When Great Trees Fall

I came upon an article today from yahoo’s homepage entitled “The Way We Grieve Now”. It was talking about how Patrick Swayze’s wife sent him a text while she was boarding a plane. She said she figured either he got it somehow or whoever had the new number, if anyone, now felt like someone loved them. Either way, she figured it was a win-win situation. The article went on to discuss the different ways people deal/cope with the death of a loved one. I found it interesting. Then I looked at the comments and started reading them…I didn’t finish, I got to around #200-something. Of course the more I went on, people had comment more, and although when I first started there was around 400, by the time I got to 240, there was a total of 506 comments. For some reason I want to read them all. I’ll have to read more tomorrow. The comments were various people of various ages talking about different times when a loved one passed away. People left comments about people who died 30+ years ago or as recent as last month. Some people shared things they do/did like call a cell phone, keep a cell phone on so they can hear the person’s voice on a voicemail, wear their clothes, blog, visit the grave, keep the room the same, keep the car or other belongings, etc. etc. Some people spoke about how no matter how much time passes, it doesn’t necessarily get easier, you just kinda learn to live with it. Others said it’s exactly the same as the day it happened….still others said they don’t feel like they can go on and nothing will make it better. Honestly that’s how I feel most times. But reading those makes me realize I’m not alone in the sense that I have people supporting me and also there are hundreds of people who have experienced/are experiencing the same thing. Which I knew, but…sometimes things get overwhelming. I don’t know. I was reading that and wanted to help everyone who felt like nothing had changed and would never changed. I guess it’s true that helping others kinda helps you help yourself. It’s a start I guess. I left a comment on the article too (in case anyone wants to read the article it’s here: http://www.shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/the-way-we-grieve-now-2389801/) and I thank everyone who commented…it’s probably helping someone even a little. And that counts for something.

 One person left this poem and I thought it was good/interesting and wanted to share. It’s called “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou: 

When Great Trees Fall
Maya Angelou


When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold


And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.



One thought on “When Great Trees Fall

  1. “…Our senses, restored, neverto be the same, whisper to us.They existed.  They existed.We can be.  Be and bebetter.  For they existed.”Hmmmm

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