PuggiLola

The invitation had been subtly sent  Here a hint, there a warning, here a subtle sign The certainty of the event was inevitable, not unlike the first pangs of labor after nine months of pregnancy. It was just a matter of time.
How do you answer the call to the mystery of dying knowing it will shatter you into shards of sorrow forever?
Fragments scattered can be swept up  And carefully placed into a keepsake box As if their parts, apart, retain preserved attachment to them
A death cannot be undone  Once its invitation is sent out with your name on the invitation Your attendance is required
No need to RSVP

The invitation had been subtly sent
Here a hint, there a warning, here a subtle sign
The certainty of the event was inevitable, not unlike the first pangs of labor after nine months of pregnancy.
It was just a matter of time.

How do you answer the call to the mystery of dying knowing it will shatter you into shards of sorrow forever?

Fragments scattered can be swept up
And carefully placed into a keepsake box
As if their parts, apart, retain preserved attachment to them

A death cannot be undone
Once its invitation is sent out with your name on the invitation
Your attendance is required

No need to RSVP

We were a fortunate family, six children of a postal worker, living full time at the shore, nearby my grandparent’s beach season restaurant that served mainly affordable spaghetti dinners.

We opened our beach house in late spring when the water was turned on again, then left on Labor Day weekend to return to our Park Street apartment in Hartford just before the start of the school year.

Looking back, closing up the ‘cottage’  seemed always a time of shadows, the days were getting shorter with sunset earlier, and there was an absence in the air, no early morning bird song and other nearby cottages quieter because our neighbors were leaving or had left. 

The beach had less activity, no circle of families spending long afternoons exchanging gossip - back in a time when women of our circumstance had the freedom to remain at home full time, or at least the women of our shoreline community. 

The air seemed to leave the cottage as one by one the rooms were emptied and windows were locked, and the gray tiled floor became grayer in the pulled down shaded rooms. Then, the door was closed for another season, leaving a time filled with memories of life stage changes to reflect on years later.

My “last” time at our beach was before the annual Labor Day cottage closing ritual, when I left for the novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy in late August, just miles down the road in Madison CT.  I left with happiness of finally fulfilling a several year desire for a life as a religious. I left before the shadows took over our cottage at the end of the beach season. I left before my last experience of my mother’s annual preparation of packing up and leaving.

When I returned some many months later it was to a new home my family moved into my last summer at the cottage, in the South End of Hartford. I never returned to the seasonal summers at the shore of my youth.  

Closing the cottage for the season continued for over twenty more years until my mother and father retired to the beach into a renovated year round ’ home.’

It is now late August again and the shadows fill each room of the house on the last late afternoon before Labor Day weekend, as voices of children come through the open windows and the aroma of weekend barbecues filter through backyards. There is no morning or late afternoon bird song. There is only the quiet feeling of anticipation of leaving behind again.

The cottage will be closed again for the season soon. My mother will not orchestrate the closing ritual this year. She is gone. 

Her lifetime of life in rooms in the cottage that has been her home for twenty-five years is completed. Her seasons at the shore are over forever. 

I will have memories, as will my brothers and sisters, of this August, to reflect on for whatever time is left to us - they seem to me shrouded in shadows as I try to have precise recollection.  

The gray is taking over the full season of sunlight coming to a close.

We were a fortunate family, six children of a postal worker, living full time at the shore, nearby my grandparent’s beach season restaurant that served mainly affordable spaghetti dinners.

We opened our beach house in late spring when the water was turned on again, then left on Labor Day weekend to return to our Park Street apartment in Hartford just before the start of the school year.

Looking back, closing up the ‘cottage’ seemed always a time of shadows, the days were getting shorter with sunset earlier, and there was an absence in the air, no early morning bird song and other nearby cottages quieter because our neighbors were leaving or had left.

The beach had less activity, no circle of families spending long afternoons exchanging gossip - back in a time when women of our circumstance had the freedom to remain at home full time, or at least the women of our shoreline community.

