- 58 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 5, 1957
- Date of passing: Mar 23, 2015
|More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.|
Poppy-girl spies a child's kite with a string tie, Pulls it in with her teeth, Hops aboard its painted cloud, Golden sun and blue sky;
Rides it all the way home. No more desire to roam -- No more leader of the pack of wolves, just a pup coming home, No more ghosts -- "Mommy, Daddy... I'm home!"
(from a poem Carol wrote following a serious illness in early 2014)
"my empty heart aches
for a whisper
of your breath -
for the never-ending music
of your laughter -
for the sweet delicate curves
of your imagination -
for the child-like innocence
of your dreams -
You changed my world forever, Carol.
I miss you more than words can tell."
"Today's a Holy Day for me, Carol. Sixty years ago today you came screaming, innocent, wide-eyed and curious into the world. And changed it for the better - with your unique blend of kindness and wise, caring counsel. With your fierce dedication to those you love. With your courage and determination to fight for what's right no matter the odds. With your unique and hauntingly beautiful poetic voice and vision.
You are my hero, my teacher, my guru, my warrior princess, my silly girl, my one-and-only, my soul mate, my sex goddess, my muse, the mother of my son and of my resurrection, Tribble's eternal fountain of happiness, my eternal fountain of happiness, my reason for rising each morning, my better half, the icing on my cake, reflecting everything that's good and hopeful about the world.
On this day of celebrating your life, I'm focusing on the wonders of who you are and what makes you you. I'm so thankful our paths crossed all those years ago when we knew, right away without a shred of doubt, we were meant for each other.
I so wish I had videotaped you reading your poetry and singing songs you created on the guitar (without knowing a single chord - you played as you lived "Outside the Box" ! : ). In our days of "wine coolers & roses" we were magical. Everything we touched turned to love. Everything we said and did inspired laughter, creativity, and happiness in each other.
I didn't need Caribbean cruises to "make good memories". The early days of our love secured those - enough to last a lifetime and beyond.
Happy Birthday, my princess, forever smiling in my heart."
"BEST DREAM EVER
Someone's at the door wanting something, and there's a kid with no diapers. Outside a man with a stern face is looking down at me from a balcony three or four stories up. Someone says my forehead feels hot, but she must be thinking of someone else.
I go outside and walk a few steps down a dirt path, and when I glance back I see the most beautiful sight - Carol standing on the back porch smiling her big happy radiant smile at me. I run to her and give her the biggest, tightest, most wonderful hug ever!
There's a beautiful musical tone playing, ringing out triumphantly, unchanging at first. Then gradually the tone gets higher and higher.
I don't want this hug, this rendezvous with love to end. It is so perfect and so sublime. It can only end in sadness, as it does when I wake up. Disappointed, but also rejuvenated and reinvigorated by the night visitor I miss so much every day.
"A short, sweet remembrance of Carol
ALL THE GOOD TIMES -
etched in my soul
"THE BLACK-GLOVED HAND OF DARKNESS WRESTLES
STARLIGHT FROM MY EYES
Look how it pulls me under
a canopy of midnight velvet --
ripples subconscious tremors
into swirling quakes
like the current of the mighty Styx.
And this borderland
between the fluid and the fixed
is where I both march and swim
to the dizzy sway
of pounding rhythm, crazy cadence
heart rate spun arrhythmic.
The eyes snap open like Venetian blinds
startling me with deluge of light --
light, blessed light.
His hands unfold from silent prayers.
His fingers clasp mine and I am back
delivered by faith airborne
on wings of love daring Heaven's flight.
And we are both pods
of frankincense, fragrant
without the ritual burning.
--Carol Dee Crawford
"Open letter to my one true love, on remembering some of the happiest times of my life..
Laughing at Tribble's early morning exuberance at seeing her Mommy has woken up and is coming down the stairs.
You making funny faces for me at Olive Garden.
Singing Dylan songs together.
Tennis, tanning booth, and oo-la-la!
Enjoying Josh's visits when he first started coming over.
Our times at the wave pool.
Buying our VW Passat together.
The hundreds of love letters and notes we wrote each other in the early days.
The James Wright Poetry festivals we loved so much.
Our road trip to NYC in '87.
Your collaboration with the First Lady of Pittsburgh women poets , Sue Saniel Elkind.
The beautiful songs you wrote.
The wonderful poetry you wrote.
Your kind and loving heart.
Finding a slice of pizza in your purse on the way to Charleen's in Akron : ) My mom couldn't stop laughing!
Our times at Burr Oak Resort.
The time we took Charlie camping.
The time you cooled me off while camping with a sponge bath.
Your immense generosity.
That blizzard in March one year when you prepared a delicious feast for me at your house on Summit and I trudged through snow drifts on foot all the way over from Arlington Ave to join you.
Our first date at the release party for 5 A.M.
You were beyond beautiful with a flower in your long, blonde hair.
All those times you danced for me.
Our dress-up fancy dining experiences on our cruises.
Snorkeling in the Cayman Islands - with and without the stingrays.
Climbing the giant waterfall together in Jamaica.
Eating all the food we wanted on the cruise ships.
Seeing you enjoy yourself shopping.
Buying little gifts for you at Wal-Mart.
Your happiness at opening gifts at Christmas and other special occasions.
How you started to like our house and your room with the improvements we were making.
How you loved your new big TV.
I loved reading all those sci-fy stories to you from my little iPad.
Buying tons of Star-Trek books for you back when you were still reading books for yourself.
Recording Star-Trek episodes and bringing them to your place to watch (back when we both had VCRs).
How we used to cuddle.
How I used to give you long, sensual massages.
Scented KY lotion, our red ceiling light, and "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo.
Watching Saturday morning to see if our poems were published in the Herald-Star.
You cooking egg-white omelettes for us on Sunday morning while we listened to Elton John's first album.
The joy on your face when you first laid eyes on Tribble : )
Our hikes in the Pennsylvania forests that changed my life forever.
The wonderful stories you told of your backpacking experiences - rattlesnakes, Ospreys, and Grizzlies!
I was so proud of your work as a reporter and poetry editor for the East Liverpool newspaper.
The time you told Sue Elkind at the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop it was 90 degrees outside and you were keeping your drink no matter what
the library rules said!
