Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday Stroll - Through Shadows and Light


I have learned this week that I don’t know how to write about sorrow. A young friend , a seventeen year old girl, has been killed in a car accident along with a 20 year old man. The other passenger in the car, a 19 year old man, has been seriously injured but is doing well. I have tried several times to write of this tragedy, which came one week after the suicide of another young man in our community, but how do you summarize a life in a few paragraphs? How do you put into words all of the ways that grief colors your days?

I have learned that my community embraces families that endure such tragedies with food and financial support, sharing memories and tears. That is a positive thing about our community, but I wish I did not learn it through such sad circumstances as our friends losing their beautiful vibrant daughter. I wish I did not have to find out how many people in our community loved the seventeen year old with the amazing friendly smile after she was gone. And I wish, so much, that I did not have to hold my daughters, or watch them huddle together with their friends, while their bodies shook with inexpressible grief.

Mid-week, my husband’s 86 year old uncle passed away. Saturday we drove across the state for his funeral service, having already attended the services for our young friend a few days before. All around us, as we drove, was evidence of the season progressing. At first, the fact that life goes on despite one’s troubles seems a cruelty of nature. As we drove, leaves fell from the trees like tears falling to the earth. Wind blew some of the leaves away. I realized, as I have in the past, that the progression of the seasons is not a cruelty, but a gentle, healing balm.


On the ride home, we stopped to hike a path in a national forest. We walked 300 steps downhill to fresh water springs filling the wide slow-moving expanse in a river bed. The sound of the gurgling freshets, the crisp leaves underfoot, the deep peaceful shade under a canopy of branches restored us, as we walked together.

The photos that accompany this post are from Haiku’s walk closer to home today. She went to find the quiet, and to walk the healing trail through the shadows and light in the woods.
photos by Haiku, November 4, 2007

21 comments:

Chellie said...

Beautiful, Aisling. What a lovely description of sadness, grieving and continuing with life.

Aisling said...

Chellie, Thank you for letting me know that you thought so. Nice to meet you. I'll check out your blog too.

Lesley said...

Lovely autumn photos, Aisling. Your trees in America seem to have such strong colours, ours seem to be more subtle, or don't change colour at all. I'd love to visit New England in the autumn.

Aisling said...

Lesley, My daughter's photos really captured the vibrancy of the colors. It was a very beautiful, lingering autumn this year.

Grace @ Rose Cottage Lane said...

Aisling - I know what you mean about not knowing what to say about sorrow. A dear man in our church family passed away a couple of weeks ago after a 7 year battle with cancer (he was a doctor so it was even more bittersweet for him). I saw his widow, a lady I love, at church yesterday and I found myself not knowing what to say - do I act normal, do I talk about the death, do I avoid it, do I pretend as if nothing is changed? It is such a delicate dance. I think I'll call her this afternoon and get her feedback, and ask her what is most helpful in this journey she is on, without her dear husband for the first time in 43 years.

My prayers are with you, your family, your friends and your community during this time of grief.

Aisling said...

Grace, It is a difficult thing, isn't it? Thank you for your understanding and prayers.

Lisa said...

What beautiful photos you have shared. Your words are so soothing to all that have suffered a loss. Sending some comfort and cheer across the miles to ease these hurtful times.

Aisling said...

Lisa, Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate the thoughts of comfort and cheer. :)

Nan - said...

Oh, I am so, so very sorry. What an awful thing. Around here it has happened too, too many times, the latest being a girl in my son's class whose car hit a moose. I'd known her as a little girl on all those class field trips, and had seen her last at her sister's high school graduation in June.

I feel so sad for the girl's parents. And the irony of the man living his long, long life and hers barely begun, is one of the saddest mysteries in life.

I know you are hugging your loved ones very closely.

Aisling said...

Nan, I'm sorry to hear about the girl in your community as well. As you said, I am holding my loved ones close. The comfort of friends like you is important too. Thank you. :)

Our Red House said...

So sad. That poor young girl. I am sorry about the elderly gentleman too. You do have a gift for expression, even if the words are hard to write.

Aisling said...

Kate, Thank you for your sympathy and kind comments.

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

Goodness Aisling, what sadness your heart has endured lately.
I'm sending you a big hug!
THERE!

Patty said...

Such a sad week for you. Death is such an empty spot in our hearts

Aisling said...

Robbin, Thank you for the hug. I needed it! :)

Patty, You are right. It is hard to make the feelings of grief and sadness "sit right" inside, isn't it? Thank you for your kind remarks.

hugs,
Aisling

L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, the writer has a most difficult task, to put into words what no one else can fashion from the emptiness they feel.

Your pictures say something of sorrow and hope.

Aisling said...

l.l., Thanks for your comment. Every comment on this post makes me feel as if a friend stopped by to tell me that they care. :)

Rapunzel said...

(((Aisling))), I am so sorry. What a sorrowful time you have had! Sending warm hugs and bright blessings.

xoxoxoxo

Aisling said...

Rapunzel, Thank you so much for your hugs. I'm glad you came by to check up on me! :)

Anonymous said...

This has been a wonderful post for me. I just found it and consider it a gift from my angel. In August my 44 year old, beautiful, full of love and compassion daughter took her life. I can only believe she knew she would be completely happy in heaven with our Father. What you have written came at a good time when the tears were just beginning to fall and I needed comfort.
Thank you seems inadequate but it comes from the heart. Will send this on to my other daughter who is grieving even more than I.

Aisling said...

Dear Anonymous, I'm glad I could be of help in my quiet way. What an unbelievably hard time this is for you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

hugs, Aisling