The Winter Woods


Above is a painting done by my son Johnny that he calls, “The Winter Woods.”  He has painted the stark, barren trees reflecting in the water of the frozen pond.  It is a reminder of the days we leave behind as Spring arrives.  He painted this the day we learned of the tragic loss of his Daddy’s older brother.  Up until then Johnny’s paintings were filled with lavish colour jumping off the page but on this day his paintings did a sudden change.  He was showing us what he felt in his heart.  Now he does have words and can tell us that he understands what has happened and how he feels about all the sadness around him.  But again I am reminded of how powerful it is when he uses his first nature (pictures and visuals) to show us what is in his heart.

Below is one of my favourite poems that I think truly captures the crushing feelings of grief.  As I read this one more time I think of my brother-n-laws laugh and the tears of my sister-n-law as she finds a way to move on and endure with three young children.  RIP.


W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

* Art by Johnny painted March 18, 2015


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