My Morning Do . . . “Losses”

~~ by tkbrown
19 September 2020
Midst all the grieving and lamenting
with such intensity the heart doth ache.
Whom can I trust? The pain, the not feeling
is more than this old, feeble soul can take.
One disaster hits, and then another.
Before I can stand up straight, I smother
the screams of anguish inside, and I hide
the pain because my neighbor cannot find
half of her belongings. How can I scream?
I need to be strong and help mend the seam
the storm ripped open before something else
renders it irreparable. Immense
are the threats to my survival, but I
am not important right now, and I sigh--
deeply, longingly--and look to the sky.

There is death and dying all around me.
Ash and charred wood, far as the eye can see
and I wonder, how will it ever be
the same; and I just want to run, to flee
and forget the loss stretching, engulfing
all. No home, no  business, no feeling
to express the emptiness entrenching
the dried riverbed; ash coating, drifiting
between the stones--gray, forlorn, seemingly
afraid to hope for better day. Achingly
eyeing the chard remains, desperately
recalling beauty--incongruently.
This is not a scene one would ever want
to revisit. Even new growth could not
erase the scars, the memories so scant.

As I contemplated the losses our country
and my fellow-citizens have experienced this week--
from fires and storms,
I grieved with them--for them;
and I penned these words
as an expression of my condolences.

To those not suffering loss at this time,
if you are ever in the path of such powerful forces,
evacuate!

Leave hearth and home!
No material belongings are worth your lives!
This cannot be stressed too much. 

The country, the world is already reeling
from unfathomable loss,
and the grieving process has begun.

The five stages of grief:
Denial,
Anger,
Bargaining,
Depression,
and Acceptance
have begun.

No two persons experience them in the same order
or to the same depth.
Oftentimes more than one can be seen at the same time.

Therefore,
no two countries will experience them the same.

Denial is not yet past--for us--
here in America!
The Anger has begun,
mostly in the form of rioting,
looting,
violence,
and mayhem
focusing on other areas
rather than the death and dying
all around us
directly related to coronavirus--

in our families
and in society.

So, the Denial has not passed.
It is still going on
along with the Anger,
and some Bargaining.

Expressions of Anger are being blamed
on events not truly related
to society's loss from the pandemic.

It is hard to separate personal loss
from societal loss.

Is that even possible?
I don't think so. 

Be strong enough to feel--more than the anger!
Be strong enough to heal--more, more than yourself!
It will take introspection refueled
to collectively grieve and to rebuild.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Source: Kubler-Ross, M.D. and D Kessler. (August 2014). “On grief & grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss.” Scribner. New York. (16 September 2020).

~~~~~~~~~~

My Morning Do . . . “Pleasant Words”

~~ by tkbrown

12 September 2020 — Soft words spoken, when harsh words are expected, are often visibly appreciated. The look of surprise alone can be fuel to continue using soft words rather than berating the offender. I have always been one to readily forgive an offence. It just was not typically worth the effort or the time it took to argue the issue. Now, I am not always the best of persons when it comes to my words of offense. There have been times when I argued the point to the nth degree, but mostly I have always tended to allow the other person his or her view on the topic.

One day, I was reading in Proverbs and came across some scripture to support this approach. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (NKJV). It is so true. I thought on the times when I had argued the point. Either I or the other person left the discussion upset. Untended anger can be a detriment to health. It can cause elevated blood pressure, which in turn can cause myriad other problems if it is a frequent occurrence.

On the other hand, Proverbs 16:24 says, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones,” (NKJV). When I read these scriptures, I began making a conscious effort to not get angry without a truly just reason, and I began checking myself to ensure I replied with pleasant words. This scripture prompted a more in-depth study of problems associated with off-the-cuff comments and the unbridled tongue in general. One can create so many problems for self and others simply because the tongue is left unchecked. If a wholesome tongue is “a tree of life,” I wonder that this lesson is not taught more often.

Needless to say, these and other scriptures have taught me the importance of “thinking before I speak.” The good news is I do not have to make amends by apologizing for an errant tongue as often as before. This is a “major blessing” because I am so ashamed when I have to atone for this or that pain caused by my mouth. Also, others are not angry with me when I speak with pleasant words. Earlier in the week, I wrote about “gossip” and the harm done by it. Have you ever dealt with this in yourself or someone else? If so, would you please comment below and let us know how you approached the situation?

Just some food for thought as social distancing continues, and we are inside with family more.

Have a Blessed Day!

~~~~~~~~~~

Scriptures above are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by kangbch @ pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Strength and Refuge

~~ by tkbrown
I cannot imagine what it must be like
to be in his position, having lost so much . . . 

How does one rebuild after such devastation?
. . . after seeing so much suffering and misery?
. . . after opening eyes to the cruelest of cruel
and the most surreal of the most beautiful?

The pain in his facial expression, his eyes,
brings tears to mine that won't blink back.
So much planning! Will it be enough
to bring life to a town so marred by death?
Can any amount of planning or effort
to jumpstart life -- after so much death --
ever diminish or take away the pain?

The stress of shouldering so much responsibility
must overwhelm even the strongest of men at times.
One must respect, if not admire, the tenacity
of those in public office, muddling through the mire
that life has suddenly wrought -- with no warning --
no time to prepare for the insurmountable struggles
faced by all during these uncharted times.

These are the times when I look to the scriptures
for guidance and for resolution within myself.
Many specific passages come to the front of my mind,
but for this day, one can take comfort in the message
meted out in the thirteenth chapter of Romans (NKJV).
To those in positions of power during this time
of foreboding, each is to be subject and to give honor.
He or she has been burdened with the greatest load
any leader has ever known. Even war does not
wreak the havoc, pain and loss of incurable illness.
In the end, each of us, whether stricken or not,
whether impoverished or not, must answer
for deeds directed toward those in power --
for each is appointed that power by the Lord God.
Let me never forget, if characteristics needed
to address the burdens of the time were mine,
I would be there; but, I do not have what it takes
to meet today's challenges head-on --
most of us do not . . ..
Thus, I must respect those whom God deems
able to fill whatever needs arise on this day,
and on every day throughout this time of trial.
May God Bless and Keep Each of Them,
and May He Be Their Strength and Refuge!

~~~~~~~~~~

Source Referenced: The Holy Bible (NKJV) — the New King James Version

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo by: Steve Halama on Unsplash.com

~~~~~~~~~~

Life is Bittersweet . . .

~~ by tkbrown
Life is bittersweet . . .
With everything you gain, you lose something . . .
With everything you lose, you gain something . . .
Until this is learned, life is fraught with unnecessary pain.
Only in learning to accept the losses in life
will we ever truly experience the blessings that we gain.
Photo by: Google.com.