Sunday Morning

Yesterday, my late Brother’s Memorial in Canada with family and friends, which followed his Phoenix “Celebration of Life” in January.

I couldn’t go.

I couldn’t get myself to watch the service on Zoom.

I couldn’t pull myself together to read the few words I had written about my younger brother, sending an email to a Cousin, letting her carry the weight.

Memorials rip open still raw grief. Suffering is best done in silence, alone. For Some.

As I was preparing my thoughts on my Brother, I found him fading.

I can’t make out his face, but can see the dark, sunken hollows of his eyes.

I can’t recall his last words, but can recall his raspy voice, his vocal cords damaged from tubes winding down his throat.

I can’t make out his body, a silhouette now, fading, withered from being bedridden for months – but can feel his hands, soft, his grip, firm, from that last handshake.

I rub my index finger and thumb together, and I’m drawn back…

He steps up to the tee box. He’s standing calmly over the ball. Click. He re-grips the club once, and then again, softly. Click. His body now still, his hands quiet.  Click. He takes the club back, in a slow, smooth arc. Click. He pauses at the top.  Click. He pivots his legs and then his hips in a full, graceful follow through. Click. The ball explodes off the tee.  Click. The Titleist, a white speck, streaks the ever so blue, sky.  Click. The ball lands softly in the center of the fairway 275 yards from the T-box. Click. Art, Bro. Fine Art.

But all of this is fading, I’m losing him, as Wallace Stevens loses those that he has loved:

The figures of the past go cloaked.
They walk in mist and rain and snow
And go, go slowly, but they go.

 


Prior background posts on Lorne. Photo: Mist by Risto Ranta

Comments

  1. Tracey Carnahan says:

    Breaks your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Memorials rip open still raw grief. Suffering is best done in silence, alone. For Some. Heartfelt dear David…I understand 💔 sending kindness and light 💛💫 hugs Hedy

    Like

  3. We can each only do what we can do, in any given moment or place. The border is now closed you may not have been physically allowed to cross over to attend even if you tried. You honored your brother in life, and in words and tributes after, as you will continue to, as memories arise. Over time, what you will remember are your times together, the moments, the feelings, the memories will come when you least expect them in unexpected ways. He will always remain with you in this way, even when details fade. ❤️

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I feel for you. I assure you that the good memories remain forever in our hearts. I remember the last evening I spent with my brother like it was yesterday. I made him a roast beef dinner with tiny new potatoes and mushroom sauce. He loved it and said if he ever got married, his wife would have to be as a good a cook as me. We went for a walk around the neighbourhood and had a great conversation. We hugged goodbye as he left. I remember his sweet smile. He was nineteen years old. The next day he was gone, forever. It was 45 years ago on March 10th. All as clear as yesterday. The tears still flow.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My only brother died by suicide 20 years ago. It took me seven years to find my way through my grief. It was so intertwined with the anger I held in his choosing the only way out that made sense to him. It made no sense to me. it took me seven years to let go of my anger, to arrive at a place where I could remember him with only Love as my companion. To see his face in my memory or in photos, to see his smile, remember his voice, the way he loved to play a few bars of a song and then stop the music and ask, “Who sings that?” knowing, he would inevitably win. It took me seven years to quit asking, “Why?”

    Grief is a river. It carries us along. Sometimes, we push against the current. Sometimes, it feels like the current is pushing against us. Always, inexorably, it draws us into the sea of Love that is all those who have left us can leave behind and all they would wish for those of us still here, to hold onto and fall into.

    Grief is a constantly flowing river. Each of us must move through it at our own pace, in our own way.

