Collage of the Day: Gothic Grief

After my daughter died, I channeled my grief into writing poetry and making collages. Because she embraced the Gothic Lifestyle, I called this one “Gothic Grief”.

A very short poem that I wrote that kind of goes with this collage:

O Angel Dressed In Black
Please Bring My Baby Back
She Was A Child Of Faith
Of Peace And Of Love
She Sends Joy To Our World
On The Silver Wings of A Silent Dove…..

Cindi 12/09/01

Random Paint Chip Poetry Project: #2 Circle of Life

This one is dedicated to my daughter, Courtney Marie, who died 20 years ago on Sept 14th, 2000, at the age of 16. I will also include to collages that I created in her memory.

Miss You

Circle of Life

Tickled pink, a baby girl
A short lived life, a short lived love.

Like the Sisyphus’s boulder
Constantly pushing upwards and
Rolling back again

Causing an unfortunate circumstance

Is that what is was?
Just an unfortunate circumstance?

No.

It was like a comet
Blazing ‘cross the evening sky

A lunar starship that took on a life of its own.

Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright

Until it faded just out of sight.

Now a new blank canvas to write on.
A new story to tell.
A new leaf to turn.

But still pushing that boulder upwards
And watching it roll back again.

Gothic Grief

The song used in this poem was “Gone Too Soon” by Michael Jackson, which was written for Ryan White who died as a teenager due to AIDS, but it felt to me that the song was written for Courtney.

Now, if you would like to participate in this project, please write a poem using these words and prompt and a few lyrics from your favorite song on your playlist.

An Unfortunate Circumstance

Tickled pink
Sisyphus’s boulder
Lunar
Starship
Blank canvas
New Leaf

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Every Day in June: Prompt is Poem

Perfect love perfect trust

Candles softly glow

A furtive prayer

A glistening tear

Too often, too many, often flow

Faith and trust

I did, we did

But it didn’t matter

Darkness, light

Brightest star in the night

What a sight to behold

First hello, last smile

Child gone, spirit here

Grieving lasts a long long while

Limits, blessings, contradictions

Fear no evil, you are with me

Flood me with peace, set you free

Life is short, death is forever

Buried, marked, say goodbye

Candles, flowers, memories, poems

And still no answer to “why?”

REASONS

1everythinghappens.

I am one of those who feels that everything does happen “for a reason”. I’ve said this in the past. I try to not tell people who are grieving or facing a challenge this because it’s not what they want or need to hear, plus it’s a realization they need to decide for themselves.

But I do personally believe it’s true for myself. Apparently, based on a former “friend”, I didn’t have the right to think that. She called me a “Pollyanna”, that I was “too perky and too optomistic” and I “needed to stop now”…. She is no longer a friend, but this has bugged me ever since.

I do believe everything happens for a reason and each and every challenge I’ve had is an education; that every one of them I learned important lessons and gained something positive, even with the worst situation. Those are the reasons!!

I see life as an education, from the moment we take our first breath at birth until the moment we take our last breath at death. And even more than that. I believe in past lives, future lives, multiple lives and more…. so our education starts and continues even before we incarnate as human souls. And it has nothing to do with religion.. and much more with physics. We are all energy. That energy continues even after the human bodies stop working. I see this life as just one in many, like a grade in school.. what we learn here carries over to the next one.

A lot of people see life as just this, only this life. But if that’s the case, why don’t we all live to 100 years of age? Why do children die?’

Why are there so many differences of size, shape, coloring? Why don’t we all look the same? Why don’t we all believe the same? And why bother getting an education in the first place?

The answer is because we are gaining knowledge and experience in how to live in this life that will also be a basis for the next, just as previous lives were the basis for this one.

So, this is why I believe “everything happens for a reason”. If you don’t, that’s fine. But please don’t send me a private message demanding that I change my attitude because I don’t fit with your beliefs.

End of rant.

I personally don’t see a problem with being an upbeat, happy, optimistic Pollyanna.

I keep reminding myself that their attitude is more about them than it is me.

I’d rather spend this life and all of my lives seeing the good things in it. Yes, bad things happen and will and do, but we learn the most from those, as well as mistakes (something I’m am still fighting with) than we do good things and successes, which is why they happen. It’s not just random or the luck of the draw. They happen for a REASON!!!

Invisible Barber

1strandofhair

It was just a little strand of hair, at the nape of his neck. It was just a thick strand of wavy, curly hair that seemed to twist in into a tiny dreadlock all by itself. No matter how much he brushed or combed his hair, this one piece would not unravel. But the man did not really care. He knew that the spirit of his dead daughter was his invisible barber, twirling and twisting his hair into braids just has she had when she was alive.

