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What makes your heart start beating again?

the warmth and the weight of you
for Mozell : 2008–2016
the warmth and the weight of you
has stayed beside me
on the bed
the trail
the place you still occupy
the space still breathes of you
of your pawprint
imprinted on my heart            


I’ll be honest with you.

I’ve had a very rough week emotionally.

On Tuesday afternoon, my ex-husband sent a text – via a friend – to let me know that our dog had a tumor on his heart and only had a few days left. On Thursday evening, another friend let me know he had passed.

It’s been nearly six years since I last saw them.

Leaving my dog was one of the most painful aspects of leaving my marriage.

The truth is I had to make him dead to me in order to accept not taking him with me. I had to grieve the loss of him as if truly died the day I put my marriage to sleep while honoring his memory always. It was the only way I could cope.

This week, as he died all over again, I was flooded with great sorrow. Layers upon layers of grief. Memory upon memory. Everything came rushing back. Grief for what was, what wasn’t, what will never be. Grief for our other two dogs gone before. Grief for who we were and who we couldn’t be. Tears. More tears. And then even more. Cumulative, growing grief.

In an unexpected moment the gratitude began to flow. For all my dogs.

And for him.

And for who I have become.

Then forgiveness began to set in too as I began dedicating my meditation practice each morning to this dispersed and disembodied family of mine, connected still.

And each time I returned to my breath I noticed my heart beating again.

This is the secret, I thought. This is the great gift of life. In each moment we have the opportunity to die and to be reborn. 



the truth has been patiently walking beside me
periodically darting out in an attempt
to capture my attention
then today it just gently reached over
held my hand and gave it a squeeze
reminding me that i do want and need
and love

so this is what it feels like
to inhabit my body
a home familiar yet unrecognizable
breath hydrating the space
between flesh and bone

still flashes of the past hover
as film overlay on present day
haunting me with life before
and life unlived

i was a woman
with a husband
and a dog

it was a time
when water
didn’t behave
as water

how quickly spells are cast
and broken
but life going on without me
leaves me breathless
so i trust in the power
of restoration

seems i am always settling in
and then settling in
all over again
to the changing terrain below
the weather is coming for us
and it’s breathtaking

now loosening my grip
on what i desire
it draws toward me

what makes the heart
start beating again

balancing as i
settle in once more

living and breathing
on the other side
of letting go

wild and free


Are you ready to be fierce, wild and free? Tell me what makes your heart start beating again. I would love to hear.  Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

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