    Sending you much love and healing grace.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Lorraine Mahoney says:

    Fifteen years ago today my mother died. I had never heard the Wallace Stevens’ quote but it is so true. “And go, go slowly, but they go.” And, slowly for those who remain, so does the grief.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hurting for you, Dave. It’s just the body shell that’s fading — the least important part of him. The golf imagery honors him so beautifully. Sending you warm healing energy and the wish that you can treat yourself to the same compassion that you so generously extend to others. Xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I am sorry for your loss, David. My mom recently passed and today’s post remembers her. Sad you have to “attend” a service via Zoom. I truly feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  9.  I have it on my calendar to write to you in a few weeks about this but you need it now as you grieve for your brother. I only know you from your blog, David, so please forgive me if I am being presumptuous.

    My Jewish friends have taught me many thing over the years and one of them was while visiting them in LA about 20 years ago. There was a drought from all the sunshine and no rain and when I went into the kitchen for breakfast, there was a lit candle on the counter. It was the kind my mother used when I was young and a storm was coming on Long Island. We called them hurricane candles and knew the power would go out. I asked Elly if we were going to have a hurricane and she just stared. I asked about the candle and told her my lifelong connection with them was a pending storm. She laughed and told me that it was a yahrzeit candle and it was the anniversary of her dad’s death. I watched that candle all day and was comforted by its burning when I went to bed that night. Her husband introduced me to Judaism 101 where I got the background info and learned about Kaddish.

    When my mother died another Jewish friend sent me this poem based on a Kaddish prayer. Since then that candle and that poem have been an intrinsic part of this Irish/Italian Catholic girl’s life. Here it is. I wanted you to have it and perhaps find comfort as well.

    We Remember Them-Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer At the rising of the sun and at its going down We remember them. At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter We remember them. At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring We remember them. At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer We remember them. At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn We remember them. At the beginning of the year and when it ends We remember them. As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us as we remember them. When we are weary and in need of strength We remember them. When we are lost and sick at heart We remember them. When we have joy we crave to share We remember them. When we have decisions that are difficult to make We remember them. When we have achievements that are based on theirs We remember them. As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us as we remember them.

    The candles are sold in any grocery store that has a kosher section and they are usually on the bottom shelf. I light one the night before the anniversary…yahrzeit means year’s time. It burns through the night and the next day and is usually still burning when I go to bed.

    The flame has a way of making the intangible tangible. The poem reminds me that even as I find memories dimming, others are so deep inside and around me that they are never dim and she is with me. It still kills me that I can’t pick up the phone to call her and the ache is always there…and sometimes I need a candle for her birthday or Mother’s Day.

    I would have mailed you one had I your address…I hope you give it a try and that it comforts you. You won’t forget him.

    MA

    >>

    Liked by 5 people

    • Awww Mary Ann. Thank you. So loved, esp this excerpt. I need to find a Candle. thank you for taking the time to share this. Soothing.

      “At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter We remember them. At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring We remember them. At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer We remember them. At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn We remember them”

      Liked by 4 people

    • DK usually, or sometimes, post’s posts on the weekend that invariably bring tears. You, Mary Ann, have accomplished DK’s task for him. The telephone reference…sealed the deal to free-flowing tear ducts. I always thank DK for ruining my mascara. Instead…thank you, Mary Ann, for ruining my mascara. Raye

