Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A year has gone

Today marks the first anniversary of missing Tabitha. A year ago today, she returned to heaven. Her mother writes about it more beautifully than I ever could, but since this is a place for me to express how I'm feeling, I decided to share a poem I wrote.

A year has gone,
And it still feels wrong.

You're still not here,
And at times, the pain is near.

A different baby wearing an outfit you wore.
Another girl with the name that is yours.
A moment remembering.
A moment reliving.

And always knowing
And always believing
Your end was not the end.

That knowledge is what we cling to
Since we can't cling to you.

And most of the time, it's enough.
We love you.

I am up in Michigan right now, staying with my parents and brother's family. We went to their church's trunk or treat on Friday night. There was delicious chili, lots of candy, and tons of happy children running around.

Always in my mind, though, was the knowledge that Tabitha was at the trunk or treat last year but wasn't at Halloween. So close to the end. What a happy memory that Disney family had. (Tabitha was Daisy Duck, Emily was Minnie Mouse, Dan was Goofy, and Rachel was Mirabelle.)

I am so glad for all those happy memories.


  1. The following was written by NPR commentator Aaron Freeman, and I find it quite comforting.

    You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

    And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

    And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

    And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.


  2. Loved the poem. I don't suppose a visit to Saginaw is in your near future?


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