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Heart Beat

Another night descends, a soul’s dark night, the loss of you like a hole in the fabric of my spirit: perhaps God cut it out to make you a shroud. The stars become you, but not so much as sweet-grass and sage; the heavens surround you, but not so deeply as human arms once did. I listen to a song you always played, so loud and sweet, blaring from your truck’s speakers – so proud, oh so proud to be what and who you were. And me, right there, proud to be sitting next to the seraph that was you.

Yes, there is a heartbeat, and yours will never stop so long as this world spins, topsy-turvy on its orbit, ‘round and ‘round the life-giving sun. It gives life back to you so that, when your ashes are finally free, the flowers will clutch onto them as food for their blossoms. You will never cease to beautify the earth. And you, memories and dreams of you, will never cease to bring me a smile: soft, small, sad. Missing you.

Everything reminds me of you; death reminds me of you and I struggle to make my peace. Those deep and wailing chants remind me of your soul that I now understand. Through my rambles, everyone sees you as a medicine man, a holy man, a sacred man. A man who wailed with the wind and whose footsteps beat like drums. A man who never said wrong. But you were oh so human, and there were all those other things: the midnight card games, hours into dawn laughing, inside jokes and made-up games: what kind of vegetable were you? A green bean, you said, too thin and too tall. There was the humor; there was that smile and laugh, that very inelegant laugh a child might giggle at.

And there were the hospital days; there were too many of those, too many tubes in too many veins; too much suffering for one man. A new liver and visions of Christ – you had those. You saw Sylvester Stalone under your bed and you boxed with him, post-transplant mind-set both tragic and amusing as you boxed with an invisible movie star … and as you touched the wounds of Christ; he lay your hands in them. He called you Doubting Thomas, but then you had every reason to doubt. There was The Incident and you were given a private room. Caused too much trouble, the nurses said. Yes, that was you, all of you, and I miss you. Oh, Tom, too many doctors and too many tears; now too many left over tobacco pouches from your memorial. I made them from my own clothes; tore my closet apart to cut out little squares – the very, very least I could do and somehow it felt like healing.

How I prayed and how I hoped, how hard I held your hand in the days before your passing. How I cried and beat the ground at six a.m. when the phone call came. No one is ever prepared for news like that. Not you. Not now. Not my survivor, my friend. Not you. I’ll never forget how, when you couldn’t speak and we weren’t sure you could understand … I held your hand, asked you to press it if you wanted us to stay at your bedside. I didn’t know if you could hear me, a bit of Doubting Thomas in me, but you clenched my hand desperately. And then I Knew.

Now you are in the arms of the Great Spirit, where someday we all will be: and free.

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Tom told everyone I was his spirit daughter. He was going to walk me down the aisle. He was filled with both tears and laughter, and somehow I thought he’d live forever. Who ever does? Tom was an Aztec and a true warrior; he was truly a treasure beyond anything that could be wished for.

January 7th, 2010, six a.m. … the Great Spirit had different plans than I did.

I wrote this as a ramble, listening to one of Tom’s favorite CDs. “sacrificing tomorrow for yesterday … there’s a heartbeat loud as thunder, revolution is in the air. Are you too cool to care?”

Honored to be Featured in Bits and Pieces, October, 2010

Tags

grief, loss, healing, aztec, native american, memorial, letter, angel, tears, doubting thomas

Comments

  • Gail Bridger
    Gail Bridgeralmost 4 years ago

    A beautiful write on your raw and beautiful feelings, I loved reading it and felt your pain and heartache. Hugs…

  • Thank you so much, Gail … this means so, so much to me. I truly appreciate both the feature and your lovely words! <3
    Lily

    – lilynoelle

  • Jenifer DeBellis
    Jenifer DeBellisalmost 4 years ago

    I love you! Every piece you write in Tom’s memory gets you a little closer to the healing you so desire. And every time I hear the cry of your spirit through your grief-filled words, my heart tears with yours. Nothing I can say can take away the pain of this loss. This writing is very brave, my dear. From the looks of that banner above, some of his ashes have already been made beautiful. And I do believe that would make him very proud.

  • I love you too! :) Thank you, Jen. I long promised that I would write him as a character in a story, and that excited and pleased him so much! Of course we never could have guessed my character studies would be caused by his death. Which breaks me even more! He was so happy to read the story that I haven’t written yet. It’s too difficult right now, but I WILL write it. It’s a comedy, you see, and that is impossible right now. That, however, will probably be VERY healing. It’s reaching the comfort zone to begin it, though, that is difficult.

    Thank you for such beautiful words, dear!

    – lilynoelle

  • Gail Bridger
    Gail Bridgeralmost 4 years ago

    You are so welcome…sorry for heartache!!

  • Heartache, heart beat, they all lead into one thing in the end! <3

    – lilynoelle

  • Elizabeth Tilghman
    Elizabeth Tilg...almost 4 years ago

    deeply beautifully sad. great words. may your heart find peace

  • Thank you so much; I appreciate your warm, kind words!
    Lily

    – lilynoelle

  • kafka
    kafkaover 3 years ago

    beautiful writing….and such sadness and loss
    big hug….x

  • Thank you so much, Kafka, I appreciate it deeply.
    hugs back!
    Lily

    – lilynoelle

  • H Maria Perry
    H Maria Perryover 3 years ago

    This is one of the most tender stories I have ever read. It brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart at the same time. It is so touching and filled with hope.

  • Thank you so much … your comment means so much to me, and while I don’t want to make others’ cry, it is the ultimate Gift to know that a personal work could touch someone else.

    Peace to you
    Lily

    – lilynoelle

  • Matt Penfold
    Matt Penfoldover 3 years ago

    This is so touching and emotive Lilly, eloquent, real and personal writing. Brought a tear to my eye.

  • Thank you so much! It came from the memory and heart … the best stories lie there …

    – lilynoelle

  • Blake Steele
    Blake Steeleover 3 years ago

    Honest, emotive writing with all the restraint of true art. Just beautiful Lily. Our freest parts know, when they are able to sing their true nature, like a bird sings, just for the joy of life, that our saddest good byes, will, past time, become our most joyous hellos.

  • A very long-coming and heartfelt thank you, James. <3
    Lily

    – lilynoelle

  • patcheah
    patcheahalmost 3 years ago

    Moving writing from deep in your heart…..I feel your pain
    Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m so sorry it took me so long to reply, but I deeply appreciate it!

    – lilynoelle

  • vkatt0304
    vkatt0304about 2 years ago

    Oh Star, I wish you were right next to me so I can hug you. This is beautiful. The loss of a loved one is always hard and it never gets easier. I do not think we ever make our peace with death, but I think we rather find ways to console ourselves. I love how you give very intimate details about your and Tom’s relationship (ex: green beans). I got a sense of who Tom really was. I am just really sad that I did not ever get to meet him. May he rest in paradise.

  • Thank you. <3 He was so very special and still missed everyday. So many things remind me of him! I wish you could have met him, too – everyone who did loved him right away!

    – lilynoelle

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