      Liked by 2 people

      • Awwww

        Liked by 1 person

      • Raye, one of the many challenges of grieving is that we go into ourselves, curled up feeling completely alone. We heal for awhile and then uncurl until the next time. I hardly reach for the phone now or try to send an email. I have stopped crying in the grocery store while walking down the aisles looking for new things or when I’m picking out the best eggplant. Having white hair helps me get away with a lot….people already think we are crazy. I do have chats with her in my head while pushing the cart. That reminds me. I need to go make the caponata. I’m Italian so tears are easy to come by. I figure they honor the people we love who can no longer share the meal. Be well.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Mary Ann; you are really something – this is touching me deeply. I’m a ‘candle woman’ – I have candles for and at every occasion. I also went to the grandson of the famous Swiss Dr. Bircher – he was a homeopath and he did wonders for my family. His wife always ‘floated’ through the waiting room and lit candles. They were always white ones and were lit the whole day long – it was such a wonderful, special, calming and soothing experience. Every morning breakfast takes place with as many candles lit as I possibly can put on the table, in the evening it’s the same thing – for whatever reason we use candles, they are always ‘right’. Bless you dear MA and thank you for your words.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Some elements fade, and some replace them…but what doesn’t ever go away are the feeling of love – and the ache of loss. I’m so, so sorry…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. David, I send you whatever small drops of peace flowing from Kay and my eyes reading your piece this morning. Kay has been writing a book with the working title “Raw Grief’ – a mother’s reflections and tribute to Katherine (‘Katie’) who left us in the mist, and rain, and snow nine years ago after Leiomyosarcoma took her from us at 33 yrs. old. Kay and I also cope with grief and sorrow in solitude. And, like you, I’ve found myself unable to go to a memorial/funeral service. I’ve left the house, driven to the church, pulled into the parking lot, looked at all the cars, and turned around. I went home and wrote in longhand. I never write in longhand. Somehow it felt right.

    Your description of your last handshake and of your brother standing at the tee leads me to suggest James Carse’s book Breakfast at the Victory. One of the chapters is a dream being on the golf course with the late brother. Jim Carse was professor of religion and literature at NYU.

    Thank you, David, for sharing so personally. My thought and prayers are with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Vera Kanigan says:

    Thank you David. Thanks to all of the expressions of human emotion, love and beauty. I think my tears this morning and yesterday afternoon are filling the Arrow Lakes to overflow capacity. I don’t even need my eye drops. The Celebration memorial for your brother, Lorne was beautiful. Only a small assembly of us gathered, as per current guidelines. Your message was read with heart and passion. Yes, perhaps they who leave, do leave in a mist, but to have had them in our lives is a gift and a blessing. Lorne’s short life here on earth shone brightly and now the healing for your family and all of us will continue.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. My condolences to you and your family Dave. There are no words, but he is in a better place. Here if you need anything brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Poignant , DK. Poignant. Yesterday, I was allowed ( invited by family to a private graveside service) to be present at the burial of one of my closest friends. 6 family members, a priest, a deacon and me). FaceTimed to his son on the West coast. Surreal…graveside only….. no chairs….. done in 15 minutes. The USAF honor guard did come for military honors, maybe their last one because of the virus. Way up in the mountains of Carbon County, PA…I felt like I was playing a role in a science fiction novel. No hugs, no shaking hands…..surreal. Keep the memories, DK…the memories preserve us when everything around is rotting. Hang on to the memories. Don’t let them fade. (Just one man’s opinion. Do what you must)

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Two weeks ago I cancelled my telephone landline. It’s been over five years since my Mother died…after calling me for years at least three times a day, or middle of the night. Sometimes just to tell me “It’s snowing.” One of her last calls was made from a delirious morphine state, “Can’t you come get me and take me home with you?”

    The landline was the tether.

    Now I wait for it to snow…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Awwwwww Raye. So reminds me of:

      All of my life I have loved snow.

      When I was a girl in the 1950s, snow fell often in the long winters of western Nebraska. I remember one winter when, after the streets were plowed, mountains of snow 10 feet tall stood in the middle of the streets. As a young mother, my favorite days were snow days when our family could stay home and play board games. I would make soup and popcorn. I relished taking my children outside to do the things that I had done in the snow as a girl. I loved falling asleep with my family safe on a blizzardy night when the streets were impassable and a blanket of peace covered our town.

      Now, snow has become a profoundly spiritual experience. When it snows, I sit by my window and watch it fall. I go deep into its purity and softness.

      Snow falls inside and outside of me. It settles my brain and calms my body.

