no words, only beauty

I got the news– her father passed away.  Cancer.

The news detonates a dam, and the tragedy of another triggers a flood of memories. I remember the quiet that pervaded the house during my mother’s final days, even while streams of thoughtful friends and family trickled by with somber faces.  The flocks of grey geese, a silent V slicing the grey skies above. The terrible disbelief that sets in after the final, jagged breath.

There are no words to comfort.  Maybe I can say that I understand what she is going through. Afterall, I too have lost a parent, but everyone grieves differently.  It is a lonely road, and she is a mother, she must carry on for another. The phrase “I understand” seems a bit inauthentic.

I can tell her that I’m sorry, because I am.

I can tell her everything will be different going forward, but how? I cannot predict. It is for her to discover. The truth will dazzle gradually.

What I can say, and what is the greatest truth: the only thing that knit me back together again was beauty.  People, with their awkward hugs and concerned faces, tried to comfort me, but I was beyond reach. There is nothing that anyone could do or say.

But there was poetry.  There were brilliant Arizona sunsets. There were songs that managed to fill a broken heart with joy and hope.  There were mountains that touched puffy white clouds.  There were birds, so many birds.

The beauty of the world can deliver you from her horrors if you open yourself to it.


Alan (4)

11 thoughts on “no words, only beauty

  1. Martha Goudey

    So lovely, so true. My garden, the neat green rows of vegetables, soothe my spirit. The eagles in the canyon raising their brood of three for these past months, gives me joy. And I struggle to comfort so many around me losing loved ones, while I still feel the sting of my own loss, even though it’s been three years. I make offerings to a friend whose husband has cancer, and it is rejected, not out of spite, but because it wasn’t the right offering. I pull back. A friend’s mother is on hospice, breathing those “final, jagged breaths,” and I don’t know what to say. She’s had dementia for years,…she’s been lost to him for a long time. “I’m so sorry for your loss,” sounds hollow.
    You are so right that it is a solitary journey. The “truth will dazzle gradually.”
    Beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Wish, Wait, Write

    Such a beautiful tribute to the power of beauty. There are days when the only thing that allows me to drift to sleep, despite the ache of losing my daughter, is a CD filled with beautiful music, made by a dear friend. There truly is peace and healing in the simplicity of beautiful things that heal us.

  3. mishedup

    Wow….I was surprised to see a like from you on my blog….
    i’ve missed you.
    I hope that little nod means you are thinking of writing more, your words are so beautiful.
    glad you looked in though…peace

  4. Daphne

    I miss your writing although I understand that since it is primarily about grief, it can be exhausting and you’re in need of a break. I just wanted to check up on you. My aunt passed of cancer in December and I often thought of your blog to have my cousin read as she cared for her ailing mother.

    1. bornbyariver Post author

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and inquiry. I’m doing great and considering the revival of the blog, although living life and having fun has been my primary focus lately. I am honored you would pass along my words to your cousin. Take care!


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