heartsick and healing…

I’ve been shocked so hard
by news so bad
that my footing feels floppy,
as if the earth has a really bad wobble
and I’m queasy from riding in the back seat
with cold wind rushing at my eyes,
stinging my vision cloudy with tears.

My wings tremble,
and letting go muscles seize up tight
as heartache punches air from chest
and I’m homesick for feeling safe,
and  wonder if I’ll find my way back there again
through the thick walls of sadness thrown up
when a dear one goes missing
and prayers go unanswered,
his body pulled from the river
bound with chains and concrete
and horror pounds on a family
who have loved this one so well.

and today  the charcoal morning mist
lifting off the Autumn peaks
doesn’t shove the bricks of sorrow
off my chest
and I climb until I’m shaking
and my questions tumble out
and find no answers in the wind
but comfort comes and finds me still
and croons her ancient songs

how there is rest in even this,
tense mind driven to understand,
a grace to lay it down
and listen to the love
crying out in every leaf and twig and flower,
pressing their prints into broken hearts
and etchings in the pain.

Is it worth it
to love and lose so hard

… the wind whispers “yes”
and the leaves flutter healing
and the mountains shoulder the sorrow
that my heart can’t keep,

 my soul settles soft into mystery
face pressed firm to blue sky,
there comes a heap of  help in letting go
of the driven-ness
to know,
to know.

 “I didn’t need to understand
the hypostatic unity of the Trinity.
I just needed to turn my life over
to whoever came up
with the redwood trees.”

-Anne Lammott

I’m a bit late posting this week.
I’ve been heartsick over the tragedy
of a dear-to-my-heart family who lost their gentle son
in the worst sort of way
and didn’t want to post
until I could write true.
It took awhile to wrestle through.
I appreciate it when you come around and read
….it’s joy to share.


  1. Mary on October 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

    How beautifully you speak from your precious, tender, alive heart.

    Jen, I do not know details of what you are going through, but I pray for God’s comfort and love to enfold you.

    Grace, peace and love to you dear friend!

  2. rachel awes on October 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

    i’m left with, “what is it?!”
    + yet, you do not need to say…of course you don’t.
    but my question extends itself across the miles into the form of a HUG to you + to those redwood trees.

  3. Lindsay on October 16, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Oh my sweety, I can’t imagine what happened but your words are
    So, so expressive, I can almost feel your tears.
    Crossing my fingers so the Universe will send you some good news,
    I’ll put out a wishing star for you. Please let us know how things continue.
    Hoping for the best xxx

  4. Behind The Smile on October 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    My heart is sore for you Jennifer and the family. Losing someone there is no adequate words to comfort and losing in such a way-so tragic. Your words express the pain and sorrow so eloquently and with such raw feeling it feels wrong to say sorrow is beautiful but love is beautiful and there is such love in your pain. I hope it is okay to have said a prayer for you and the family. Thinking of you all.

    [I feel it is the wrong time to mention this so I am putting it in brackets for you to come back to at another time. I was going to leave it but I didn’t want you to read it on my blog and not know. I think your blog is so healing to others in word and picture in art. I have nominated it for some blog awards. If you wish you can check it out at my blog. God Bless]

  5. Barbara on October 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Jennifer, you always speak true and beautiful. So very sad and a pain I don’t want to even try to imagine! I’m sending up prayers for healing, comfort, and peace to all those who are aching with loss.

  6. kathryn on October 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    oh my gosh…how tragic…i am so sorry for that family and yours. so much heartache right now…my prayers are with you all.

  7. suz on October 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    our days are written in the book of life
    he lived the days given him
    trust this and let sorrow be the balm that comforts
    for he was loved
    and he will be seen again
    our God is a GOd of mercy
    only He knows His ways
    trust in His love
    by loving his family
    I often wonder why God says no to our prayers
    but in the big universe of creation..how do we know that He didn’t answer them in a different way
    May faith get his family through their crushing grief
    and God bless your aching heart for loving them all

  8. becky on October 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    You have such a gift! That was beautiful…I felt your pain. I’m so terribly sorry to hear of that horrible thing that happened. My mind can’t comprehend that truly. Sending prayers your way friend.

  9. missing moments on October 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    There are seldom good words to describe a loss but your are truly beautiful. So sorry for your pain.

  10. beth on October 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    oh jennifer….
    my thoughts and prayers go out to you and to the loved ones left behind.
    death is so hard and even harder when it does’t make sense.
    your words are so raw and true and heartfelt…..xo

  11. Maggie Mallard on October 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Oh honey my heart aches for you and your dear friends. I am so very sorry and I will keep you all in my prayers.
    Please take care of yourself and know that I am here for you. I know from your words that your heart is breaking and I wish I could reach through this cyber space and give you a big gentle hug.
    Love ya

  12. Kel on October 17, 2012 at 4:50 am

    sometimes there are no words
    but when they do come, and they eventually do,
    there is often healing to be found in them
    or at the least, in the spaces between them
    for sometimes it is more what is not said
    which gives clarity and healing

  13. leslie on October 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

    i am overwhelmed, reading of this unimaginable tragedy. oh, may they be comforted, somehow, even when it seems as if there would be no comfort, anywhere. i’m glad you found an echo of love to hold on to… sometimes even an echo is hard to hear, in the midst of sorrow’s deep silences.

  14. JBR on October 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Oh wow Jen, my heart is taken back. Hugs to you my dear.