      ~ Mary Pipher, “I’m Going to Die. I May as Well Be Cheerful About It” (NY Times, March 6, 2020)

      Liked by 2 people

    • So weird… I am cancelling mine too… and I didn’t really think of why it took me so long till I read this.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and personal memorial to Lorne. We each grieve in our own way and there is no wrong one. Your beautiful description of him playing golf shows me that yes, maybe some things are fading but what you have in your heart remains. Pictures, when you are ready to view them… I couldn’t watch Mick’s celebration video until this year and when I did, yes, tears flowed but there was a smile on my face, too.
    Sending virtual hugs (coz you don’t do real ones, anyway 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You may not remember small details, but I’m sure you’ll always remember the person he was and what he was to you. That’s the part we pack around with us forever after our loved ones are gone. It’s always there in our heart, to access when we feel the need. Those memories will become sweeter as the years lessen the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. David, so sorry to have read about Lorne’s passing. So sad, but please keep in touch with family, it helps….I KNOW. It will be a long, long road and some days will feel worse than others. You will feel like you are grieving alone….I KNOW. You will feel like crying through the day, the week and yes that is a good thing too. You will want to close yourself off but remember the happy memories, remember his laughter, his smiles, his goofiness. I never knew Lorne as an adult as we moved away when he was still in High school but from all that has been said about him it warms my heart. The celebration of life was beautiful and I got to know my cousin better. Sending you big, big hugs. Sending healing and prayers from our family to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “Un-winged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called Grace.”

    ~Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams.

    I wish you Grace, David!

    And just like I told our fellow blogger and friend Louise Gallagher a couple weeks ago, I treasure your tenderness and trust taking us along this journey with you.
    🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Michael Zahaby says:

    May he RIP, and your childhood memories together comfort you. Having recently lost my mom, I am sorry you’re are in such pain. My son and I traveled to Geneva 3 weeks ago (and. Efore this mayhem) to empty out her house, and clean her closets and belongings. Very painful process. The last night about 9PM, my son calls out to me from her bedroom. He points to a moth floating and hovering outside her window. We both stand there mesmerized and speechless for 5mins. We then hugged. He tells me that there’s a Hawaiian legend that says that spirits come back to visit and provide comfort. We both slept well that night, and before we each departed, one to FL and the other back to mystical Hawaii

    Liked by 2 people

  21. a beautiful tribute to your brother, even though that may haven’t been the original goal. Your love for him shines through and I’m guessing a look back at some old photos will rekindle many wonderful memories you have of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Terribly sad and beautiful at the same time. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. David, I’m heartbroken for you – again – but also glad to be the latecomer here. Everybody has expressed their feelings so much better than I could and I hope you have taken much comfort and peace from all of them. We talk again another time, right? Sleep well and have peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Tears flowed with this one, DK, as I am with you in spirit. This week we would have celebrated my brother’s 58th birthday. His passing was in 2000 and I was having a hard time this week picturing him. It made me so sad.
    So many beautiful words here today. We should engrave them on our hearts.
    Sending love and grace.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. A beautiful share about what it’s like in those first months of grief. Normal of course, but feels more like an alien now living in you. So the bad news is, in order to fade the dark images you now find yourself with and see and feel the beautiful precious memories your heart longs for. You have to allow yourself to grieve, one day at a time. 😢🌈

    “Grief expressed out loud for someone we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses.”
    Martin Pretchel

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I am always comforted by small signs, I hope they will be there for you too.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Aw 😦 I’m sorry. (((((Very close virtual hug))))) ❤ Have you got a photo montage of pics of him to put together where you can see it often? If not for the one of my mom and original fam, I'm not sure what I'd do. If you haven't enough photos of him from throughout the years, ask the extended fam to email some (or if they print out photos, to send you some). *sigh… I'm sorry you have to go through this, especially right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. My friend, your grief hurts my heart. I am sorry for your pain and your loss. I love the imagery of your memory of Lorne playing golf. I hope those memories bring you peace over time. Over the years my faith and hope has stretched and withered in many places but there is one thing I never lost my certainty of and that is you will be with your brother again one day. This life is one stop on our eternal journey and he’ll be waiting for you on the other side. I hope someday you find hope in that promise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG. Brenda. I haven’t spoken to you in such a long time. I hope you and your family are doing well. We need to catch up soon. Thank you for your lifelong certainty on the afterlife. Your confidence is inspiring.

