July 27, 2015 9:48am Slipping

Her loving him
Her loving him


9/11/07 11:00am

A walk in the woods after the death of a young takes on another hue.

Trees bend towards, slumping is the only word that comes to mind, like his shoulders have since we got the word from her friend, Moses.

Slumping, shuffled inward, almost bowing, swaying to the rhythm so many are holding in their hearts now that she is gone.

MIMG_0429eningococcus turn the spinal fluid to pus, white corpuscles to the rescue, choke the bathing waters so that the brain cannot breathe anymore and the tiny spaces between the vertebrae, right there where the cerebellum and the cord interface, ceases to be open. Those spaces close. The bathing waters recede. Tiny white corpuscles trying to help, bring destruction.

But we were speaking of trees grieving, weren’t we? Trunks bent inward, slightly molding towards, brown leaves droop, intensely ashamed of this leaving, taking some blame where there is none.

Only the green ones, the leaves with the chlorophyll still absorbing the spectrum’s colors and throwing back yellow and blue blend in green, wilting slightly. Descending in recognition. of her passing.


Bowing to the trees and the light which shimmers, actually shaking in the spaces, so that now we can visibly partake of her leave-taking. She is thundering past us now. And the cricket’s vibration praising creation and transfiguration still sing Hallelujah but with longer intervals now deepening our connection.

Walk in the woods after the death of a young and the whole center caves around and wraps a tendril inward to bolster. Walk in the woods during this departure and even the air moves in on your communion to wrap and bind you together so you won’t spin apart. Julia W. Burns, MD














Relaxing in my comfortable twig chair, gazing toward the creek, I sit in wonder at sounds surrounding my morning meditation. Vibrations move slowly and then slower, and I am present as birds whistle and cicadas whirrrrRRRRRrrrrrr, content in the mystery. That enchantment penetrates my senses. Don’t you feel it too?

This slowing is created by death.  I am touched by death again. I know him but not well. Well enough to be stunned but not enough to be overcome by grief. He left three young sons and a beautiful wife behind.

Just before summer he was well. Unsuspecting of a life near finished, he prepared his boat for the ocean and looked forward. But now the forward looking on earth is over, for him and for those who love him. For those he left behind. It doesn’t take much, does it? One day you are fine, feeling a bit low or nervous about nothing and then the universe gives you death or something to really feel anxious about instead of a sliver of a worry.

It’s much like slipping on ice. One moment you’re standing right side up and the next your flat on your back, staring at the stars, wondering how you landed there. “Are you alright, lady?” the garbage truck driver asked, as he pulls up beside. Running down a hill in the sleet is a slippery feat. “Do I look like I’m alright?” I queried. “I’m a forty year old woman, it’s 20 degrees, 5:30 in the morning and I’m laying flat on my back? How could I possibly be alright?” I’m pretty sure that he was sorry he asked and I’m also fairly certain I was fine.

I repeat this tale frequently as an example of truth. Living full when life is good but still feels bad is hard, to appreciate the moment is harder. I’d like to take those moments back, wouldn’t you? Illness and death take many things away but while they’re at it, they give a little too. Gratitude in the moment, even the scariest, darkest moments, is one of them. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Always.

One comment

  1. I am still not grateful for the scary dark moments. Bad, bad dreams of loved ones still alive but deathly ill, this on Friday night. Waking, recovering, then falling back asleep only to dream that same dream again. God, please give me relief! Not until the morning. Love your last paragraph.


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