The air seemed to leave the cottage as one by one the rooms were emptied and windows were locked, and the gray tiled floor became grayer in the pulled down shaded rooms. Then, the door was closed for another season, leaving a time filled with memories of life stage changes to reflect on years later.

My “last” time at our beach was before the annual Labor Day cottage closing ritual, when I left for the novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy in late August, just miles down the road in Madison CT. I left with happiness of finally fulfilling a several year desire for a life as a religious. I left before the shadows took over our cottage at the end of the beach season. I left before my last experience of my mother’s annual preparation of packing up and leaving.

When I returned some many months later it was to a new home my family moved into my last summer at the cottage, in the South End of Hartford. I never returned to the seasonal summers at the shore of my youth.

Closing the cottage for the season continued for over twenty more years until my mother and father retired to the beach into a renovated year round ’ home.’

It is now late August again and the shadows fill each room of the house on the last late afternoon before Labor Day weekend, as voices of children come through the open windows and the aroma of weekend barbecues filter through backyards. There is no morning or late afternoon bird song. There is only the quiet feeling of anticipation of leaving behind again.

The cottage will be closed again for the season soon. My mother will not orchestrate the closing ritual this year. She is gone.

Her lifetime of life in rooms in the cottage that has been her home for twenty-five years is completed. Her seasons at the shore are over forever.

I will have memories, as will my brothers and sisters, of this August, to reflect on for whatever time is left to us - they seem to me shrouded in shadows as I try to have precise recollection.

The gray is taking over the full season of sunlight coming to a close.

Marking Time
One week has passed since the unexpected events that led to my mother’s passing.
This passing of time is familiar to me…marking, remembering, coping.
My mother’s “home” is losing the feeling of her presence in every room - I am already aware of leaving it behind for the last time as hers. I have twenty-four hours before I leave and return to New York.
I left my own home of over ten years on August 20th - six years ago. I feel the familiarity of this unique separation knowing I had to make it in the past.
My brothers and sisters, together again after tens years, have returned home promising to stay in touch and see each other again - I will make a greater effort that this happens.
I am still in awe and deep gratitude that the universe responded to our wishes and my mother’s - so much could have occurred differently than what actually did - my peace comes from this “miracle” and prayers that were answered.
I have increasing anxiety of returning to a grief that I am all too familiar with, knowing I have options as to how to cope when it does, while at the same time fully cognizant that I must embrace it’s reality in my life. 
The rabbit hole is out there for me to fall into…I know my way out when I do.

Marking Time

One week has passed since the unexpected events that led to my mother’s passing.

This passing of time is familiar to me…marking, remembering, coping.

My mother’s “home” is losing the feeling of her presence in every room - I am already aware of leaving it behind for the last time as hers. I have twenty-four hours before I leave and return to New York.

I left my own home of over ten years on August 20th - six years ago. I feel the familiarity of this unique separation knowing I had to make it in the past.

My brothers and sisters, together again after tens years, have returned home promising to stay in touch and see each other again - I will make a greater effort that this happens.

I am still in awe and deep gratitude that the universe responded to our wishes and my mother’s - so much could have occurred differently than what actually did - my peace comes from this “miracle” and prayers that were answered.

I have increasing anxiety of returning to a grief that I am all too familiar with, knowing I have options as to how to cope when it does, while at the same time fully cognizant that I must embrace it’s reality in my life. 

The rabbit hole is out there for me to fall into…I know my way out when I do.

"Everything is ok"

"Everything is ok"

Our mother is on her last journey - she is surrounded by family, friends, and medical care respectful of her wishes and ours, her wish to be at home, which we are all honoring.She is being kept in prayers that she may be received peacefully into the loving arms of God…


Our mother is on her last journey - she is surrounded by family, friends, and medical care respectful of her wishes and ours, her wish to be at home, which we are all honoring.

She is being kept in prayers that she may be received peacefully into the loving arms of God…

August 4th, 2009

August 4th, 2009

“Let everything happen to youBeauty and terrorJust keep goingNo feeling is final”
Rilke

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”

Rilke

     Renate H. Kundrun Gestorben 28/7/09