5.7
November 12, 2018

How Death, Divorce & Grief Woke One Woman Up. {Poem}

She grew up
In the trees
With braids
And skinned knees.

Wear a skirt?

Never.

Not after Tony,
A fifth grader,
Saw her underwear
When she was in first grade
As she jumped out of the
Back of the bus
For a fire drill.

That was the day
She said goodbye
To her white and brown
Butterfly dress

That she loved

And all future skirts
And dresses
Until her 20s
When it was all about
Flowy hippie skirts
And college

There was college
And more college

One degree
After another
It was what she knew

It was both
Familiar and esteemed

Life after college…

What do you do
With your one wild
And precious life?

She discovered
Mary Oliver,
Rumi, and
SARK.

She left a boyfriend
A corporate job
And prepared
To move cross-country

And start again

With another degree

This time
Would she find
What she was seeking?

This time
Would she find
A life waiting for her
Beyond the expectations
Of her name?

As the middle of five children
And the first one
Her father
Saw be born

She was named after
Her mother
And
Her father

Her name was not
Her own

Her life was not
Her own

Full of a desire to please
And live up to the projections
And expectations
Placed on her
From the very beginning

She looked forward
To this new life awaiting her
On the horizon

And then

The call came

Her sister died
Unexpected
Oh so very young

Grief

Darkness

Unspeakable pain

And yet
Within the pain
Glimmered something

The knowingness of another possibility
Buried so deep

She had to keep going
To find it

The connections
And contracts
Binding her to
Family
And roles
And dynamics

Like a large glass vase
Dropped from
Up high

Shattered

And for once
She realized
It wasn’t her job
To pick up all the
Scattered pieces

She began a
New life again
Trying to do her best
To live for her

Yet still
Those old stories
Of who she was
And how she was
Designed
And destined
To be for others
Held on strong

Another degree

Followed by more loss

This time
A divorce
More grief
Darkness
Solitude and pain

This time
She remembered
The gold buried
In the depths

And she kept going
Through the darkness

To feel the grief
And heal the pain

This time
She allowed her grief
To carry her
To the shores
Of her new life

Another move
Cross-country

Another wish
For life to be different now

With no more old stories
Plaguing her

But she discovered that
Even in a new life
She faced her same
Self
In the mirror
Every day

She sat at
Her altar
One day and
Faced the truth:
No matter where you go…
there you are are.

She knew then
That if
She wished to create
A different life
It took
Creating
A new
And different
Inner life

And so she began
Re-setting
Re-calibrating
To new energies
And possibilities
That glimmered within her

Showing her
A way forward
That included her

That invited her
To follow that
Which lit her up
Beyond projections
Beyond expectations

And create a life
Where her name
Finally
Got unpacked
From family stories

And stood

Naked

New

Inviting her to choose it
And be all of her
And live her life

For herself.

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Megan Walrod

author: Megan Walrod

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