Trying To Wake Up by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan
I am tired; exhausted really. My eyes are burning. I slept until almost 9:30am and still I don’t feel rested. Death can really make one tired.
My father has taken a turn for the worse. My stepmother has called in hospice and then all my brother’s unresolved issues got dumped into my lap in an intense email when I informed him of what was happening. I have chosen silence as there is nothing I can say to change my brother’s feelings or even “fix” the situation.
The death a week ago of my great aunt is upon us as the issues regarding my uncle start being discussed and considered. And the true impact and coming loneliness of loosing a spouse after 58 years of marriage starts to be felt.
Recent news has deeply touched me. A favorite preschool teacher of my daughter’s—a woman with a very gentle soul—has a premie baby struggling to get a foothold in this world. I felt her fear as my own daughter was in the hospital at five weeks old for an emergency operation.
The ten year anniversary of 9/11 is haunting me as it does every year when that moment gets reviewed and more personally remembered.
Death is heavy and it is the burden the living carry. I sometimes wonder did it feel differently when death was evermore present in the day to day living in another age, when death could not be kept at bay. Probably not…
My antidotes for this morning: coloring with my daughter and a shower. Both are relaxing and hopefully a little barbecue with friends later this afternoon will pull me out of myself.
Also at times like this I am drawn to Rilke. “Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes” comes to mind. I have Stephen Mitchell’s translation of The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. With the amazing wonder of the internet, here is the link to that poem [Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes], which hints at the exhaustion of the living when dealing with the dead.
For me, poetry can be a healing salve that soothes the rawness of feelings I have inside myself. Poetry is power. Sadly, most folks are afraid of it. I hope readers will go to the Rilke link and let that magic be felt for themselves as it is felt by me.