The time Sue remarked about one of your beautiful nature poems, "Peristalsis? That's a bowel movement!"
Most of all I miss the security of having you in my life - as life partner, as soul mate - so we could always be there to help each other through any problem or difficulty, no matter how big or small.
I miss your touch, your voice, your smile, your laughter. I miss EVERYTHING about you!!
I miss telling you and hearing you tell me so many times every day, "I love you."
We said it so often, we sometimes accidenly said it at the same time which made us laugh.
Things weren't always perfect. We had disagreements and arguments. But we rarely if ever went to bed mad at each other. I always worried about too much stree and worry could cause seizures for you.
"I love you!" was shorthand for our pledge to each other:
"To pray every day
For the God who sent you here to me
To always be there for you."
I'm still praying, sweetheart : )"
"Another open letter to my sweet wife:
Many years ago, I wrote a love poem for you in which I made a promise. Not the best poem I ever wrote, technically, but undoubtedly the most important I will ever write. The poem was called "Promissory Note" ending with these all important lines:
I promise every day to pray
For the God who sent you here to me
To always be there for you.
I believe, in death, as in life, Carol, you are with God. Now I pray the God who sent you here to me, then took you back, will let you and me rejoin someday in the spiritual world.
I will continue to pray for God to be with you, and for me to join in too when the time is right. I wish you peace, joy, happiness and love! XOXO"
"Open letter to my true love, August 30, 2016:
I'm lying on a hospital bed this morning in Texas, Carol. Nothing serious, but something pretty new to me. A delay in the OR and suddenly I'm alone behind a plastic curtain with an IV at the ready down at the foot of the bed. So, of course, Carol, I think of you. All those hours you spent alone in hospital rooms. All those medical problems almost too numerous to keep track of. I let the memories of our journey wash over me, bringing tears to my eyes over and over and over again. You suffered and endured so much. And yet you always kept that beautiful sense of humor and that kind and loving heart open to all.
We didn't have parties, we didn't entertain or go out much, but we always made the best of what we had. I'm not ashamed to say some of my favorite memories with you involve trips to doctors' offices. We liked stopping at Dairy Queen on the way back from seeing Dr Kaza in East Liverpool. I always carried your drink in one hand and your pillow in the other going into offices. How I miss caring for you! And how about that time I took Tribble in to see your friend in Kaza's office and she got down and started running through the place and Dr Kaza just looked on perplexed : )
I don't ever want to forget the times we had together. We had a rich history of love, laughter, intellectual exchange, and family challenges. I regret some things I did and said, but have no regrets at all about having dedicated my life to you. I just wish we could be together again. Early on, when the grief was nearly unbearable, it almost served in a strange way as a stand-in for you. As time drags on, the memories are sweet as ever, but I miss you more each day.
Hoping at least a few of the prophets and visionaries were right about an afterlife, so we can be together again. Once a person has known true love and lost it, the world is a sad and lonely place. Rest in peace, sweetheart."
"It's been too hot here in Texas, Carol. The dogs and I stay indoors during most of the scorching hot days. We get out early for a nice walk and maybe a little splashing around in a creek, and then back inside till it starts to cool down in the evening.
Some women who congregate across the street to smoke a cigarette or to stop off and chat on their way walking their dogs, give Tribble and Tizzie a treat about every day. Tribble really looks forward to seeing Gloria especially. She's an 83-year-old Hispanic woman who gives Tribble lots of love. Tribble has learned to climb up on their picnic table and go from one person to the next asking for each person to give her a back rub. Everyone loves her and she knows it : )
A couple weeks back she started limping on her front right leg. Got her to the vet right away, got x-rays. No broken bones. Just sprained muscles. Had to take some medicine for pain and to slow her down and had to rest for 2 weeks. That was kind of hard, but we managed it. All better now.
It always makes me happy the next morning when I see you in my dreams, and then a little sad realizing it was JUST a dream.
I felt more connected to you when your friend, Sandy, and I were staying in contact, because she knows you and loves you for yourself as I do. She also kept me in line in terms of believing in the afterlife and all that promises us.
I believe in you and the near-death experiences you told me about more than "the truth" some supposed prophets spread around the deserts thousands of years ago.
You believe and I believe in you. In your fundamental goodness. I hope you see me in the same way. There were so many little things I could have done better. I hope you know I see you as my soul mate and hope you see me as yours."
"There's never a day, Carol, when I don't think of you and miss you. Sunday is the one day each week I try to set some time aside to really honor your memory and grieve wholeheartedly.
When you died in your bed that cursed Monday morning, I felt my life was truly over. You had been MY PURPOSE for living for so long, I didn't know how to go on living. I knew your second story bedroom window wasn't high enough off the ground to afford me the opportunity to join you immediately in death AND furthermore I had responsibilities: 1) to officially honor your memory as the wonderful person you were and are, and 2) to be there for our "daughter" Tribble who we both love so much.
We had a beautiful service for you. Even played "Unfinished Life" by Kate Wolfe at the end. And Tribble is doing well, going to be 7 in September. So, for now, we're good. Just the dogs and me here. We have my sister, Francine, closeby. Charlie's coming to visit after Thankgiving. It's the dogs, Francine, and friends here where we live who also have dogs that keep me going.
I'm not interested in having a romantic relationship. Too old. Just want to see my one true love again when this life's over, whenever and however that comes."
"The memories are sweet as ever, Carol,
...but, as time passes, I feel more and more apart from you. In the early days, I was convinced by the power of my grief that you could hear me - that you were with Tribble and me in our long walks in the forest. Here in Austin, it's hard to find a forest to walk in. But there is one place I found that has a nice trail through a few acres of tall, slender trees. The dogs love it. And I always think of nothing but you (and taking pictures) when I'm there.
Today it occurred to me that if there is an afterlife, and if that afterlife is anything like what we've been taught, then you have no reason to obsess over me. All your pain and struggles are gone. You are in the company of many departed loved ones - friends and relatives. No wonder we have spiritualists here to "dial in" to people on the other side : ) You're busy.
Until you died, I didn't care one way or another about an afterlife. Now, for both our sakes, I hope there is one. And because of that hope, I must believe you are either, at best, alive on the other side, or, at worst, your wonderful, unique spirit lives on in the memory of those who love you.
