Saturday, May 9, 2009


I've decided to revisit a post from earlier in the week
about the twin-suicides of two dear friends a few years
ago. My friend Linda Ana posted this comment:

I am grateful to Mary's brother Mark for allowing friends
and neighbors to cope with the tremendous loss
before the structurally-challenged home of our dear ones
is sold, demolished, replaced with a generic 3-story townhouse.

This afternoon Reilly and I walked down to Pat and Mary's
house, and I took a few photos. Peering in the windows,
it felt a little like we were violating a sacred space:
everything seemed to be as it was at the time
of Mary's death. Here's a view looking in the kitchen:

It was eerie, yet comforting at the same time.
Here's another view, of the kitchen bay window:

Outside was a reliquary of weather-worn treasures;
I was reminded of the holy wells of Ireland, where devotees
leave a memento/offering to the saint the well honors.
All that's missing in Pat & Mary's yard is a little running water
from a sacred source. Perhaps it's there, maybe I didn't
look closely enough. Or perhaps it's just underfoot,
a secret grotto, a cavern.

Maybe it lies beneath these purple sequins....

The gargoyles give no clues....

The birdhouses/feeders are all empty, and the ribbons
supporting this one (roofed with a license plate)
are long-faded:

Altars abounded, of varying inspirations:

This one, to the Goddess of Dairy,
was missing a plant in the clay pot,
although the tulip tree has left pink offerings....

Painted stones,

painted antelope skull,

...and chimes that sound for no one
but el sol.

A few more icons:

And a perpetually-slumbering beast:

There is a lifetime of images here --
my children grew up with the love and friendship
of Pat & Mary, and although their departure is still
sharp-edged, they are very much alive
in memory, and in artifact.

After Pat's memorial, my boys and I came home
and stripped all the rose petals from our five bushes,
gathered them in silver bowls, and carried them
down the street, where we strewed them in a path
from the street to Mary's door: coral, cheek-pink,

I'll leave you with this last photo, a few lines
tacked to the siding on Pat & Mary's house:


  1. How bittersweet and poignant to see these icons and offerings and the photos of the house. Somehow it seems important that these are preserved in you photographs.

    Even I - a stranger - can feel for them and mourn their passing.

  2. Thank-you, Patrice, for your thoughtful comment.

  3. Yes, thank you for these. They comfort me in an unspecified by strong way. I know this doesn't make sense. They make me think of the woman who died at Golden Gardens.

  4. RK: it does make sense. This is something we both get. Because we're poets? No. Because we're human. And because we pay attention.

  5. This is so wonderful. Such a special tribute to someone loved. I love the assortment of items that remind you of them, much like the Xmas story of the little boy's wooden box, full of personal treasure that he gave to the infant Jesus. That's what this reminds me of and it is so very lovely and touching!

  6. you can tell how religious I am.....but you know what I mean, right?

  7. Wow. What a beautiful and loving remembrance.

  8. So.


    Their lives were filled with beauty.

    They created beauty.


    Is beauty not enough?

    Love, C.

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