Fountain of Sorrow 9-9-12 (My nephew’s birthday)
The other day a friend posted a message about her August. Her daughter Katie (Kathryn) passed away 5 years ago, I believe on August 16th. So August was an intense month for her. I’m kind of glad that Kathryn’s passing was the same month as her birthday and Richards. That may seem weird but it will allow us not to be so focused on her death because we will have two special births to celebrate. It should ease the pain. My friend posted this below, she is referring to the month of August and the fun they had on vacation while this is the month of Katie’s passing.
Yet there was, running underneath all of the fun, a “fountain of sorrow.” It made me think of Jackson Browne’s song of the same name.
“I’m just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you In my lessons at love’s pain and heartache school Where if you feel too free and you need something to remind you There’s this loneliness springing up from your life Like a fountain from a pool
“Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light You’ve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight…
“You’ve had to hide sometimes but now you’re all right…
“You’ve had to struggle, you’ve had to fight To keep understanding and compassion in sight…” - Jackson Browne, Fountain of Sorrow
Gregg & I struggled “to keep understanding and compassion in sight” last month, with the anniversary of Katie’s passing and all of the emotions that come with it. We had some difficult – make that painful – conversations.
Those conversations and their aftermath left me thinking about Jackson Browne’s words describing a pool of sorrow, or an aquifer, running underneath the surface of our lives. This is how it seems, sometimes, since Katie’s passing; it certainly didn’t apply to us before that. We can go along just fine for quite a while (“now you’re all right”), and then, suddenly, “there’s this loneliness springing up from your life, like a fountain from a pool” – and it threatens to drown us, temporarily.
That is why the practice of gratitude is so vital to my survival now. Practicing gratitude helps me to reflect on my blessings, to become aware of them, to connect with God (the source of all goodness), and this lifts my heart. You could say that gratitude is a “fountain of light.” I have to practice it – it is not automatic; it is a pleasant discipline, but a discipline, nonetheless. The more I practice, the more natural (and easier) it becomes.
For me (Carol) there certainly is that “Fountain of Sorrow” and you just don’t know when it is going to spring up. It’s always there just below the surface. That loneliness is so strong and pulls so hard. It makes your heart ach so much. But sometimes I’m all right. I don’t think I have found that fountain of light. Maybe a glimpse now and then. And as for the understanding, it is definitely not there. I keep talking to God but I don’t feel that he answers. I believed so strongly that he was going to use Kathryn as an example of his great healing power but he didn’t. Today I told him that he let satin win. I can’t understand why he would allow satin to win. But he did. You see I just don’t have that understanding.
I also do what my friend does, I practice gratitude. It isn’t something that is automatic and even less automatic to someone who cannot understand why such a loving person was ripped from their lives at such a young age. I do have so many things to be grateful for but it is hard to think of those things when your loss is so great. But I do practice gratitude too. It is the thing that keeps me from completely falling apart. If I didn’t remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life I wouldn’t have much of a life. I also look around and see our beautiful Earth and all there is to enjoy. There are so many good things in this world and I have been blessed to have so many good people in my life. Life is Good. Kathryn knew it. She savored life and enjoyed it so much. She even made a poster that hangs in her room that says “Good Life”
There it is! She knew she had a good life. It was a beautiful life that she lived and made and shared with all of us. She was beautiful in every way.
Thursday I started to get real sick. Oh the joys of working with a bunch of kids and being confined to a room. I still went over to my friend’s house to help her set up for her Friday night bar-b-q. By time I got home I was beat. But remember I am trying to be a better friend.
On Friday I went to my friend’s bar-b-q. I got there kind of late because I was at work late. It was a nice little party but I didn’t stay very long. Being all stuffed up is not good or fun.
My Mom spent the night Friday night so we had a great morning Saturday just chatting. We certainly don’t get to do this enough.
I was supposed to go to the Pediatric Ride for Kids on Sunday. I was still not feeling great and needed to sleep in so I didn’t go. I feel bad because I know they made Panda patches for their motorcycle jackets and they were going to give us some. I’m sure Christine will get some for us. They also make poster as you drive into the event of the kids. They were going to have one of Kathryn this year. Just think, last year at this event I spoke and told the crowd that Kathryn told me to tell them that she was doing great and at college just being a normal college kid. They all clapped, laughed and smiled. I kind of feel bad for missing the event but I did really need to get well before a full week of school.
The long Island Medium is on tonight and I plan on watching it. So I need to go.
May you all remember all of the good things you have and be grateful for.