Sandy has told me this over and over, but just today in our walk in the woods with the tall, skinny trees did I come to realize you are, either way, okay.
It wasn't the ending we planned or wanted, but it's okay. My love for you will never stop until I die, and if there is an afterlife, will truly go on forever."
"Love this poet and this love poem.
Don't Go Far Off
Don't go far off, even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.
Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.
Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,
because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here dying?
"Another of Carol's poems. This one from 1989.
O how I laughed
as we danced
the crater of
black beyond midnight
held our names.
then one of us cried,
wept tears of
blood, and the man
in the moon
gazed on, sleepy-eyed
and cool, cool,
alley-cat cool and then
you were gone.
I tried to ring you at
condo where we used to
in the pool together.
no answer... I nearly
that night at the crater.
Dawn finds my
fingers tracing concrete
etchings-- you have
a new number now forever.
-Carol D. Crawford"
"Sometimes when I’m half awake and sometimes in dreams I hear Carol call my name. Carol says "Dan" like no one before or since. It carries a train load of promises, expectations, memories, disappointments, and the knowledge that my ear is always listening for her, always ready to try to make things a little better for my better half. I’ll carry the beautiful sound of her sweet voice to the end of my days."
"Found a poem Carol wrote while living on N. 4th Street in Toronto - after leaving Jeff and before meeting me. The indomitable spirit I fell in love with : )
What The Linen-Peach Whispers
The old green walls peekin' through
the linen-peach paint
remind me of my life.
The grease-stained green
shows only at the edges, the untrimmed
part starin' hard into my eyes.
O yes, I hear it calling me -- that old
garish green, saying,
"You ain't nuthin.
You ain't no one, bitch,
but come fer a taste of
this fist. Then, you'll
be sumpthin, all right."
God, how I hated those fists and that
awful creepy feelin' of being
nuthin' swallowing me like the mouth
The linen-peach, on the other hand, tells
me I'm beautiful -- not too
brazen or too soft, but just the right
shade -- a shade whose fibers
dance exotically like art.
O God, I want to be
a dance of art, but
the green's still
there -- just at the
edges where I fall
and -- heart firing
like a shotgun, I cry.
I scream, but no one hears me. No one
ever really hears me...
Please God, don't let him hurt me today.
Make the pain stop.
"And you ain't
nuthin' and you
ain't nuthin' and..."
I am sumpthin! I AM The old ways
the new ways,
on which days come which? I don't know,
Forward and backward, I yo-yo until
I can see my way clear
to the linen-peach. But I can't get
rid of the green
if I don't take the time to trim
I want to move on to the new me,
not too brazen
or too soft, but just right.
I've earned my new
colors. I've earned
them and it isn't
logical or sensible
in any way that I've
chosen this moment
to display them...
Beauty serves no logic, but rather,
transcends even as I transcend the
green. I need to feel the hearthen
hue of a fireplace
glowin', heat warmin' the shivers,
it's a good piece of ground I chose
to build on.
This time, it won't
fall in because this
time I'll seal those
green edges for good.
I am beautiful. I am
worthy. I am sumpthin'
and I deserve to wear
my colors I've worked
so hard for.
That's what the linen-peach whispers
and it helps me stare
hard back into the green edges
of a sick man's abuse -- into a future
where the old times
don't hurt like they used to. I know
the value of myself now
and I dance exotically like art, see?
I'm just the right
shade, not too brazen,
not too soft...and
there isn't any green
edge ever going to
stand in my way again!
-Carol D. Crawford"
"Heard a song on the radio today that reminded me so much of my sweet and wonderful Carol : )
(lyrics by Bill Monroe)
BODY AND SOUL
See that train coming round the bend,
Carrying the one that I love
Her beautiful body is still here on earth,
But her soul has been called up above.
Body and Soul, Body and Soul
That's how she loved me, with Body and Soul
Her beautiful hair was the purest of gold,
Her eyes were as blue as the sea,
Her lips were the color of summer's red rose,
And she promised she would always love me
Tomorrow as the sun sinks low
The shadows will cover her face
As her last sun goes down, she's laid beneath the ground
And my teardrops are falling like rain."
"A poem Carol wrote before I met her - for her uncle..
He was a second father, an uncle,
He was a ride on the back of a
the thrill of the wind slapping
the laughter that echoed from a
summer day's ride.
He was a trip to the local doughnut
the eyes that watched as mine fell
chocolate-covered, lemon-filled, and
doughnuts, and he was...the sweetness
of them all.
He was Chiller Theater late at night,
that made you chuckle even as you were
by giant Japanese monsters...
He was that country guitar player that
want to tap your feet,
and that melodic
voice that made you want to listen!
He was a second father, an uncle,
and it was the child in him which never
that kept the child in me alive!
"Found another poem Carol & I wrote together (in December '91) just fooling around:
DINING AT ELBY'S - THE BIG BOY
Dishes clink and shuffle
in a room we don't see
Everyone not eating
has something to say--
Some fat guy, white hair--
yelling out the details
of his operation
Waitresses fly by
dressed like Santa's elves
It's high-class eatin'
for high-class folk
Except the woman
across the aisle
who eats like a pig
Not everyone can have our
style, our superior wit
Not everyone refuses meat
Not everyone has our taste!
In the margin of the paper Carol wrote-
Q: "How do you know when 2 poets are close?"
A: "When their poems sleep together in the same book.""
"Sweet Memories with Carol - Finding the Good in People -
--Sharing all my poetry with Carol, which is the same as completely opening up my life, scars and all, to her - unlike I’d done before with anyone - and feeling unconditional acceptance. Even felt comfortable sharing with her a bunch of “crappy" old (experimental) poems no one had seen before. Something I always loved about Carol was she could always find the “good” in everything. An attractive woman was “gorgeous". An ordinary woman was “beautiful". Anything I ever shared with her she found something positive in. This isn't to say she didn't have the ability to be critical. Carol’s insight and intelligence never ceased to amaze me. I loved that about her. But I also loved her tendency to see the good in people - to see their value. I never heard her say a negative word about anything I ever wrote or played on guitar. I guess that’s what love is - appreciating the art (or anything really associated with a person) because that thing's been created by the person you truly and deeply love. I felt the same way about her poetry and songs. I loved the poet so much I couldn't help but love something about each and every creative thing she did.
