Loss and Gain

There had been a lot of loss in the past couple of months. We lost a dog, two cats, an uncle, and two of my husband’s friends passed. This group loss has happened before. Over thirty years ago, I lost two grandmothers three days apart, my father-in-law had a major heart attack, my grandmother in law passed, and our house robbed–all within a few weeks. Back then, I was seven months pregnant and had something to hold on to. This time I didn’t.

Each day anxiety crept in as the fear of what life might take next. Sleepless nights added to that fearful fuel. I went through the motions numbly each day. Yet there was something deep inside that walked each painful step with me. This spiritual strength kept me going. It reminded me it was just a time or period in my life, but not my life. Good times were ahead. Life had given me that lesson more than once, even when I ignored that knowledge. This quiet wisdom has always been there.

Instead of closing my heart for future pain, I opened it up again, slowly. Then I was finally ready. It was time to add to our family again. A small black kitten named Luna won my heart over and her purrs soothed my soul.

I know our time on earth is limited, especially with our loved ones—human or furry. But the good outweighs the agony their leaving us causes. Some periods of pain cannot take away all that love.

It may take a moment to get there, but it patiently waits for all of us. Love shares the beauty once again, held up by those memories in our past, present, and what is to come.

Poems from “Just Her Poetry”

LOSS AND GAIN

My losses and gains over the years have been extreme.

Sometimes I ride high thinking nothing would touch me,

All was right in my world and I was invincible.

Later, a heavy loss would wipe that all away.

I thought I’d linger in the immensity of that loss for eternity

Thinking nothing would change…it would, though.

Gains would change the gloom.

I would grasp at the good times with my entire being.

Each moment fully lived not worrying what was to come.

Unfortunately, it always came when I least expected it.

In ways I couldn’t imagine on a bright sunny day came a storm.

Sometimes the storm would pass immediately or sit upon me.

I would have no shelter as the rains pelt down.

At times I was left battered and bruised in my time of loss

Darkness would set in, heaviness weighed me down.

Yet, each moment I drew a new breath and my heart kept beating.

That small moment told me I wasn’t done. I was still here.

No matter—how grim things looked.

No matter—I had any answers.

No matter—I was breathing and waiting.

Soon the clouds began to part, rain stopped, and the sun appeared.

An unexpected gift finally found its way to me and I gladly accepted.

Not worried about the next storm…maybe I should have been.

Maybe I should have prepared, but for right now I enjoyed my gain.

I gladly embraced my good fortune until the next loss—I live in my gain.

 

THE JOURNEY

The tiny brown and white bird clung to the cedar’s bark

The corn snow fell heavy and hard around it.

Then, the bird slowly began its journey by climbing upward.

A few feet up the tree, it was knocked back down to the ground

It paused for only a few seconds and tried again.

Deliberately, it made its way back to where it fell

The tiny bird carefully passed that point without stopping

It moved higher, toward the promised shelter from the pounding chaos.

Wings open, it faltered a few times, but hung on…

It kept rising until it reached the first bare branch.

Tucked underneath, the little bird found limited shelter

But it wisely did not linger there as it continued the climb…

Finally, the brave bird is immersed into the green branches

Now it is safely nestled in the cedar, as the storm rages around it.

Gone from my sight now I contemplate its journey.

When the bird was knocked down it got up and tried again

It passed the point where it had been impeded

There was no hesitation as it kept advancing.

Not looking back, it climbed higher and higher.

It didn’t accept the first offer of partial protection,

Instead it kept climbing until it reached its goal…

Until it found sanctuary from the pelting ice and winds.

And, having watched this journey—I was just a bit wiser for it

Because I knew whatever life threw at me, I needed to pick myself up

And keep climbing, no matter what the odds, until I reached the top

Exactly like the wise and brave bird did on its journey in the storm.


UPDATES:

Watch for July’s Monthly Newsletter later this week.

I will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon with a blog and poem, but a day late. It falls on my birthday and I plan to be sitting on a beach gazing at the Pacific Ocean or the Yuba River:)

Always embrace your inner child, D. L. Finn

44 thoughts on “Loss and Gain”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Denise, but as you say it is part of life’s dance with us. How we deal with it is our only choice in the matter. The poems are both beautiful, deep and powerful! Hugs!

