09 May 2013

old soul reads

We flew to the east coast today. It was a hurried blue blur of folding, fetching, cleaning and packing before we left early, early to catch our 6am flight out of LAX. Exhausted beyond belief but enjoying the boys' in flight preoccupations I put to use my small fraction of time and read, from cover to cover, the book "Kira, Kira" by Cynthia Kadohata. The prose was simple yet lyrical and it was not a surprise to me that the short but intense read won a Newberry. Perhaps it was because I was exhausted. Perhaps because I have suffered loss in recent months. Perhaps because I know how much my mother would have loved this novel. Perhaps. However this 'perhaps' is written, it's achingly beautiful prose had me weeping openly on the plane for the last 1/4 of the book. This small moment in time left me reflecting on how we, as a society, pass through grief, bury our loved ones, put to rest our dreams.
Despite the wish that I could have read this poignant novel 6 or 7months ago, I wonder, how can we all bury, let go, honor and love the past? Love and let go the futures that can never be written and dreams that never come to fruition. Do we as a culture need to do a better job of carving this space out for ourselves? It made me wish, beyond just the typical memorials and funerals, I had something intentionally entwined in my beliefs that gave me a platform in which to move forward from grief. The spirit of this novel ends so triumphantly this old soul of mine ached for a way to place all dreams broken and crushed by mortar and pistil upon a small altar, and offer them up to the heavens.
How do you walk forward from the end of things, from broken dreams and set aside paths? Is there a rite that is part of your upbringing? Or a new one that you have created that sits well with your own heart? I as always would so love to know. xxoo

PS. Sorry for however this posts. It is beyond midnight here and I am writing this on my iPhone.
PPS. the family in the novel is Japanese-American and I believe their tradition and beliefs are Buddhist. 


  1. I envy church people their inheritance of passage rites and spirit markers for times like this.

    I read a description of Kira Kira, it seems so very sad. Anything described as "achingly beautiful" draws me inexorably to it - but I think this one may be too sad for me.

  2. I do understand what you're asking. I'm an atheist but do envy not the actual beliefs that religious people hold, but their conviction in believing, if that makes sense. I don't believe their beliefs, but I admire that it works for them. My brother died 18 months ago after a short aggressive fight with cancer. We weren't prepared for his death and his passing has left a huge hole in all our lives. Losing someone you love so, I felt the desire to scream from the rafters that I'd lost. It reminded me of some middle eastern cultures where the women wail, I could relate to that at the time, the real, visible, representation of the hugest of losses. Tangibly though, we needed to do something to include him in our lives day to do, a physical feeling of presence. My little family bought a tree, a pomegranate, not too pretty, but bearing fruit, something alive, something to see and think of him, living. We also have his photo in the lounge, a big one, which we decorate for the seasons, various celebrations. It developed organically, we didn't plan it, it just happened. I embroidered a piece for my parents, some words I'd written for his funeral and it hangs in their home. I know it's not exactly what you meant, or not exactly the question that you asked, but I hope it gives you ... something x

  3. We all have our special connection with the loved ones we have lost. When I lost my grandmother a few years ago it was my first family member and she played a vital role in my childhood. She had a beautiful garden with birds and we/I believe she is the red cardinal that comes to visit. She used to travel with us and the red cardinal has visited a few times in different places. It comforts me to know she will always be with us, wherever we may be. There are still days of sadness but also talks of all the fun times. The key is to feel all the emotions.
    A beautiful post -hopefully you find that something that allows you to feel the closeness of your mother throughout the rest of your time.
    Chey xo

  4. I lost my Dad when I was 17, my best friend when I was 25 and my Mum two years ago.
    I don't know that there is a specific way to deal with it. It depends on the time in your life and the people around you, supporting you.
    Unfortunately, it just is what it is ... something that can't be changed no matter how much you would love to change it. For the sake of every one around you ... you just have to keep on going ... one foot in front of the other.
    Nothing ever gets back to "normal" ... you just have to create a new normal.
    My way of honouring them is simply to remember them ... after all isn't that what everyone wants ... to be remembered. Not necessarily as a Memorial or anything ... just in life ... everyday ... keeping them in my thoughts.
    This doesn't really answer your question ... but that's the way I deal with it.

  5. I have had my share of letting go and walking on. I wasted some energy being mad at the whole reality of having to lose people, places, my health, my dreams...it does no good to be mad at it, although I had to learn that by actually being mad for a while. Since I have children, I HAVE to go on, for them, I have to keep going...and that determination itself keeps me moving. And for the rest of my family too. I ask God for help. I walk in the woods a lot. I do have one practical thing that has helped me: exercise and yoga. I wish I'd known about this years ago. Running every day and doing some yoga has helped on a physical level, more than I'd expected it to. But really, there's no way around loss; you have to go through it. Hope this helps.


hello there! I love it so when you leave a bit of a note to let me know how you are and what you are thinking. I always love to hear about the things inspiring you and moving you through your day.

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