Tag Archives: Memorial

Frida Resumes her Perch

Frida Resumes her Perch

If you have been around for awhile, you know about my dog Frida, who passed away in October, 27 months ago.  At that time, I published this poem in her memory: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2016/10/11/look-up-poem-for-a-good-good-girl/
which was about, among other things, her love of standing on the dome of my house and supervising the world about her. For two years, I fantasized about finding a dog similar to her and cementing it to the dome with her ashes inside so she could spend eternity in her favorite spot. Finally, I located what I thought was the right dog, and this is the story that followed:

Please click on photos to enlarge and read the captions.

Ironically, the day Gerardo and his brother were due to come permanently install Frida’s memorial, my cat of 18 years, Annie, finally grew so ill that I called the vet to come to the house to put her to sleep, and luckily Gerardo and brother didn’t make it, but came instead today. Somehow this reaching of the goal to memorialize Frida helped somewhat to dilute the sadness over Annie’s  departure. Plans are in the works for her memorial.  R.I.P. beloved friends.

Elegy for Eunice

Elegy for Eunice

Most who might have mourned her
have followed or preceded her to dust.
Those few who still do,
think of her less often every year.
It is only in the fleeting moments
when beauty she might have appreciated
crosses our vision
or a song she once favored is heard
that a sweet pang of missing her
stabs into our busyness
and we remember
how she guided our footsteps,
taught us a gentle way with animals,
prodded us to attain more
and let us go.
This is an elegy to one we have forgotten
too easily and too soon.
One that calls her back to mind,
restores her to her rightful place.


My mother’s given name was Eunice Lydia, but we only ever knew her as Pat.  For some reason,, in this elegy, I wanted to use her real name. No doubt she will wreak some revenge for this, so if things start going too wrong in my life, I will substitute her assumed name for the present title. The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write an elegy.

NaPoWriMo2017, Day 3: Reliquary

daily life color241

On Sunday morning under orange bougainvillea,
Your picture spills from an old album.
You were on a verandah under purple bougainvillea,
drinking the hot noon from your coffee cup
as I drank passion fruit and watched Lake Tana birth the Nile.

Later, kneeling by the river, I made my hand into a cup,

but you called out that slow death swam the blood
of those who touched the river,
while behind you on harsh branches,
black birds barked stark music.

Now, on Sunday morning under orange bougainvillea,
half a world and half a life away,
 I restore you to your proper place, remembering how,
when they laid you down to dream beneath the purple bougainvillea,
it was passionfruit’s sweet poison that flavored my life.


Please also see this elegy: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2016/10/11/look-up-poem-for-a-good-good-girl/

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write an elegy.

Remember Me

Remember Me

What I imagine I will be remembered by
is probably in the past, my present more taken up by
remembering than by doing.
That energy to create a life seems worn out
so that rising and sorting piles of papers
seems an Everest to scale.

Who knew that we would wear out, too.
Prefer our deskchairs to the dance floor,
our own tables to the favorite gathering place?
We have dulled to pewter,
finest silver that we once were.

Once hatless, ratted and curled,
now we shield ourselves from the sun
with wider brims,
celebrate midnight in solitude,
go the way of civilizations
headed toward their end.

Today’s prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me: Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.

Empty Nest

Empty Nest

She tugs at the remains of some bird’s last year’s nest,
then flies away with material for her new one
while the father hovers near, watching the small bird
tumbled from another nest three days ago
and brought in my dog’s mouth for Susanna to discover.
“Open Morrie, open!”
She pried his jaws apart to find the small bird whole
inside his mouth,
rain soaked and bedraggled,
his tail feathers either gone
or not yet grown.

For three days, we sheltered the baby bird with heater on,
taking him for feedings on the garden rock
where his father and mother could find him
and return once or twice per hour to fill him up
like a small mechanical bird
purchased in the market
who, when wound up, hops
then sits dormant until fueled again.

