Thursday, December 19, 2013

What I Pray

He had both hands covering his face, just the curls of his brown hair peeking out from around and below his thumbs. I was looking at a black and white picture in the newspaper, and I was transfixed. There were no words with the photo, but I heard a thousand things. A teenage boy, his face tilted up toward something, maybe away? I was small then, around four, and I asked my sister about him and she told me he was standing near to where his father had just been killed.

That photo haunts me still. I remember it, and I feel the weight of his ache, right in the pit of my stomach. When I hear that someone has lost a person vital to their life, I imagine a 50 pound brick being tied to their heart, and then the world tells them go on, just keep going, one foot in front of the other. 

That's how you do it. Keep telling yourself, one foot, now pick up the other foot.

At night, I pray, for all those with loss in their lives, because there is a universal wish we have for each other, to take away the pain. The holidays, the months of November and December, make the missing of those we lost into such an inescapable void, that to one foot in front of the other keep going... how? Life now? Live? As if nothing has changed.

I pray at night for them, for treasured memories to surface and bring peace, for sweet snippets of time together to lull their eyes into such heaviness that in their sleep, their hearts are made light by tender visits in their dreams from those they love. I lay in the quiet, my hands on my pounding heart and I pray for hope, that they see the ones they miss being happy now, at rest, giving them reassurance in their gentle way, It's all going to be okay. I'm okay.

And when that middle of the too dark night comes and sits on their chest, when with eyes wide open, we stare out and only see the blackness, so pitch it disorients... I pray the hardest. For those moments that invite despair, I pray. For a light, just a small ray, to show them where they are, to feel a balance of their place again.

I pray for all of us with loss, that we recognize light, and see it. We just need a bit, something to shine even if it is just a pinpoint, to help us know where to look. I pray this every night, 24 hours apart, just 24 hours at a time, for them, for us, to make it through the hard work of life now, without them.

For the broken-hearted I pray, for one more day we manage here without them. So that day by day, there is family, friends, community, to remind them of life and joy, in places forgotten. I pray that when it is we who are in the lives of others, we hand them brick by brick, what they need to slowly rebuild.

Because a life that's been leveled is never simply just put back together. It has to be reconstructed. And that's too big a job, to be done alone.

My mother, this past August, at the lake with my son, Xavier

Written, with my nephew, Tomas Garrett, and my mother, Leonor Rosas, in my heart. We are missing you beyond words this year. 

* * *


  1. So so many shall pray this for you, with love.

  2. Dear Alexandra, one of the gifts this year brought me was your writing. We seem to be so often in similar places. Thought you might like this one from me:

    Wishing you a peaceful holiday, with memories that bring more smiles than tears. Not that tears are bad, but, you know.

  3. Praying for that same light for the many people and many aching souls who'll have one less person celebrating with them -- including you, Alexandra.

  4. Once again you speak to me, to my heart
    And even in my darkest days, my saddest moments I know I'm not alone because of you.

    I feel so very blessed to share this space in our hearts together this year. Thank you for all the comfort and love you are offering like Gifts of the Magi to me this year dear, sweet, beautiful friend. Xoxo

    Know I am thinking of you and holding you in my heart.

  5. Beautiful my friend. Thank you for being a light to me and allowing me to be a light to you. xo

  6. Thank you, everyone. If you read between the lines, you can see how very grateful I am for the community I've found here. This grief would have been so very lonely, without all of you to read the words that poured out of my heart. I appreciate you so much. Have a wonderful holiday, and thank you, again.

  7. So good. Your words bring comfort to me, and I know so many others. Thank you. xo

  8. Dear Alexandra. I am praying with you. Your words have comforted me today as I face the anniversary of the loss of a dear friend of mine on last Christmas day. This has been a year of great loss for you, but through all of it you have shined a light, pointing in the way we should all go, with your words and your grace.

  9. Love and hugs, Alexandra. I've been away a long time and I've missed you!

  10. Oh, Alexandra. I'm thinking of you, always, and am always here for you. xo

  11. Thinking of you Alexandra. This was lovely.

  12. Wishing you love and happy memories this holiday.

  13. Love to you, Alexandra, you've been in my heart. I know grief is a doubly heavy burden during joyful celebration. I hope your mom finds a way to show you how much joy your life still brings her.

  14. I'm thinking of you always, especially this time of the year. xo

  15. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. I love you, your heart,your depth, your compassion.

    I wish for you to find the joy in happy memories this Christmas - to be able to more than bear it, but also to live it.

  17. Thank you so much, everyone. This season is a tough one, as my youngest said to me this morning, "I just get so mad that she's not here anymore." I know. To everyone with loss, I pray there is someone/ someones, in your life, to lighten your heavy hearts. Happy holidays, thank you so much, for coming into my life.

  18. I'm not sure if my last comment went through so forgive me for any duplicates.

    I am sending thoughts, prayers, peace, and comfort your way this holiday season, Alexandra. I know this holiday season will be particularly difficult for you and I want you to know that I hear and I am here.

    So much love to you, sweet girl. XOXO

  19. It's a gift you have, dear Empress. Your words offer so much more comfort than you know.



Related Posts with Thumbnails