      Like

  29. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. I have a younger brother who is currently battling cancer, several provinces away. I have to keep reminding myself to live in the moment and enjoy the gift of every moment we share. Your generous sharing of your thoughts during such a vulnerable time, are very much appreciated. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mary. Here’s to some wind at your Brother’s back, and a recovery. And as to moments, your poignant thoughts reminded me of this:

      flowerais:

      a big part of being happy is being excited. be excited for everything – making a cup of tea, decorating your future apartment, seeing a friend again, falling in love unexpectedly, the next episode of a show you like, finishing something stressful, buying something you’ve been saving up for, a new album, sunsets, traveling, road trips, and the feeling of going to bed after a long day. think of something to be excited about and daydream about it often when you’re sad.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Christie says:

    My heartbreaks for you…praying that each day you find a bit of light, calm & much love from your family…how is Loren’s wife and boys holding up? Loss is so hard, let the feelings flow, for you loved your brother and you continually honor him by sharing with us about your feelings…His athletic ability on the golf course and the ice…carried over to daily endeavors and no doubt his character as a person brought much Joy to all that meet him…I bet his face always shinned with a smile and bright eyes as he welcomed all with gentle kindness… his legacy continues, he lives in you, his boys, his wife – all who love him… /// I too have lost a brother…years ago…

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Thinking of you and sending healing energy, David, at this time of loss. Know that so many of us are holding you gently in our hearts…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m so sorry for your loss, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I’ve been trying for months to leave a comment regarding your brother. I just typed up a sort of lengthy response only to have it lost to the ether. I can’t seem to find the right damn password for WP. Anyway, please know your aching heart is in my thoughts. You are doing a great job of honoring your brother and your grief through your writing. Take care my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Hey Dave … it’s been so long since I have been here as my nom de plume. Just this morning I sent you an email to see how you were … I had been thinking of you with all the turmoil going on in our present unsettling world. This evening, I wandered into WP through my 3bones account and scrolled through some of the recent posts of the few that I do follow, and found your recent post on the death of your brother, Lorne. I am so very sorry and send my sincere condolences. I wish I had scrolled through my WP reader first. It feels like a lifetime since my own brother Brian left us, and yet it feels like yesterday. It still hurts. Your post took me back to my post in February of last year, the 35th anniversary of Brian’s death and the words of Elizabeth Gilbert …

    “There are certain things that happen to you as a human being that you cannot control or command, that will come to you at really inconvenient times and where you have to bow in the human humility to the fact that there’s something running through you that’s bigger than you …” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert (The TED Interview podcast, October 19, 2018)

    Sending love and prayers from Brenda and I in these difficult times … Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Keith. It’s so very kind of you to reach out. Thank you. Yes, I can see how 35 years later, my Brother’s passing will still sting. And I so love the Elizabeth Gilbert quote. I’m going to have to tuck it away. Thanks again Keith. Hope you and Brenda are staying safe.

      Like

  35. Sweet sentiments, David. Honest. Difficult stuff we must handle as only we can for ourselves. Aloha ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  36. None of us can know what the transition from life to death is like for those who experience it first hand. We only know from our second hand experience and it’s a hard one. I hope we are all pleasantly surprised when we experience it ourselves, first hand. Until then, we have these moments and these memories David. I hope they are a form of solace for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. You are in my heart. It’s that simple. I touch the bone over my heart and feel you there.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. tears stung my eyes, for you David. not being able to go would be incredibly difficult. I hope your memories are bright and bring you joy in remembrance til you meet again.

    Liked by 1 person

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