Finding Solace Over the Rainbow

Photo by Michael Carson

Photo by Michael Carson

I can’t imagine anything more painful than the death of a child.

I recently attended the funeral of a 30-year young man. I cried for Jason, for his Mom and Dad and for the possible loss I too could experience.

I know, even as time goes on, the grief that Jason’s parents feel will always be with them.  And although I don’t know them very well—Jason’s Dad worked with my husband– and I never met Jason, in some small way, their grief has become mine and it will always be with me too.

Perhaps that’s what funerals do. They bind you to those who are grieving and in making room for them, your heart grows bigger.

It would have been hard not to let in the pain of Jason’s parents.  They told stories about Jason that made everyone laugh and even, in this saddest of moments, their joy and amazement that they could have had such a son as Jason shone through. Thus we felt their loss.

We chuckled when we learned Jason jumped out of the school window to escape class.  And again, when Jason’s Dad told us about the time he locked himself in the school principal’s office, while simultaneously locking her out. It was only after 15 minutes of coaxing from his mother that Jason deigned to open the door.  I am still wondering what consequences he endured. He must have been a handful! Read More

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Come home to mama now!

Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright

I just heard, for the first time, Canadian-American singer songwriter Martha Wainwright’s beautiful and haunting rendition of her mother Kate McGarrigle’s song “Proserpina” and was knocked off my feet.

Martha Wainwright’s soaring voice expresses the pain, desperation and yearning of parents whose adult child has disappeared from their lives. The song could be about a homeless child, a drug-addled child out on a binge, an estranged child or simply a child who has chosen to live in another country.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

Proserpina! Proserpina!
Come home to mama, come home to mama
Proserpina! Proserpina!
Come home to mother, come home to mama now.

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