Continuing on the grief journey, I’ve been thinking lately how important music and songs are to me. When I was a little girl, my Dad would often whistle. His favorite was a tune that provided the melody for the lyrics of a famous poem by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) called “Trees”. I copied it from Bartleby.com.
Photo: The 2nd Largest Cedar in the US, located on St. Simon’s Island, GA
I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Dad would often quote the words of the poem or sing them to the tune. I could only remember the first two lines when I started to think about it, so I posted it here to help me remember and to include it as part of my growing online memory collection. Sitting with these words, it fits that they would appeal so to Dad. He loved trees, music, word play, nature, God. I do too.
Connecting this way, to the memory of my Dad, seems to be part of the work of creating a new definition of my relationship with Dad. The relationship that continues in a different way in the absence of his physical, bodily presence.
I don’t usually watch the tv show “Bones”, but happened to see part of an episode last week. The lead male character was raised primarily by his grandfather and held a great deal of anger and disappointment at his father who had died when he was a boy. His grandfather shared with him a letter, written by his father, that expressed his feelings of love for his son and his regret that he wasn’t a better father. It was in a box that included many mementos of times they had shared. The lead male did have some happy memories of his father that were overshadowed by the pain of the lost and missing. The lead female, his partner in work and family, told him of a time theory that basically states that those wonderful, loving and happy times are still happening and continue to play out. They haven’t disappeared or ended, he need only to think of them and they will be relived and re-learned.
It is comforting to think that those true moments of love live on and are not lost when we, or our beloved, die. So play on, memories! Play on, songs! Play on, poems! With a sure and certain hope of the resurrection to life eternal.