Eight Birthdays

Eight birthdays throb in the marrow of my bones, the combined power of a birth and a death propelling the mallet that makes for such pounding.

I am a shell, standing in the sounding sea of sorrow, the pulsing all memory and ache and longing. Still…I…am…standing.

Great love means great grief, and my grit is that I know it. I will not release my death grip on the former and so I cannot forsake the life in my white knuckles.

How does a mother withstand the violent timbre of one birthday, or two birthdays, or eight fucking birthdays? How do I stand this booming echo, bone deep and crushing, I ask every morning of the sun.

To stand is enough, answers the warmth on my skin. To weather is to gain strength against the bitter winds.

Because, there is only beauty in the life we give and the love we know and there can be no death in that human truth.

I am alive, and she is alive. In my breath. In my veins. In the blood beating through a heart half hers.

Resting my mind’s eye on her face, her freckles can dance to the throbbing in my bones.

The dancing recalls her laughter, which composes its sweet symphony upon the painful pounding.

Her laughter is a joyful, infectious giggle,


An answer. She always refused to laugh alone.

You are here, I whisper. I hear you. I feel your joyful life.

Sorrow is not the whole of me, my darling girl. Because of you, I know laughter, too.

3 thoughts on “Eight Birthdays

  1. You are such a great writer. I too have experienced the loss of a loved one, and you are able to put both your and my feelings into such exquisite words. I would love to see you write the kind of blog that only you can write about your other daughter at some point in the future. I find myself wondering about her too, and how she’s doing. I wrote many letters to my parents when I was young but only one expressing how much I loved them and how much they meant to me. When my last parent died I found that decades-old letter kept in a folder with their other very important papers. I cried tears of joy that one letter had meant so much to them. I think they left it for me to find again after having long forgotten I even wrote it. Now that I think about it, perhaps I should follow my own suggestion and write a tribute letter to my son. It may not be as artfully worded but it will come from my heart, the same old broken heart of mine to which he still brings so much joy. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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