  2. The ebb and flow of life can be overwhelming. You’ve captured that movement very well, Denise. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m ever so grateful for Luna. 🙂

  3. Ah Denise… I’m so sorry. I’ve known so much loss in my life. Sometimes it feels like that’s all there is to life.
    Luna is a beauty, and doubtless a joy.
    I’m glad to hear the determination in your voice. I hope you have a happy and relaxing birthday. Huge hugs. 🍸🍸

    1. Thanks, Teagan. It can feel.that way sometimes that the losses will never stop. I’m sorry to hear you’ve dealt with so much of that.
      Yes, there is determination under the loss. Huge hugs appreciated and sent back to you!

  4. I’m sorry for your loss, Denise! It seemed overwhelming! I’m glad you took time for yourself and wait for your heart to slowly open for your new member, Luna. Take care!

    1. Thank you Miriam. I was glad my heart opened to love again and Luna was there to give it!

  5. I am so sorry for the losses you’ve had, Denise, but thrilled that little Luna has helped soothe your soul. I have been away for several days for a family lake vacation and am behind on my blog visits. Take care and enjoy your time relaxing on the beach!

    1. I hope you had a relaxing and replenishing vacation, Mae:) Thank you. Luna caught my eye and then when I held her and she looked me in the eye I was lost. She is that beam of light we needed right now.

  6. We all go through some really tough times in this life, Denise. I am glad you have been able to get past your losses and move on. The Journey was my favourite poem in your collection.

    1. Thank you, Robbie. We either move on or stay in that pain. The Journey is one of my favorites. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  7. This piece really struck something deep within my soul, Denise. I have grappled with the very same anxieties brought on by that awful question: What will life take next? I lost my little brother nine years ago. Scars like that never really heal. He was my younger brother. He’s supposed to outlive me. Then, two years after that, my father died. But this is the nature of life. Life gives and takes from everyone blessed enough to possess it. Life is meant to be lived, not feared. Fear stunts growth. I’m glad that little kitten is now part of your family now. It’s a blessing for you and Luna! God bless you and your family.

    1. Its a question that has kept me up many nights, Beem. I’m sorry about your brother and dad. Being an only child I can only imagine that pain of a brothers loss. The anxiety of what bad can happen next can be overwhelming. I try to remember that with the bad, good will come, too. The kitten was that reminder of that for me. May God bless you and your family, too.

  8. Loss does seem to come in groups, and it’s much harder to get through without something to cling to and something bigger than us to help. I’m glad you found what you needed to move on. And your poems were lovely.

    1. Thank you Staci. The loss and the good have come in groups I’m hoping Luna is the start of some good:) Glad you enjoyed the poems!

  9. That’s a huge amount of loss during such a short period of time. Kudos to you for showing your strength through this post… Loved the poetry. Stay strong! 🙂

    1. Thank you Kevin. I am happy for the light Luna brought to our house. Glad you enjoyed the poetry. The Journey is one of my favorites.

  10. This is beautiful, Denise. If I were at church, I’d call, “Good Word!” I attend a baptist church and we still do a limited amount of call and response during the sermon.
    So I say “good word” because you’ve given me an uplifting, refreshing look at life and love. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I love that response, “Good Word!” I’m very glad it was that for you. Now when I hear something inspiring I will think of that, too:)

  11. Denise, thank you for sharing about loss. Yours are personal, intimate stories, and I am touched by your infinite wisdom. Your resilience inspires, and it speaks loudly in your poetry.

    xox
    eden

    1. Thank you Eden for your kind words. I try to learn as I go and share. So happy my poetry speaks to you!

  12. You’re reaction to all that loss is a beautiful one. Without the love, we wouldn’t be feeling such loss. And thank the god/goddess/Spirit for the love that surrounds us, even once the physical is gone. Lovely, lovely poems.

    1. Thank you Pam:) Love definitely transcends the physical and is there for us to embrace always. So happy that you enjoyed the poetry.

  13. Luna is a beautiful kitten, Denise. Congratulations. 🙂 The vivid image of the little bird’s struggle to find safety resonated with me. Perhaps what matters most is that we persist, and perhaps for some of us, simply persisting is success.

    1. Thank you Rob. She has brought life into our house. I think you are right about persisting is our success!

  14. That Luna is just sweet, sweet, sweet. I am so sorry you’ve had to deal with so many losses in such a short period of time. I hope you have that many positives in the near future. I was happy to see you’d included my favorite DL poem. Hugs

    1. Thanks Sandra! She really is adorable and fearless:) I’m hoping for an upcoming positive surge for everyone. I’m so glad you liked it. It’s one my own favorites, too. Sending hugs back to you.

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