• I Placed A Stone

    I Placed A Stone by Melissa Mains Timberlake

    Two years ago today my youngest brother, Jeremy, died. I wrote this poem last year on the 1 year anniversary of his death. Thought I’d share it again today as my body aches with missing. ~ Melissa Mains Timberlake


    I placed a stone on my brother’s grave today
    One year ago, I said my heart-wrenching last goodbye
    And now, here I am,
    alone in the cemetery
    on this cold, dark, rainy November morning
    To pause, remember and simply be
    With the powerful waves of grief
    That still surprise and topple

    I placed a stone on my brother’s grave
    As an offering to let others know
    I was here
    I remember
    I care
    I love
    And, I won’t forget
    When I picked up the stone and held it in my hand
    It made an impression
    Reminding me that I am continually moved by my brother
    By his gusto, his compassion, his laughter, his faith, his voice, the sparkle in his eyes, his abundant love for others, his joy, and his purpose

    When I put the stone down
    on Jeremy’s grave
    I knew that although he is not physically with me
    The handprint of his life is on my heart
    That, as a stone lasts throughout time, so does my love for him

    I placed a stone on my brother’s grave today
    And as I gather myself to leave
    Wiping tears
    Taking a deep breath
    I suppose that often, in life,
    it’s the smallest things
    the placing of even the tiniest “pebbles”
    (an empathetic look, a hug that doesn’t let go first, those unrushed moments shared over cups of coffee, a listening ear, a thoughtful text or phone call…)
    that become profound markers
    to also communicate
    I’ve been there
    You’re not alone
    I remember
    I care
    You’re loved
    I won’t forget

    So I placed a stone on my brother’s grave today
    As I leave, I pick up another
    And put it in my pocket
    To share with someone else

    –I Placed A Stone by Melissa Mains Timberlake

    This morning, as a I scrolled through Facebook, I came across this post. It stopped me in my tracks. It seems so many are experiencing death and learning how to “carry on”. Deep gratitude to Melissa Mains Timberlake for allowing me to share this for “Yes-vember” The Poet’s Way. Her way of honoring herself and her brother is a beautiful acknowledgement of life and death. She shows us a way to grieve. She shows us it is okay to be grieving. And living. To carry a stone. A weight. A connection.

    Melissa lives The Poet’s Way – Authentic. Creative. Expressive. She is a talented writer, coach, mother, wife and a wacky-serene friend. If you are fortunate to live near Turtle Creek Acres in McHenry IL, please join on December 3rd or 5th Advent Retreat of Silence“Let us be silent, so that we may hear the whispers of God.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson


    Some things in life cannot be fixed.

    They can only be carried.

    Megan Devine

    “When a person is devastated by grief, the last thing they need is advice. Their world has been shattered. This means that the act of inviting someone—anyone—into their world is an act of great risk. To try and fix or rationalize or wash away their pain only deepens their terror.

    Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words:

    ‘I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you.'” From Tim Lawrence’s  “Everything Doesn’t Happen for a Reason”

    I came across this blog a few weeks ago. It strips away the platitudes and the “get over it” motivation malarky and instead provides a truthful, open-hearted, vulnerable and courageous way to live with pain and death.

    Some thoughts for the living for living The Poet’s Way:

    Start Authentically: There is pain. There is dying. It is part of the fabric of your life. What is woven in gives your strength and makes you vulnerable. How can you hold yourself open and be with with the pain?How can you respect those that have passed? How do you respect your own journey and yourself as you Live? What is true for you.

    Explore Creatively: Your response. Your choices. Your way of holding belief, hope, honor, gratitude, servitude – they are for you to create. Do create. From the pain. From the learning. From the authentic place of truth and love, create your way of doing and being. Please don’t stop creating.

    Live Expressively: Carry it. Yes, there will be burden. Yes, it is not as you would have liked. Yes, it is out of your control. Your response and your presence are needed. Show yourself. Show us. How to live an expressive life with the richer texture and pattern of the life you know. Do not negate your feelings. Do not silence your voice. Do not “get over it”. Embrace it and stand with it. We acknowledge your pain. We are here for you. You are appreciated. You are loved.

    Join us on Facebook at The Poet’s Way Community.

    Submit your photo, your poem and a little story about how/why this poem speaks to you (carolyn@thepoetsway.com). Live.