--Early on in our relationship we wrote lots of love notes back and forth. Being on different schedules, we rarely went to bed at the same time. So, I would wake up to a note and I’d leave one for her. I still have hundreds of them. We were genuinely infatuated with each other. The happiest time of my life. I was working. Carol was in college. My son was in junior high. We had a buff-colored cocker spaniel named Chloe and a little black mongrel named Max. Carol never forgot about the time she returned from the upstairs bathroom to find Max had gotten up on the couch and scarfed down the cheeseburger she was so looking forward to eating.
-to be continued"
"Sweet Memories with Carol - First Dates -
--First date to launch party for poetry journal 5AM at City Lights Bookstore on Pittsburgh's South Side. Carol was stunningly beautiful. I thought the flower in her hair was a bit much, but she looked spectacular! Other than the rudeness of Michael Wurster, we had a perfect evening (in hindsight, I should’ve bought TWO copies of the magazine).
--Our trip together to NYC in my Chevette to visit my sister Fran & her boyfriend, Patrick, in the fall of 1987. During the long drive across Pennsylvania, Carol told me everything about her life and her family and then said, "Ok, your turn. What’s your story?” I said I didn't have one. She said, “everyone has a story.” Her story was amazing, terrifying, inspirational, and funny. She'd been through so much as a child and as a young wife. Nearly broken by it all, she always came back stronger and more determined, prompting her mom to call her the Jack-in-the-box. She was going to transcend victim-hood to make something truly amazing of her life.
-to be continued"
"I have started to write down all the good memories I have of Carol, and will begin sharing some of them here.
For now, I just want to a share a very short poem by a poet I know Carol liked. It's related to something I've been thinking about a lot today. Where does the spirit - everything that made them who they were to us - where does the spirit go?
While still in the cage of your being
behold the spirit bird before it flies away.
"I love you, Carol, more now than ever. Tribble, our daughter, is doing fine. Everyone loves her. People are always surprised to learn she's over seven years old. She still has the playful exuberance of a puppy. We take a lot of long walks together in local parks. She's fun to be with when she's exploring the trails. She's having a good life. I'm just taking things one day at a time. Working on my photography and guitar playing to keep busy.
I'm so sorry you had some type of medical emergency with me just in the next room. Don't know if your crisis occurred while I was sleeping, or while I was going to McDonald's and walking the dogs. The question has haunted me every day since you died.
I thought they released you from the hospital too soon, but once they brought it up with you, I knew you would want to leave as soon as possible.
I don't know what went wrong. Don't know whose fault it was. Didn't want doctors tearing into your body for an autopsy for cause of death, because it wouldn't bring you back and I knew you wanted your body intact for the afterlife. The coroner I spoke with said there probably would not have been a definite cause of death - more like "possible blood clot".
It's been the saddest year of my life, Carol. Sometimes I have a good day walking with Tribble on a spring day under a blue sky. Then I wish the two of us could both be here in Austin to enjoy a beautiful day together. I'll never be as happy as we were back in the early days when we played tennis together up in Toronto. That will have to wait for the afterlife.
I never stopped loving you and I hope the same is true for you. Tribble connects me to you. You and Tribble are my forever girls. Don't forget us. We love you bunches!"
by Charlie Bukowski
225 days under grass
and you know more than I.
they have long taken your blood,
you are a dry stick in a basket.
is this how it works?
in this room
the hours of love
still make shadows.
when you left
you took almost
I kneel in the nights
that will not let me be.
what you were
will not happen again.
the tigers have found me
and I do not care."
"Walking in the park today with Tribble, Carol, the spring weather and clear blue sky made me think of our best days - back around 1988 up in Toronto, playing tennis together. And I remembered how I felt standing across the net from you thinking how, in you, I have everything I want and need. I felt truly blessed and I thanked God. It was heaven. I couldn't have been happier.
And today I thought how much I wish I could bring that happy, confident, ambitious, creative, compassionate soul to me here where I'm hiking and photographing trees, flowers, landscapes - things you were passionate about. It’s your laughter and intelligence, your companionship and support I miss. Wish you could be here with better health so we could stroll through the hiking trails with Trible, wade in the pools, go watch live music together, sing Bob Dylan songs together again.
But the fact that you did make my life seem perfect for a while is the reason I have loved you to the bottom of my soul ever since. No one can have everything forever, but eternal love is the next best thing.
There’s an English poet on Facebook who writes some beautiful poems. I told him some work for me as love poems for someone I miss every day. He said he has someone right beside him who's slipping away. When people love each other, “goodbye” doesn't help the survivor much. Still wish we had had the chance ourselves, but I know our love endures.
Here is Peter Foster's untitled poem
The quieter it gets
The more the silence
When less is said
The greater the meaning.
The softer the touch
The greater the impact
When the moment is gone
And only the itch remains
To bring attention
To its absence.
The longer the wait
For pain to subside
The deeper the wound.
And no matter
Is the disconnect
I love you
"A Bob Dylan song Carol & I used to sing together years ago with me strumming the chords. Beautiful, simple melody and great love poem we both loved..
LOVE MINUS ZERO/NO LIMIT
My love, she speaks like silence
Without ideals or violence
She doesn't have to say she's faithful
Yet she's true like ice, like fire
People carry roses
And make promises by the hour
My love she laughs like the flowers
Valentines can't buy her
In the dime stores and bus stations
People talk of situations
Read books, repeat quotations
Draw conclusions on the wall
Some speak of the future
My love, she speaks softly
She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all
The cloak and dagger dangles
Madams light the candles
In ceremonies of the horsemen
Even the pawn must hold a grudge
Statues made of matchsticks
Crumble into one another
My love winks she does not bother
She knows too much to argue or to judge
The bridge at midnight trembles
The country doctor rambles
Bankers' nieces seek perfection
Expecting all the gifts that wise men bring
The wind howls like a hammer
The night wind blows cold n' rainy
My love, she's like some raven
At my window with a broken wing"
"Before Ziggy died yesterday, Carol, I asked her to give Mommy a kiss for Tribble and me when she meets you "on the other side". She was always the "bastard child" to you, but to me, she was, like you, the underdog, the neglected and abused. As with you, I wanted to make all her troubles go away. She and Tribble hiked many miles in the forests of PA, OH, and WV with me after you passed. It was a healing exercise for me - where I felt closer to you. And the dogs loved every minute of it.