This small bird for three days and four nights
survived, hale and hearty.
Loud chirps brought the mother, at first,
until yesterday, when we could see
a new nest in construction.
Then the rufous father came, first to the rock to feed him,
then later, clinging to the sides of the cage
to fill their nestless chick like a small car
from the fuel pump.

This morning dawned overcast,
and though the chick needed feeding,
when I neared the rock,
I felt his tremors
and took him back to the house
for another 10 minutes warming,
then tucked him into an old nest
I’d found years ago and saved.
I hoped for protection
and warmth and security,
perhaps a memory of the nest he’d fallen from.

Then I carried him in his cage
back to the tree to be fed.
From the hammock,
far enough away to pose no threat,
I watched the father’s descent
and an ascent too quick.
Then no return,
so that when minutes later I searched the cage
for the small bird tucked into that scavenged nest inside,
I found the nest empty–
one ruffled back against the cage bottom,
claws curled upwards.

There is no difference
equal to the difference
between a body chirping–
wings pulsing–
and its empty husk
after the life has left.

No question bigger than:
What is life that we can only see it
through what it inhabits,
and where does it go
when it soars away?


I buried Little Bird in this planter underneath the yellow flower.

With a stick covered with the favorite seeds of finches hung overhead.




Gone but Not Forgotten

Gone but Not Forgotten


This is my above-ankle tattoo done a month ago. Now almost completely gone, except for a shadow. Relax. It was a henna tat.


Remember the 200 baby turtles we released into the sea a week or two ago? They are long gone, I hope, but I still think of them every day.


Day of the Dead altars give us a perfect way to remember departed loved ones in a non-maudlin manner. This is my husband Bob who passed away 13 years ago. Yes. He loved very cold Coke and crullers, but I couldn’t find a cruller, so this little pastry had to do.




A Celebration of Life for Nina Discombe and Eduardo Kular

A Celebration of Life for Nina Discombe and Eduardo Kular will be held on Monday, February 24, beginning with coffee served at 10 a.m. in the Oasis Cloud Café and followed by a community healing/guided meditation from 10:30-10:45 in the garden. The guided meditation is for those in the community who wish to focus on how to cope with grief and loss of dear friends who were killed violently. Beginning at 11 a.m. will be readings from Nina’s work and personal sharing of memories of both Nina and Eduardo. You are invited to participate in this celebration with your own special memories of Nina and Eduardo.

The location is the Oasis Cloud at Calle San Luis #330, Riberas del Pilar.

Directions from Ajijic: Take the Carretera toward Chapala. Turn right on San Diego, which is the first street after Mirasol, and then take the first left on San Luis. The Oasis Cloud is one and a half blocks down San Luis on the right at #330.

Directions from Chapala: Take the Carretera toward Ajijic. Turn left on San Mateo, which is next to the 7 Eleven, and then take the first right onto San Luis. The Oasis Cloud is one and a half blocks down San Luis on your left at #330.

Those who wish to bring flowers, photos or special objects for the altar are encouraged to do so shortly before 10 a.m. We are asking friends who want to contribute cookies, scones or pastries for the coffee hour to contact Patricia Hemingway at (patriciahemigway@gmail.com) to tell her what you are bringing and the quantity. Please bring them before 10 a.m., or arrange to give them to Patricia ahead of time. Patricia is also looking for a few coffee makers to use for making the coffee and hot water for tea. She will need the coffee makers by Sunday, the 23rd. (You can take them home with you after the ceremony.)

If you would like to share a memory or anecdote about Nina or Eduardo or have any questions, please contact Judy Dykstra-Brown at (jubob2@hotmail.com). If you are unable to attend the event and wish us to present your thoughts, we would be glad to.

We have no idea how many people will attend this event. The Oasis Cloud has 50 chairs, but if you want to assure seating for yourself, it is best to bring a folding chair. It might also be smart to carpool as parking is limited.