Sweetness Softens Bitterness: #SoCS  and #atozchallenge Day 19 (belated)

Death Inside Sweetness

Life is sunlight which causes shadow

Life will always end in death

Death so often takes us unawares but

Death is a lifetime’s natural conclusion

Conclusion of the life of a family of four

Conclusion of that chapter but not the end

End only for the one who has passed on

End brings new beginnings for those who remain

Remain among the living to breath another day

Remain to carry forth the love he spoke and lived

Lived his love with action deed and affection

Lived with a purpose to spread joy and passion

Passion for flavors and for creating delicious dishes

Passion for his wife shown in so much more than kisses

Kisses bestowed generously when our children were small

Kisses shown more widely in the things he did and said

Said Will you marry me and I do and he certainly did

Said I love you often and showed it oftener still

Still hugging the son grown larger than him

Still moments broken by his joyful laughter

Laughter was what first brought us together

Laughter his own particular brand of magic

Magic that made music that lives in my soul

Magic that lingers on and brings sweetness

Sweetness that eases the pain of his loss

Sweetness that softens the bitter truth

Truth that his life is ended forever

Truth that we three must go it alone

Alone but yet not completely bereft

Alone but with a warm spirit within

Within the deepest grief hope exists

Within the coldest sorrow there is a warm glow

Glow of his sweetness and his love freely given

Glow in our lives as we share what he gave

Gave us himself for as long as he was able

Gave us a way to survive this loss with joy

Joy in the years when we were all here together

Joy in finding ways to eat dessert first

First thing our daughter did to remember him

First birthday of his when he wasn’t alive

Alive in a legacy of living life richly

Alive still in the things that matter

Matter to those whose lives his touched

Matter in the way we live life today

Today he is dead but we’re still living

Today a new chance to sprinkle the sweet

Sweet memory to dull the edges of grief

Sweet kindness to soften a hardened world




Although I don’t reference it as much now that my kids are teens and prefer much more privacy than they did when they were small, we live a very unconventional life, by modern American standards. We are radical unschoolers – and that fact had proven to be a wonderful asset to us all (including Jim, when he was still alive).


In part, \homeschooling allowed them a great deal of time with their dad while he was alive, and unschooling meant that both of their parents were aware of what fired the kids’ passions. It’s through their passions that they most readily engage in learning, and through them that they most easily discover other interests, branching outward, and, at the same time, becoming more refined and sophisticated as they grow.

This led to our relating with our kids not primarily through the roles of Mom and Dad, but as people. People older and generally more experienced than them – but not beyond learning from them, or seeing that they, too, are people, and not projects for us to “complete” by the time they reach the age of legal independence.

So, the kids knew Jim well – as a man, not just as their Dad. They knew his history, even the parts he wasn’t so proud of. And he knew them – well enough to bring an eight year old Lise a tool set – in a lavender bag, because she is the kind of girl who likes doing and fixing – and pretty things, too. And it wasn’t a cheap set – she still can use those tools at thirteen.

When I was a teen, I wasn’t at all sure my father loved me. My kids were filled up with Jim’s love, each in a flavor that suited them, and adds sweet memories to the bitterness of going through the rest of their lives without the big laughing man with the even bigger heart whom they called Dad.

Join us again on Monday, when we’ll explore truths….

Stroll over for more sumptuous S posts!

This is also my (belated) entry for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is “spoke” – with bonus points for not using it in the first line of the post.

Take a Swim in the SoCS waters!