Ziggy had been gradually slowing down, and I was carrying her more and more, which I didn't mind, light as she was. In the end I wanted to end her suffering, but I've been crying all day about her. It's like losing you all over again. I know she's just a dog, but Tribble and Ziggy are what have kept me going. Ziggy was like my sick little baby I couldn't save.
Ziggy's death at the vet's, with her dying in my arms, taught me something. Death IS "mighty and dreadful" no matter how it comes - whether predictably like my mom, violently like my father, suddenly and unexpectedly like you, or by merciful request like (mine for) Ziggy.
Being able to say goodbye to a dog and hold her featherlight head in the palm of my hand didn't take the sting out any more than your passing unexpectedly with no chance for goodbyes. Of course, she was barely conscious and she is a dog, but it's all I have to work with...
I'm going to add some memories here about Ziggy, before time causes them to fade. When our neighbor asked if Ziggy was our dog - Ziggy was just sitting scared and half-starved in the neighbor's yard - I had to go over to take a look. Of course, I knew it wasn't Tribble.
Ziggy's hair was a mess. She looked mangy. Her left eye was all cloudy. I suspected she would bite if I tried to touch her, but when she didn't object to my touch, I picked her up. I brought her home to show her to you and Tribble. Don't recall Tribble's initial reaction. Don't think you were very impressed with her, but you did feel bad for her.
I took her around to the neighbors to see if anyone knew who she belonged to. No one did. So I took her to the pound with the intention of leaving her there. I could tell from what was said and not said that I was her only hope.
She ate like she hadn't had a decent meal in months. She gained weight and her coat improved immensely after a few weeks.
You got mad at her a couple times for threatening Tribble. She definitely had an alpha dog personality. When I played "tug of war" with Tribble, Ziggy would bark like she wanted to play too, but "tug of war" really isn't a game for three, and anyway Ziggy didn't have enough teeth to dig into a toy.
When Mr Buckmaster, the plumber, played with the dogs, you said you'd never seen Ziggy have so much fun : ) That's the great thing about "rescue dogs" - seeing them enjoy a second chance to be happy. But it also made her demise so hard to watch.
After you passed and I would occasionally leave both dogs at the house, or less often, leave Ziggy at the house alone, her reaction upon my return was always to bark like crazy! I think you witnessed some of that. It was the one way in which Ziggy let us know how important we were to her.
While Tribble wiggled her butt, wagged her tail wildly, and jumped for joy, Ziggy just barked a funny bark that said both "why did you leave?" and "so glad you're back!""
"I remember magical moments like these..
It is heavenly,
With you sleeping
At my side,
Your pale skin
Cool to the touch,
Slow and easy,
The bed an oasis
Of peace and tranquillity.
Even a car alarm
Barely breaks the spell.
I glance toward
The orchid flowering
On the dressing table,
A broad leaf,
Resting across your
Old teddy’s tummy
And through the foliage
The sky is on fire.
Streaks of red,
Pink and gold,
It is a moment
A small window
And I lean across
To kiss your head.
For a small piece of heaven
On a sunny day.
"Happy Birthday week Carol. I'm sure you are up in heaven having a big party.
"CAROL D. PILKINGTON born February 5, 1957
You would have been 59 today, Carol. But who can say? You have the wisdom of a sage, the timeless beauty of a goddess, and a soul as ancient as the stars.
You ARE 59 today. You are every age and no age. You are every woman and the absence of woman whose laughter still makes me smile.
For most of my life, you were my life, and you are my life still. I will sit in a cemetery today to be closer to you. Tribble will frolic and I will cry. We didn't spend enough time holding each other. Tribble always wanted in on the action. Jellyfish!
Nothing compares 2 U : ) That song is so true. You were my missing part and I will be forever incomplete without you.
Rest in peace... or rock on - it's YOUR DAY!
Love forever and ever,
"Beautiful words of hope for the living..
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
-Khalil Gibran (from "On Death")"
"Once, Carol, from your bed in the IC unit at Weirton Mecical Center, after explaining in your half-awake state how your mother and father had both taught you important life lessons and that you loved them both, you said, "For God's sake, who haven't I loved?"
I thought of that moment when I read this poem today about a dog enjoying a romp in snow. It reminded me of Tribble's love of snow, and how my love for both of you was so rewarding when I saw you both happy. You made sure Tribble had booties to keep her feet warm which made her snow romps all the more fun. I know she misses you too. Like you, she loves everyone, and is a happy girl as long as there are people and dogs around and interesting new places to sniff out. The only thing missing in our lives is you.
Now through the white orchard my little dog
romps, breaking the new snow
with wild feet.
Running here running there, excited,
hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins
until the white snow is written upon
in large, exuberant letters,
a long sentence, expressing
the pleasures of the body in this world.
Oh, I could not have said it better
"I hate starting a new year without you, Carol, like I've hated starting most days since you’ve been gone. Tribble, our "love child", makes friends everywhere she goes. She insists people love her and they do. Ziggy mostly sleeps and barks when she's hungry or needs to go out. I’m more like Ziggy.
We’re trying to make the most out of life without you because we have no choice. You had no choice. In this world where all the answers are to trivial questions only and the future is never known, all I know for sure is your soul is too beautiful to die. It must live on. I will never stop loving you, my soul mate, unless it turns out I have no soul. In which case the time we had together is all the more precious.
So, beautiful soul, if you’re waiting, don't give up, life here is short. I’ll be along soon. You and Sandy and her brother and I will have a drink together soon. Beer, Marguerita, Coffee Liquor, whatever you want. There'll be no stress, no pain, no jealousy, no conflict. Just the peace and love we sampled together in this life to be our everlasting norm. Whatever it means where you are, Happy New Years, my sweet girl, until we meet again.
-Dan : )"
"This was posted on Facbook today by someone I know only by name and this poem..
How do people cope
When the wild wind blows,
Sweeping all before it,
Scouring the earth,
Laying waste to man’s
Carefully crafted plans.
The tallest trees,
The youngest saplings,
Tearing lives apart.