Death and Dying

1notimelimitgrief

One of the hardest things about getting older is that more and more people die. Every day, now, it seems like that I hear of one more person that I either know or is related or connected to a friend.

To everyone who is hurting, I’m truly sorry that you are suffering. I wish there were words that could help.

By the time you reach my age, most of us have lost our parents, although my dad is still living. Some of us have lost spouses. Some have lost children. Many have lost friends and that’s hard enough.

There is a lot of pain in getting older and saying good bye is one of the worst.

This is one of the things that needs to be taught and isn’t. Most people don’t know how to react when they hear about a death.

They think they have to say something “helpful” that usually ends up being nothing but platitudes.

Others are afraid of saying the wrong thing so they don’t say anything at all. Way too many people are so terrified about death they won’t talk about it under any circumstances.

In 2001 I started an email group about death and dying with the goal of helping people over their fear of death and dying. It did help.. just talking about it.

Many people are very hurt by their friend’s silences. I understand that very well and experienced that too. When I lost my first child, in the 5th month of pregnancy, all of my friends avoided me, because they didn’t know what to say. That hurt me badly. When a mutual friend lost her daughter the following year, I lectured our friends and told them not to do to her what they did to me. If they had nothing to say, they could at least listen. When a third friend lost her daughter, just after my own daughter died, a fourth friend said she couldn’t deal with the three of us anymore; we were “cursed” and she didn’t want her daughter to die too. She really believed that death of daughters was contagious.

This is pure ignorance. Unfortunately, there is way too many subjects that people need education in. Death is just one of them.

After Death

1angeldeath

After Death

Perfect love perfect trust
Candles softly glow
A furtive prayer
A glistening tear
Too often, too many, often flow

Faith and trust
I did, we did
But it didn’t matter

Darkness, light
Brightest star in the night
What a sight to behold

First hello, last smile
Child gone, spirit here
Grieving lasts a long long while

Limits, blessings, contradictions
Fear no evil, you are with me
Flood me with peace, set you free

Life is short, death is forever
Buried, marked, say goodbye
Candles, flowers, memories, poems
And still no answer to “why?”

~ Cindi Wafstet
Sept 1, 2005

 

 

Rape and Suicide

I read something last night that pissed me off so badly, I had a hard time sleeping.

It was a discussion about rape scenes and suicide scenes in movies and one person insisted that these scenes help to “educate” people. That is such total bullshit.

These scenes are there for one reason only… to illicit an emotional response, not to educate anyone. They are the director’s interpretation of the words of the script and can go in any direction and it might not be a good one.

In fact, it’s due to suicide scenes in movies and TV shows that makes a lot of people believe suicide is the easy way out. And they do think it will be easy. My husband attempted suicide by slicing his wrists due to these kinds of scenes. He believed that all you had to do was sit in a tub of water, cut your wrists and drift off into a never ending sleep. He wasn’t counting on the pain. And it hurt like hell! I have no doubt that suicide by any other method is also as painful (if not more) but in many cases it’s too late to do anything about it. Studies have shown that people often are prompted to take or attempt to take their own lives after watching it in a movie or on a TV show.

As far as rape scenes, for some men (and possibly some women), watching a rape scene in a movie is a fantasy for them and they often masturbate while watching, not only at home, but at a movie theater as well.

There are men who believe that rape is just another word for sex, including way too many elected officials. There are men who believe that rape should be legal and that they, as men, are entitled to sex whenever, where ever, and from whom ever they wish… because that’s what women (or weaker men and children) are for.

While watching a movie can be a good start to learning more about a topic, becoming “educated” about rape or suicide from a movie is like becoming educated by watching Fox news.

If you want to be educated about the topic, do some research and read articles and books written about survivors of both rape and suicide. Read more than one so you can get an idea of the feelings, ideas, thoughts and triggers that happen to victims who go on to be survivors. Read books written by men and women who are rapists and sexual abusers who finally understand their own heads so you can get an idea of their mindset.

But the real education will only come with helping to change attitudes. Rape is not an entitlement that someone who is more powerful has a right to. Suicide is not an easy answer, it’s a long term solution to a short term problem.

But in order to get help for everyone who has to endure these issues, we need to make human rights a priority.. no matter what gender, race, sexual identity, age, size and ability.

We need to teach proper sex education to everyone that includes not only the mechanics of sex, but relationship and communication skills as well as respect and consent.

We need to provide good mental health care to everyone, starting when people are children, and those who are suffering shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get it.

Too often people don’t get mental health care until a crisis hits like a suicide attempt. And for too many, that’s too late.