by | Jul 4, 2011 | 2 comments

The sound of the voice uttering the most hope-void words I’d ever heard, “Dan is dead.”  My wet bathing suit soaking through the skirt I had thrown over it when we came inside.  Hard knocking on my neighbors door below.  Pacing.  The look on another’s face when I tell them, “Dan is dead.”  “So this is sorrow,” I post on Facebook.  The sound of Audrey’s wooden puzzle- the train whistle of the train piece keeps going off by itself because the battery is dying.  The sound of your parents deep sobbing when they call me.  “Julia…”  is all they can manage.  Your older brother’s words, “Julia…no matter what, God is good.”  The coldness in the top of my chest.  The strange odor emanating from my skin.  The loss of control over my bowels.  The feeling of my breast milk coming in even though I’d stopped nursing.  The moaning and keening that came out like labor sounds so strong that I thought they would kill me they had such force.  The collapsing on knees in showers, the clawing at wet walls.  The long, heavy sighs every few minutes.  The opaque quality of the dark at nightfall in the kitchen.  The sense that you were there.  The inability to turn my back to our bedroom door.  The paralyzing fears at night under my quilt after I’d turn out the light.  


July 4, 2011


  1. Anne D

    A friend just posted this on her Facebook wall, and I thought of you, Julia:

    Since I was cut from the reedbed,
    I have made this crying sound.
    Anyone apart from someone he loves
    understands what I say.
    Anyone pulled from a source
    …longs to go back.

    — Rumi


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

List-making in a Dark Time

List-making in a Dark Time

For any other list-makers out there, I published this on HerStories yesterday.""In this time of quarantine, my lists are offering me space outside of the walls of my home, a way of making sense of chaos, a self-imposed structure on structure-less days, and even a way...

Simple Things

Simple Things

"In our deepest self we keep living with the illusion that we will always be the same." Henri Nowen "It's really very simple," my late spiritual director, Gladys, once said to me. She was talking about how she lived each day, waking up, having a written conversation...

Continuous Living

Continuous Living

"Anxiety turns us toward courage, because the other alternative is despair." Paul Tillich I've claimed "seasonal affective disorder" for years, and that may be so, but I'm starting to realize it's not only summer to fall that is hard for me. It's winter to spring, and...