How do hearts broken
Find new rhythms,
Until the extra ordinary
Are the souvenirs
Mementoes of before
And they lie together
In deep salt lakes
Waiting to flow,
When the winds
Begin to blow
"I tried to be your protector
Stayed up late till you went to bed
Got up early when you woke up
Didn't stray too far from home
Always aware of your needs
Never dreamed you'd die in your sleep
My beautiful angel
The most peaceful way to go
If you had to go..
But when I think of good times--
That night at Olive Garden
With my "tour of northern Italy"
Recommended by our wonderful waitress
Our coffee liquors chosen by you
And you making funny faces
That cracked me up
I have those memories
And many others
To replay over and over
Until I die
Hopefully to join you again
On the other side"
"Carol, I love you
& miss you
miss finding things
to make you laugh & smile
to find joy in life
your happiness was the air
so you might
adapting as needed
assuming we would
keep each other going
for decades to come
I am left the impossible half
once vibrant and alive
not quite dead
but never to know joy again
the joy in your touch
until and unless
we meet again
I am the ghost of a happy man
who will never
stop searching for
praying for &
"A poem I wrote for Carol over twenty years ago..
PIONEER WOMAN OF THE INNER WORLD
Driving your covered wagon
through the snow,
Making peace with the natives,
naturally sharing the land,
the air, the water.
Feeling the joy of miles and miles
Picking the spot for your cabin
there on the shady hill
overlooking the river...
Your garden will go there,
your flowers here
in this place next to heaven
where you tame wild animals
with your eyes...
This wonderful wilderness you share
with everything that lives...
The joy you find in helping others,
with their gardens, their cabins,
Angel of gentleness and love,
this is your home!
"I find a comforting message in this poem..
A PARABLE OF IMMORTALITY
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
" There she goes! "
Gone from my sight . . . that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
" There she goes! "
there are other eyes watching her coming . . .
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . .
" Here she comes! "
--Henry Van Dyke"
"Carol loved the forest, and now it's my favorite place to find peace and happiness. Just as the forest and Tribble connect me to Carol, so does this poet, Mary Oliver..
About Angels and About Trees
Where do angels
fly in the firmament,
and how many can dance
on the head of a pin?
Well, I don’t care
about that pin dance,
what I know is that
they rest, sometimes,
in the tops of the trees
and you can see them,
or almost see them,
or, anyway, think: what a
I have lost as you and
others have possibly lost a
and wonder, where are they now?
The trees, anyway, are
miraculous, full of
angels (ideas); even
empty they are a
good place to look, to put
the heart at rest—all those
leaves breathing the air, so
peaceful and diligent, and certainly
ready to be
the resting place of
strange, winged creatures
that we, in this world, have loved.
"Carol's gravestone was set this past week at Sugar Grove Cemetery. Click on GALLERY, PHOTOS above to view..
Another beautiful poem by Carol.. Praying her spirit has found the kind of peace described in her dream/vision..
So, even in the muffled darkness of slumber
I flew towards an orb of white light,
soul-light -- I feel it anchor me,
tear me, and lift me and I know
too well, this divided heart,
streaming its red tattered ribbons to wind.
Yet, I am consumed by this white torch
that runs through the back of my mind
like cool waters. I am thirsty,
thirsty, my tongue too parched for the
comfort of words
So I stretch out my cupped hand
but for something unnamed.
Then suddenly, a silent flutter
of wings causes me to
look up, look up. I am
I am a stranger to omens
and blessings until now.
One tear slides down the cheek
of my transcendent blue angel
and my cupped, empty hand
receives this sacred drop
I awaken and the center of my
right hand is moist.
All shadows within me fall still.
My joy is its own oasis.
Holy waters flow thru my veins
and I am a flame,
burning with rapture
No more a vessel of sorrow but free --
God -- I sing it -- free!
-Carol D. Crawford (1995)"
"My favorite poet, Carol..
Can this be real-
the way I feel
curious like a child,
hungry like a woman?
An oasis in the
I thirst for you
and all we need
is a cloud
...to dream on
-Carol D. Crawford (1989)"
"This wonderful, wise poet gives me comfort and her language, steeped in nature, comes from a consciousness similar to Carol's..
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
"On August 3, 1991, Carol and I went out to Elby's in Weirton. I started scribbling out some poetic thoughts on the paper placemat there. Carol, a true poet, responded in her usual eloquent fashion.
LOVE POEM ON ELBY'S PLACEMENT, 1991
Was it the moon
pulling your hands
in waves of pleasure
over the sandy beaches
of my soul?
And why did it have to end?
Why couldn't I just stay there
under you forever?
No one astral being
can explain this tug-
drawing me to you-
the oyster releasing its shell,
tumbling over air,
currents of mad, wondrous
Falling back onto the covers-
air between us
it is enough to know
that endings are only pauses
between new and welcome beginnings.
-Dan Pilkington, Carol D. Crawford"
"LOVE SONG FROM A DENTIST CHAIR
Today I thought about you
and my eyes filled with tears
too much Gatorade means
too many cavities so
I was in the chair for an hour
where my right shoulder always aches
from building that wall under the porch
so I started doing my mantra in my head
the one I made up when we learned TM
it helped some but I thought of you
and all the pain you went through
all those years but unlike lucky me
you often had a seizure and its aftermath
to deal with as well as pain
and I remembered how your nose
would never stop running
and how your stomach got upset every day
so I had to stop saying my mantra in my head
to keep from weeping all-out tears
but then the pain would come back
giving me just a tiny dose
of the kind of physical suffering
you lived with for years
I thought of how brave you were
with all the treatments you went through
to try to get healthy
how we tried and tried to listen to doctors
(sometimes with a grain of salt
borne of experience)
I thought of how happy you were after
getting out of the hospital and being smoke-free
a new lease on life
everything was possible
we had great plans
when the dentist was finally through
I opened my eyes
wiped away barely-noticeable tears
no more Gatorade for me
I so wish I could have shared
more than my name and my insurance card
wish I could have shared some
of my good health, my darling,
who once upon a time gave me
everything I ever wanted
and so much more
"I think Carol would have (and may have) really liked this poet.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I met a girl once
who sighed and told me
she was not lovely
and it confused me
that she could not see
the sunlight shining through her scars
"I thought of you with love today
but that was nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday
and days before that too.
I think of you in silence.
I often speak your name.
