In others’ words

Sad things make me think of my mom. Instantly. All sad things.
I think because it is my greatest sadness and the one closest to my heart. Therefore, I reflect on it to relate to whatever else is making me sad.
Song lyrics or poetry about broken hearts are included. That heartache and loss that I never would have associated with a non-romantic relationship now make me think of her. Oftentimes, the words or message are applicable to how I’m feeling.

Here are some examples that speak to me of that warmth that fills my chest, that comforting place I burrow into — memories of her.

The song “Possibility” by Lykke Li
“So tell me when you hear my heart stop
You’re the only one that knows
Tell me when you hear my silence
There’s a possibility I wouldn’t know

Know that when you leave
Know that when you leave
By blood and by me you walk like a thief
By blood and by me, and I fall when you leave.”

I can’t help but reflect on the moment I knew my mom’s heart had stopped. The ventilator had been turned off. I thought it would happen more quickly. But she took ragged breath after ragged breath for what seemed an interminable time. My head was resting against her for a long time before I realized that she had finally stopped breathing. And when I looked up, the heart monitor showed that it was true. She was gone. Her heart finally stopped.

As cheesy as it sounds, I listened to “Let Her Cry” by Hootie & the Blowfish sometimes on my long drives back to Bolivar after visiting Mom in the hospital, and I was the “her” who was crying.
“And just
Let her cry
If the tears fall down like rain
Let her sing
If it eases all her pain
Let her go
Let her walk right out on me
And if the sun comes up tomorrow
Let her be
Let her be.”

“Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe
“For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.”

“Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens
“All the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications when I see His face
In the morning in the window

All the glory when He took our place
But He took my shoulders and He shook my face
And He takes and He takes and He takes.”

And most eloquently, “Exequy on His Wife,” by Henry King, Bishop of Chichester. This is a small part of a poem that is moving from beginning to end.
“Sleep on, my Love, in thy cold bed
Never to be disquieted!
My last good-night! Thou wilt not wake
Till I thy fate shall overtake:
Till age, or grief, or sickness must
Marry my body to that dust
It so much loves; and fill the room
My heart keeps empty in thy tomb.
Stay for me there: I will not fail
To meet thee in that hollow vale.
And think not much of my delay:
I am already on the way,
And follow thee with all the speed
Desire can make, or sorrows breed.
Each minute is a short degree
And every hour a step towards thee

The crime—I am content to live
Divided, with but half a heart,
Till we shall meet and never part.”
“So, then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” — 2 Corinthians 4:12


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