Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday's Trust - Can We Trust...Things Will Get Better?

A silent hug means a thousands words to the unhappy heart.

Tuesday's Trust

Can We Trust...Things Will Get Better?

The death of a child shakes our trust in the world at the most primal level.

We know the world is full of disorder and catastrophe but, for the most part, we count on things happening reliably in our daily lives. Then, that which is so integral to our lives that it seems almost our reason for being, is taken away, gone.

Our whole sense of ourselves is so disoriented and confused, the organizing patterns of our lives will not work anymore. Is it any wonder we “can’t believe it”?

~Matha Whitmore Hickman


Over the months and years we will learn to say it more calmly. Yet each time we say it—and we must, it is a part of our learning our own terrible truth—the heart will jump, the stomach contract, the tempo of the body will shift in acknowledgment: I had a child who died.

But there is little to help us. It is not expected in our culture that children will die. Children grow up and become adults and perhaps marry and have children of their own, and they come home for Christmas, and they call us on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We get together and watch their children and reminisce how it was when they were small and we were younger. We pass on to them not only our genes—our blue eyes and the shape of our fee—but our ancestral pictures, our family recipes, our holiday customs, and when we are old and frail they will come to see us and love us. And we will leave them. They won’t leave us.

And then it is over. It is not going to happen. We are in a shambles, wounded by the event of their death.

With an ache that is physical and encompassing, we miss their presence now. And that space which in our fantasy they were to have filled until the end of our life is empty, and will be, until the end of our life. There will be others we love—other children, other smiles and tilts of head, other voices, but not theirs.

And we wonder, how could so small a complex of blood and tissue, nerve and bone and love contain so much of our heart’s lode?

~Matha Whitmore Hickman


It is an affront. It is a reversal of nature. It is terror. It is panic. It will break our heart. And for a while we think maybe that will happen. We, too, will die and be spared. We will flee away. And it will be over.

But life does not treat us like that. Nor, except in our worst moments, is that what we want.

We do want life… But how?

~Matha Whitmore Hickman


With what a deep devotedness of woe

I wept thy absence - o'er and o'er again

Thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain,

And memory, like a drop that, night and day,

Falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away!

~Thomas Moore

And yet...

Good-night! good-night! as we so oft have said

Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days

That are no more, and shall no more return.

Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed;

I stay a little longer, as one stays

To cover up the embers that still burn.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Life is eternal, and love is immortal,

and death is only a horizon;


a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

~Rossiter Worthington Raymond


Love is missing someone whenever you're apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you're close in heart.

~Kay Knudsen

Picture: http://twitpic.com/15xdu1
~Matha Whitmore Hickmanm, I Will Not Leave You Desolate


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