    Her message is at least a suggestion that the real hard and cruel journey you now take through life without Kristy is partly so hard and cruel because no one, no matter how much support they offer you, can do the one thing that is all you need: make this never to have happened. They suffer as well because they knew and loved Kristy, too, or they suffer because they know and love you, but your suffering is undiminished by them because on the deepest level of your being, your suffering is unique and cannot be completely understood by anyone, even this woman. The best that anyone can do is understand that they cannot fully understand.

    As depressing as this is, there is also this truth which must be acknowledged: Kristy's death did not end all beauty, truth, justice, happiness, hope, love and enjoyment of life. If it could have done that then these things would never have enlivened her, for she was too wise to expect death to spare her or those she loved.

    Instead, I imagine her throwing the finger at fate, persisting in optimistically confrontating death with everything beautiful - an existential and affirmative act of strength. This is consistent with the woman I have come to know about through your blog.

    Yes, you will kill us all, but you cannot kill our souls. We will not surrender.