All I have are memories
and your picture in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake
with which I'll never part.
God has you in His keeping
I have you in my heart.
I loved you so much before
loved your blonde hair
loved your wisdom & your smile
so much before
Loved your poetry, your love of music
your thirst for knowledge and achievement
your love of discovery-
exploring a new forest or new city
I loved you so much before
Loved our private, together time
squeezed into your busy schedule
filling each other with afterglow
that made everything worthwhile
I loved you so much
before the world
with its boundless catalog
refused to yield
before your body,
brave beyond imagining,
waged against itself
its devastating war of attrition
with its sweet talk
and its daggers
drained you without mercy
(the daughter you never had-
your very own teacup Morkie
you once held in the palm
of your hand, you liked to say)
(who loved listening to your tales
of her birth into the world
as a human infant
while you ever so gently
stroked her belly)
showed us both
"The hardest part wasn't losing you...
it was learning to live without you.
"Sorting through papers this evening, I came across a wonderful, poignant poem written by Carol while she was living in Toronto OH. (We met in '87. She had taken this poem to our workshop in '91. We were married in '97.)
begging the night
to swallow her this time.
In stunned sequence, she counts
of those too recently claimed.
clutch at a heart
long since turned to dust.
stumbles over a tree-root
how it's like her life --
just one more stone
in a graveyard
she can't leave behind.
-Carol D. Crawford"
"Though our mutual interest in poetry brought us together, Carol was the true poet. My best poems are those I wrote for her, not necessarily good in a literary sense, but true in the love expressed. Here’s one I wrote last night..
YOU WERE SO MUCH MORE
You were so much more than the sum of your parts
Your brain that misfired ten thousand times
Your heart that hurt & beat to its own drummer
Your thyroid that had a mind of its own
Your blood pressure that changed like the wind
Your lungs rescued only when you swore off tabacco
Your ears that rang and were failing
Your eyes that were blind without glasses
Your right shoulder broken in a fall
Your neck and back injured in a hit & run
Your bones brittle and fragile as glass
Your stomach, your kidneys, your esophagus
You were so much more than the sum of your parts
You were the heart of my home
You were the mother of my son
You were the poet of my soul
You were the muse that broke the silence
You were the gold at the end of the rainbow
You were all things beautiful, wonderful & wise
You were laughter in a dark world
You were love in a tomb of loneliness
You were Tribble's happiest moments
You were everything I ever wanted
You were so much more than the sum of your parts"
"A poem for my beloved. Written by another poet who died too young, at age 47...
LET EVENING COME
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.
"I was asleep while you were dying.
-from "Myth", a poem by Natasha Trethewey"
"Your name was the food I lived on;
now my mouth is full of dirt and ash.
To say your name was to be surrounded
by feathers and silk; now, reaching out,
I touch glass and barbed wire.
Your name was the thread connecting my life;
now I am fragments on a tailor's floor.
-from "Grief". a poem by Stephen Dobyns"
"If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.
"Understand that you own nothing, everything that surrounds you is temporary, only the love in your heart will last forever.
"nothing we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
-from e. e. cummings' poem 'somewhere i have never traveled'"
"Was in the attic the other day hunting for my mom's death certificate, where ironically I found instead a poem, author unknown, that had appeared in our local paper:
Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die."
"Between grief and nothing I will take grief.
"You don't know about sadness
'til you face life alone.
You don't know about lonely
'til it's chisled in stone.
-from a song by Vern Gosdin"
"This is how I would die
into the love I have for you:
As pieces of cloud
dissolving in sunlight.
"As soon as the idea of the Deluge had subsided,
A hare stopped in the clover and swaying flowerbells,
and said a prayer to the rainbow,
through the spider's web.
-from a poem by Arthur Rimbaud"
"To love is nothing. To be loved is something. But to love and be loved, that’s everything.
"And a funeral, I found out, is like a wedding in reverse, with less time to plan.
-J. Lincoln Fenn, Poe"
"I had a wonderful dream about Carol last night. Wonderful in the sense that it was so real, and that it carried a meaningful message.
I had arrived back at work with luggage on a cart. I was greeted by my bass. A couple co-workers carried my bags upstairs for me and the boss followed shortly thereafter.
There was a room on the ground floor, and somehow I knew to enter. There sitting by herself, apparently working on an application for employment was my beloved. I was thrilled to see her again, but I noticed she was trembling, and I knew it was from not having her medicine. She also said she was in terrible pain. She needed her medicine, but she needed me in a sense, and I was there to help.
The dream reminded me that for years and years I did everything humanly possible to make Carol’s life as good as possible. Together we sought solutions to her medical problems and solved many of them. For years I was there for her, attending to her needs, anticipating her discomforts, constantly thinking of her happiness.
I should not be too hard on myself for not anticipating her totally unexpected death. It’s unhealthy for me to dwell on the final day of Carol’s life to the exclusion of all the happiness and love we brought to each other for nearly twenty-eight years."
"At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.
"I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, that has always been enough...
-Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook"
"If I had a flower for every time I thought of you... I could walk through my garden forever.
"I know that she isn't coming back, but I still think that she will. Nothing can make that go away. We figure out what death means when we're born, practically, and we live our whole lives in some kind of weird denial about it.
-Lauren DeStefano, Sever"
"Whenever anybody whom we love dies, we discover that although death is commonplace it is terribly original. We may have thought about it all our lives, but if it comes close to us, it is quite a new, strange thing to us, for which we are entirely unprepared. It may, perhaps, not be the bare loss so much as the strength of the bond which is broken that is the surprise, and we are debtors for revealing something in us which ordinary life disguised.
-William Hale White"
"i love you much (most beautiful darling)
more than anyone on the earth & i
like you better than everything in the sky
-from a poem by e. e. cummings"
"Our friend, Sandy, gave me an image I'm holding onto:
"Carol went peacefully in her sleep. No suffering. When she crossed over, like we all will, I can hear her saying, "What the hell happened?" and "Where's Dan? Where's Tribble? Oh shit!"
Sandy also said Carol's probably laughing and writing poems for the angels. I can't think of a better way of picturing her - happy, content, knowing all the secrets of the universe, waiting patiently for the rest of us to catch up :)"
"...but when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the way of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. "And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life."
