Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday Scribblings

When we were children, our family formed a perfectly symmetrical set of siblings. Two girls...two boys. Two with hair the color of summer or wheat...and two gone dark and dusk. Two were left-handed and two were right. Two were older and two were younger. We complimented one another with our similarity and contrast.

I believed that I could fly if I willed it intently enough...that I would only get into heaven if I died with my arms outstretched like a cross...and that things were magical if only I had faith.

When my brother died, my childhood was obliterated. The other dark-haired, left-handed child was gone--the "big" brother, the joker, the tender-hearted untamed constellation burning up my sky. For more than half of my life, I have lived with this shadow sibling--this searing knowledge of what death does to a family. Each day, the sun swings back around and the seasons rise and fall in turn.

When I was little--I didn't realize it was possible for the vacant spaces to sometimes be the most nourishing ones. I didn't know how to weave death and life into one vibrant cloth--then, use it to wrap around myself and take comfort in. When I was a child, I couldn't have guessed that the lost live on when you say their names and tell their stories.

Somehow, this becomes a kind of transcendence. Eternity in the unexpected hollow of my empty palm...

This week's theme at Sunday Scribblings is "When we were wee..."


Blogger Susannah said...

Delia, that was such a powerrful and moving post. it winded me for a second. it is the vibrant cloth that i am now learning to make too.

thank you for leaving a trail of breadcrumbs from my blog to yours. i shall enjoy getting to know you through your words here.
susannah x

4:41 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

I too was so moved by this piece. The lost sibling has turned up in many places this week, and always I am struck by how they are carried on through life, how their presence is still felt so strongly. Presence, and loss. Thank you for sharing this memory.

6:09 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

that kind of
took my breath away
for a second
and i had to go back
and reread what i had read...

i'm sorry for your loss
and i thank you for sharing
your feelings and memories.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

"I didn't realize it was possible for the vacant spaces to sometimes be the most nourishing ones. I didn't know how to weave death and life into one vibrant cloth..." Beautiful. Very moving.

8:39 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Lovely, touching post. It's really true that stories and memories keep our loved ones alive in our hearts and minds.

9:31 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Lovely, touching account of how stories of our loved ones help keep them alive in our hearts and in our memories. Thanks for this!

9:32 AM  
Blogger Shannon E. said...

That was a beautiful moving most that just resonates within my heart. Beautiful words and the idea of the comfort you couldn't weave...beautiful!

the tender-hearted untamed constellation burning up my sky

My favorite line...
Shannon (Sentimental)

9:42 AM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

Very moving, but also strong and peaceful. Four years ago I wouldn't have understood, but now I do as I have seen several loved ones die in recent years.

I feel strong urges to say their names and tell their stories. I know that as each year passes, their light shines stronger as negative memories slip away and only positive ones remain. We have special relationships with the dead.

And the Olan Mills picture really brings back memories of my own childhood...

11:16 AM  
Blogger AnnieElf said...

What a punch to the heart. I'm not breathing again. Such powerful writing this early Monday morning.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

" I didn't know how to weave death and life into one vibrant cloth--then, use it to wrap around myself and take comfort in." - You've given me something to think about today...

12:33 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

I'm so moved by your post. My loss is still so new that the weaving hasn't started yet. It's good to know that comfort eventually comes.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Alexandra S said...

I don't know how people survive the loss of a sibling, and yet I know people do every day. Thank you for writing about it so poignantly. I recently read such a beautiful passage in a book, Broken Open, about a family going on after the loss of their son while he was traveling in Australia and your writing was so touching. I hope you and your family will have many more days of peace and happy memories together.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I didn't know how to weave death and life into one vibrant cloth"...this is my favorite line. So beautiful, thank you so much for sharing such a personal story.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

That's so beautiful. The photo, the telling. I was smiling, reading your words, and then swiftly the smile was wiped off my face. I wasn't prepared for death. And I guess you weren't either. I can't imagine, can't fathom. Have been so lucky so far not to lose someone so close. Your words are beautiful and I'm glad you found our site. I look forward to coming back and reading more from you, and maybe hearing something about the novel you're working on (I've recently sold my first novel. yay.)

10:59 PM  
Blogger Kim G. said...

Thank you for sharing your reflections about your brother. It's clear that he was so special and you honor his memory in how you are learning to grow through your grief.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

this post does something to me in a physical way. i am struck not only by the content, but by your ability to find such perfect words to express something so difficult. and in the middle of expressing your memories there is reflection and clarity. i think the word for the way i'm responding to this piece could be startled. or struck. or quiet. thank you for sharing this here. Jennifer (she said...)

11:17 AM  
Blogger megg said...

This was amazing. What sadness and power and strength you have. I'm so glad you've joined Sunday Scribblings! I can't wait to read more of your writing!

3:50 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

this is incredible. how i am reminded that we are not alone in our grief, our awakenings, our growth.
This image of the one vibrant cloth that we wrap around ourselves. oh this just punched me in the gut (in a good way...). thank you for this image. for your words. so glad to have stopped by today...

5:53 PM  
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6:00 AM  

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