  15. Anne on October 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    So glad you waited until you could “write true” and then you surely did. Praying that you feel the Father’s arms around you, Jesus by your side and that the Spirit will give you an additional gift of wisdom and insight as you walk through this time.

  16. Trece Wyman on October 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Praying that God’s love will fill the vacancy there.

  17. Kathy Anne on October 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I am so very sorry this happened. You give comfort by writing beautifully through the pain. Leaning on friends, trees, God. acknowledging a beautiful life.
    A warm embrace to you friend.

  18. Susan on October 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    My love and prayers to you and all who held this young man dear.

    And may good somehow find it’s way from this sorrow. xo

  19. valerie on October 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Heartbreaking this is, gentle friend, and I hear your sorrow through the echoes of your words. I agree with the answers whispered by the leaves and the sky and the forest. Yes, it is worth it to love and lose so hard. Sadly it is the only answer I’ve ever heard too…as to why we humans, all of us living creatures, should grieve and suffer to some extents unimaginable, I have no solid ground on which to walk. It is pain, pure pain, and there’s only rest in the love that was and the love that is…Deepest thoughts to you and this family…xoxo

  20. Kathy on October 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I can’t imagine anything worse. Oh my gosh. I am taken aback. That poor boy. That poor family. I don’t understand how someone could do such a thing. I feel stricken by this,so I send much love and prayers to you and your friends. Kathy

  21. Karen Stout on October 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Jennifer, I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t have any words but I don’t need them because you have them all! Magical words that make me feel the sting of the hurt and yet soothe the aching heart. A gift that you give…almost effortlessly it seems. Thinking of you and the family of that young man and sending wishes of peace and comfort. Much love to you all. And again, beautiful words.

  22. Anyes - Far Away in the Sunshine on October 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Oh Jennifer, I am so sorry for this terrible loss and the tragedy this family is going through. Some days it all seems so hard to bear. Hugs to you dear friend, I found you again and I am not letting go xo

  23. Lynn on October 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Jennifer, I can feel your pain for such a loss to a family you must love and for a son so treasured. My prayers for you to find comfort and return to a joy that is not so far away.
    It’s just standing in line waiting for your heart to be ready to have it resurface.
    You love so purely and so greatly. Let that love be returned to you with great comfort
    and a renewed sense of safety.

  24. Lynn Fisher on October 18, 2012 at 6:27 am

    So sorry for your pain and your friends’ loss. Such sadness in your post. Take care.

  25. Pat Petersen on October 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    You have such a beautiful way with words, even in a heartbreaking situation like this. The loss of a family member is like the loss of a limb. I hope in time, the healing begins for you and the family who suffered the loss. Can’t imagine the loss of one of my children after losing both parents. Considered yourself hugged real good from a caring follower.

  26. Louise G on October 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Your beautiful tender heart
    brings me home
    no matter the times.

    I am sorry to hear of this sorrow. Blessings and prayers for you and those you love.

  27. Julia Bourque on October 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Dear Jennifer, I’m so sorry for the lost of someone you love so dearly. Life seems so cruel at times but the sun will shine again because the Creator is in charge and He will care for the one your heart aches for.

    Sending you love, prayers and hugs.


  28. Relyn on October 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Oh, Jennifer. I am sorry. So sorry. I have only one thing to offer. But, that one thing is the only thing that can make a difference, I know. I offer my prayers for the family and all the ones who loved this young man. Many, many prayers.

  29. Judy Hartman on October 20, 2012 at 10:23 am

    You have written such a poignant, heartfelt poem about an unimaginable loss. I read it when it arrived in my email, but had to revisit it a few times before being able to find the words to respond.
    My heart goes out to you and his family. It seems impossible that terrible things can happen to those we love, until they do. My younger brother committed suicide a few years ago, and it felt like a bad dream. I do hope your beautiful soul will find a way to peace as you process your grief and inwardly answer the question, “is it worth it to love and lose so hard?”.
    Peace and blessings to you, Jennifer.

  30. Elizabeth on October 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Praying for you and this family. So, so sorry for your loss, made more difficult because it’s so beyond comprehension, so horrific.

  31. Lee Ann on October 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Only a heart that can place itself inside another could grieve along side the one going through such tragedy. I am so sorry for your friend, the family and their loss Jen, and for your heartache.

    My heart is hugging yours and a prayer going up,

    ♥Lee Ann

  32. Connie Smiley on October 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    So sorry for you and your friends, Jennifer, and I pray that they, too, will be able to find the “rest, even in this”. In spite of this pain, your images are breathtaking, as are your words. Love the “charcoal morning mist”.

  33. jeanie on October 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    My heart aches for them and for you, jennifer. This spring a family we are close to experienced something with their son that may be quite the same. It was and is a heartbreak and one I can’t get out of my head. Your poem is so eloquent, so spot-on that in your grief, mine is revisited. I send you wishes for peace and healing and hope by now some of both have visited you.

  34. Suzanne McRae on October 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    My heart ached reading your message. Sending peace, love and prayers your way and for this young men’s family. xo

  35. kateri on November 5, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Beautifully words about a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to you and the family of the young man and sending thoughts and prayers. These words are especially meaningful to me…
    ” my soul settles soft into mystery
    face pressed firm to blue sky,
    there comes a heap of help in letting go
    of the driven-ness
    to know,
    to know.”

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