--Dean Koontz, Odd Hours"
"NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY (Robert Frost)
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."
"THE BUSTLE IN A HOUSE. (Emily Dickinson)
The bustle in a house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth.
The sweeping up the heart
The putting love away
We shall not want to use again
"TIME IN ETERNITY (T. Merrill)
When you were like an angel in my arms,
Had laid your bare head just below my chin,
Your length pressed up to mine, entrusting charms
My whole youth's starward longing could not win;
With still the murmur of your love in me,
Miracle-tones of all my lifelong hope,
I wished that there might start eternity
And seal forever that sweet envelope;
And as it did, my thoughts are now for you
As every star is blotted by the sun,
And so the sun itself
Has perished too,
And with it, every dream of mine
"I am the somber man, the widower, the unconsoled, the Aquitanian prince with the abolished tower; my only star is dead and my starred lute bears the black sun of melancholy.
-from El Desdichado by Gérard de Nerval"
"PROMISSORY NOTE (Galway Kinnell)
If I die before you
which is all but certain
then in the moment
before you will see me
become someone dead
in a transformation
as quick as a shooting star's
I will cross over into you
and ask you to carry
not only your own memories
but mine too until you
too lie down and erase us
both together into oblivion"
"You think that their
dying is the worst
thing that could happen.
Then they stay dead.
-by poet Donald Hall on the death of his wife, the poet, Jane Kenyon"
"The true subject of poetry is death of the beloved.
-Faiz Ahmed Faiz"
"Blessings upon you and your loved ones for the loss they endure. I never met you but I am crying over your loss as pain is pain and I lost my love and came across your tribute and I am so very sorry that there is so much hurt. donna Star"
"BREAD AND MUSIC (Conrad Aiken)
Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.
Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, belovèd,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.
For it was in my heart you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always,—
They knew you once, O beautiful and wise."
"From a poem by John Donne:
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee."
"From a song by Jacques Brel, "If You Go Away"
If you go away on this summer day
Then you might as well take the sun away
All the birds that flew in the summer sky
When our love was new and our hearts were high
When the day was young and the night was long
And the moon stood still for the night bird's song
* * *
If you go away, as I know you must
There'll be nothing left in this world to trust
Just an empty room, full of empty space
Like the empty look I see on your face
Oh, I'd have been the shadow of your shadow
If it might have kept me by your side"
"From a poem by Anne Brontë:
To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair,
United to a heart like thine,
Has gladdened once our humble sphere."
"I met Carol only once that I know of and that was long ago. But I have enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading Danny and Charlie's comments. It seems that Carol was the perfect compliment to Danny. His love for poetry from a young age was matched it seems with Carol's. It reminds me of a popular line that I will share, but not flippantly: "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
Danny, you have been loved and though it hurts terribly now, the joy that you had with Carol will never leave you. I pray God will, in time, heal your pain and establish the memories so when you look back it will only bring joy. God Bless."
"For Carol, from Francine
Dirge without Music Edna St. Vincent Millay
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise, the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,---but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind.
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."
"what can I say about that hasn't already been said - but I will anyways.
Carol & I had never met. she was a phone buddy. when one of us had
a problem & needed to vent Carol was always there. Girl- I shall indeed
miss our chats, we were blessed by an angel & are forever in our thoughts & prayers. peace out
susie in nc"
"Our son Charlie meant so much to Carol, particularly after an operation in her late twenties left her unable to have children. I think of all the words spoken at her funeral and in prayers before and after, these are the ones that meant the most to her, written and spoken by our son:
Some may feel that I grew up disadvantaged or fractured because I grew up with four parents. I argue that I had four primary parents that taught me their strengths and how to learn from their weaknesses.
Carol was, and still is, an integral pillar in my life. The most important life lessons are entrenched within our youth. Carol taught me about patience, love, respect and understanding. Without her presence in my life, her strength and wisdom, I surely wouldn’t be the man I am today.
Carol, you continue to inspire me to never give up, mentally, physically and emotionally, I miss you, love you.
This is a poem I wrote for Carol:
Part of me is from all of you,
Reminiscent of your points of view.
Never forgetting lessons of love,
Now you are with God above.
We will carry on, your thoughtful ways,
Until the end of our natural days.
We shall be free of strife and full of life,
Until we meet again, one starlit night."
"Nature and poetry were once very important to Carol and me. The very best days of my life were spent playing tennis with her in a park in Toronto OH. Then we would climb into my little brown Chevette and listen to the incredible songs on Dylan's then-new "Oh Mercy" album.
Yesterday I took the dogs to one of our favorite hiking places - Dysart Woods in Belmont Co OH. It was heavenly (even if I did fall in a shallow creek trying to coax a reluctant Ziggy across). I felt re-united and whole. And the new iPhone helped me find the car when we got back to the road.
Later in the day, as the sun was beginning to set along the river, I planted yellow mums for Carol in the still bright sunlight of Sugar Grove Cemetery at the top of the hill.
I can't say enough about the friends and relatives who have kept me going the last couple weeks. Thank you all!
I find some solace, too, in words such as these from a poem by John Clare;
Is there another world for this frail dust
To warm with life and be itself again?
Something about me daily speaks there must,
And why should instinct nourish hopes in vain?
* * *
E'en the small violet feels a future power
And waits each year renewing blooms to bring
And surely man is no inferior flower
To die unworthy of a second spring?"
"Carol, I had only met you once or twice;
But I liked you because you seemed to make my dear friend, Dan, so happy. He needed someone sweet like you. I am saddened to see you pass, at such a young age. I know that you and Dan expected to grow old together. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair. But God called home an angel. Rest in Peace. Dan will always carry a part of you in his heart forever."
"i carry your heart with me (by e. e. cummings)
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)"
"Carol's friend, Sandy, asked me to post this for her:
For my friend and my sister:
When I first met Carol, I was taken aback by her natural beauty and kind heart. We became friends instantly, and I loved her ever since. A friend who was always so close, in heart and thought and soul, you're always near to me.
You were a friend you could trust
Sharing your secrets
and understanding too.
A friend for a lifetime
Whether you were near or apart
A friend as close
as your happiest memories
And always as close as your heart.
I love you my friend.
Discover Gods secrets, embrace Him;
we will always be with you
Until we meet again.
Have a suggestion for us?