Tag Archives: grief

Poem written after the Celebration of Life for Nina and Eduardo

 The ceremony for Eduardo and Nina was full of the loving thoughts of friends, details about their lives given from many perspectives, a few tears but even more laughter from remembering the good times.  It was only on the road home that the contrasts in the peaceful happy setting I saw around me and the events of a week before hit me.  The first lines of this poem ran over and over again through my thoughts and I had to pull over by the side of the road and write this poem.  Part of me wonders if it is exploitative to write about this sad event, but I’ve found that many of my writer friends who were friends of Nina and Eduardo have been driven to do the same.  It is as though I no longer know how to think about things unless I do so through my writing or my art.  Somehow, the only way to process a hard truth of life is to make use of it creatively and to try to create a message that makes sense even though the deed never will.

After the Ceremony: Driving Home

The streets are filled

With ice cream and cerveza

and the wildly patterned legs

of senoritas.

It is a day

of sunlight and red flowers

and fuschia flowers and blue.

A slight wind

 strums the swaying branches

of the palms,

but no other sounds

compete with the passing hum

of oncoming traffic streaming

 from the city to our shores,

 seeking safety, quiet,

the gentle lap of water against willow,

hypnotic bobbing of the pelicans

between the undulating liria––

a lazy day away

from the cares of urban life.

I pull to the side of the road to watch

 these visitors to our world.

 Have they not heard or

have they just forgotten

the breaking glass,

the knife, the club,

the red screams

slicing the midnight air?

The ones who were the screamers

 are very quiet now––

part of the calmness

of this afternoon.

Their darkness

is dispersed by sunlight.

Yet all of their fear and pain––

the terror of their leaving––

now gone from them,

is kept like a souvenir

within the hearts of friends

whose turn it is to remember

for a while what we, too,

had forgotten.

Our happy world

lies like a blanket

over a bed made messy

by pain and loss.

It is the world’s bed,

and deny it as we will,

we all have lain in it

and will again.

                                                                              –Judy Dykstra-Brown      February 24, 2014

Letting the Media Replace the Heart

I wrote this on Facebook in response to a friend who thanked me for telling what she called the “true story”:  “I’ve posted some untrue info as well, but then the next day it turned “true” again. We all want to know and yet after awhile it becomes an obsession and we get so caught up in the soundbites that we forget what they are really about. Guess this is our world in microcosm. We need to remember that it all started because we lost two friends. I know there are those much closer to Edward and Nina than I was. I knew her for many years and was in three different writing groups with her where I heard her read her writing, which is sometimes the best way to get to know someone. Edward contacted me to ask if I’d like him to read and comment on my grief book before it went to the printer even though we were just friendly acquaintances. I think it would have been hard for someone even closer to do what I’ve been doing. No one else did and that’s why I have. Somehow, I got caught up in the middle. At any rate, for all of their even closer friends, I hope the hype stops and we turn to more comforting matters. As soon as I have official word from the venue, I’ll post information about the memorial. If you want to do true tribute to Nina, buy her book. That would have made her so happy.”  You can find her book, “The Leprous Veil of Love” on Amazon. She also has stories in a women’s anthology “Agave Marias” which is available in Mexico and online with secondhand book dealers. (This information was requested by someone who read this blog.)