I didn’t even title this entry because I can’t even think of an appropriate title. There is more than one person I know right now who is dealing with the pain of death or impending death of a loved one. I don’t even know the loved ones or their immediate families but it’s been on my mind and on my heart. There is such duality in death, the celebration of a life well-lived and loved against the backdrop of finality.

My father, who died when I was 15, wrote a letter to our family two weeks before his death. I found it on my recent trip back home, accidentally running across it in a file marked Miscellaneous Good Stuff. He did not orchestrate his death, but he felt it was coming and it soon did. I did not see the letter until after his death but in many ways my view of and understanding of his death and of death in general were shaped by these words, and by the life behind these words. 

Do not weep over my death. I lived a lifetime preparing for it and now I have successfully completed my task. I am not lost. I know where I am going and it is far more beautiful than words ever described. 

As I was lifted up and touched by my family and friends, continue to reach out and lift others up as you journey through the adventure of life. Life has been the best preparation for death I know of. 

These people who are facing the death of a loved one will probably not see these words but they’ve been on my heart today.  And this is for them:

The Whole of a Life

I’m sad for you
You, whom I never have seen
face to face or in dream
You, in your place between body and breath
cupping the whole of a life, and yet opening
hands to death
You, standing still at branches that meet
growing from heights of a trunk whose
roots go deep
and deeper still
Praying for wind to delay
and yet,
praying it strong
enough
to carry him high
enough
for those he has loved to feel
his presence.

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Meme

Tagged by thatgirlygirl:

Five writing habits (or more likely five things that will lead to a good writing sesh):

1. Uninterrupted time
2. Pajamas (preferred but comfortable clothes will do)
3. Diet Coke
4. Previous time for mind to wander (developing ideas, freeing my muse)
5. A bit of revision first then dive into the new stuff

tagged

Tagged by annemariepace and alwayslisa

(for some reason I cannot make those LJ names active)

Ground Rules: The first player of this “game” starts with the topic “5 weird habits of yours” and people who get tagged need to write a LJ entry about their 5 quirky habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next 5 people to be tagged and list their names. 

(I don’t know what makes either of you think I’m quirky.) 

1. Anyone within a 100 ft. radius of me who uses a pencil MUST wipe ALL eraser dust from their paper before beginning to write again or I cannot function. (SAT test taking was very difficult for me in high school.)

2. I drink 2 liters of diet coke a day. (I am not proud of this fact. It is simply that. A fact. I wish it were not so, and do not necessarily believe that it is this fact that makes me quirky. I’m sure it’s all the caffeine that does the job.)

3. I read the dictionary. For fun.

4. I live in Brazil but I have a phone with an Alabama telephone number that rings in my home in Brazil. You might not find this fact quirky. And I suppose it has nothing to do with my particular habits, but I’ve had the phone over a year and I still marvel at it when it rings. I’m slow to grow accustomed to the wonders of technology.

5. Like lindseyleavitt, I prepare myself to handle tragic future circumstances by acting out (in my mind) how I will respond in advance. It’s almost like rehearsing my world view.

dreamin’ 2

I’m rewording the first sentence in this post because everyone thought I was going off the deep end:

Have you ever noticed how dreams hang on even when it seems there’s nothing to hang them on? I caught a couple of clips of American Idol the other day. And it amazed me how obviously untalented people could walk out of their audition still convinced that they were going to make it big and prove to the judges how wrong they were. Hope springs eternal. And I mean this in a truly positive way about the persistence of our dreams. I like to think that we always end up with a place to hang our dreams. It may not be where we’d first hoped. And sometimes one dream takes us to another then to another and another and we end up somewhere we’d never even have guessed.

I love that about dreams.