Page 16 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 16

The late Darcie Sims wrote hundreds of articles over the years on grief and
loss which have been extremely popular and shared in hundreds of TCF
publications. We Need Not Walk Alone is proud to honor her by featuring
selections of her work in a column titled “The Wisdom of Darcie Sims.”

The Wisdom of Darcie Sims

A Breath of Summer – Anytime

It’s summer and the air is warm upon my face. The sunlight         my eyes, all I can see is blackness. Will I forever be running
dances across the grass, casting tiny shadows of the dandelions    away from pain and emptiness?
that wave in the afternoon breeze. It’s nice here, sitting on the  A storm gathers across the sky. The smell of rain comes on
step, letting my mind wander, not really thinking of anything      the wind and I know I must seek shelter, both from the rain
much. It’s been a long time since I was able to just sit and       and from the grief that washes across me, day after day.
enjoy the gentle rhythms of a summer’s day.                        It cannot hurt this much forever! I cannot hide forever. I
Do you remember summer? Summer, that wonderful                     cannot keep running away. I want to find summer again!
reprieve from winter’s despair, was the season of innocence.       And so, I must find a way back to the joy. As I dash to
We ran through the meadows, without caring about                   the porch to seek safety from the rain, I know I must also
tomorrow. We chased rainbows after storms and sang                 find some way to embrace the pain of this grief in order
in the rain; chasing away whatever clouds appeared on              to release it whenever I am ready. Perhaps I can start by
our horizon. We picked berries and made lemonade and               learning to breathe. When we are hurting or in a hurry or
sugar cookies. Life was good and simple and gentle in the          under great stress, we grab at the air, pulling it in as fast as
summertime.                                                        we can. We swallow great gulps of air, inhaling and exhaling
Why isn’t it now? Why now, does light hurt my eyes and the         as quickly as possible. We never really quite fill our lungs
sun sear my soul? Why now, do I see the crabgrass and the          because we are gasping at the air. We are almost desperate
weeds instead of making fairy wreaths of the dandelions?           in our attempt to breathe.
Why does the storm cloud come and stay and where did               But here in the slowness of a summer’s rain, perhaps we can
the rainbows go? Has my vision grown cloudy? Has grief             learn to grow gentle in our breathing and in our despair, as
permeated even the summertime place in my memory?                  well. Breathing isn’t a big step in the grief process, but it is
Why can’t I remember the joy, the laughter, the games of           the most important one! Without breathing, nothing else
early evening and the recipe for popsicles? What happened          works. And since we are breathing, we might as well enjoy
to me? Did I forget the light because all I can remember is        its healing capabilities.
the darkness? Has grief stolen even the sunlight, leaving          So, as you sit on the step, or lie down in the grass, begin to
only shadows of sorrow? I didn’t know it would hurt this           become aware of your breathing. Notice how and when you
much in summer.                                                    take in air and how and when you release it. Do you grasp
I used to be able to imagine fairy castles and ice cream           at the air, grabbing at the air, trying to fill your lungs to
mountains, guarded by purple dragons and yellow birds.             capacity? Or do you merely “sip” at the air, allowing small
All I can envision now is the emptiness. Even when I close         amounts to slip past your lips? Perhaps breathing deeply

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