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the weight of lost souls

September 8, 2015

where is the soul located,

and how much might it weigh?

we speak and dream about such things

in vague abstractions.

i’ve always thought of the soul

as an ephemeral, lighter-than-air

quality that is somehow

the very essence of who we are,

although where it resides within us during our lifetime

remains a mystery to me.

i should probably ask a kindergartener–

questions like this can still be answered

so simply when you are five.

* * * * * * * *

a few days ago we had a brief windstorm

and after the trees rocked fitfully back and forth

and finally quieted,

we found two small mourning dove chicks

deposited in the grass under the pine trees

by the hay barn.


we looked everywhere for a nest

or a frantic mother bird

but could find neither.

baby birds fall from nests here sometimes

and the only major threats we have

discovered are water troughs and horse hooves.

it was a nice evening and these little birds

were in a protected space,

so we felt confident that the mother would

find her young and care for them.

when i fed the horses the next morning

i found that we had been wrong.

during the night they had simply…


as i lifted the tiny bodies

i felt their mass in the palm of each hand–

the dull, heavy lifeless weight of a body

from which the soul has departed.

i guess the soul is weightless.

* * * * * * * * * *

this has been a season of loss,

some of it mine and some losses to those i care about.


i have tried to turn away from it,

to move past it,

to come to grips with it.


as an empath i feel the pain of others

and carry it with me as if it were my own.

i accept this as part of my spiritual makeup–

it is part of who i am.


normally there is balance,

but with a succession of losses

i lost my balance.


so i’ve been rather checked out of my online world,

as i don’t like to come here unless i have something

positive to share.


fear not–  there have been positive things,

but the weight of loss was a barrier for me.


love is a tricky thing at times,

a tightrope walk between the human desire to control outcomes

and the faith that there are reasons and outcomes that we cannot yet understand,

that we “see through a glass darkly”.


in order to move forward i have to acknowledge

that it is time to release the weight of these lost souls,

to gently set them free and not hinder their journey any longer.


 to know in my heart that it is entirely human

to feel both love and loss,


and to know without guilt or regret


that the greatest of these is love.


i know that some of you will ask about my Dad. 

please know that he is stable and that i plan

to head to california to see him in a few weeks.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Nuala Hancock permalink
    September 8, 2015 6:00 am

    What a heart-stirring post dear Janet. I am so very sorry to hear of your losses. Nuala

    Sent from my iPad


    • sassysistersink permalink*
      September 8, 2015 10:24 pm

      Thank you, Nuala. It means so much to hear from you. I appreciate that you continue to read the blog, and promise you that the Sussex posts are coming.

  2. September 8, 2015 8:46 pm

    Such a beautiful post. To be human is to be so fragile, so vulnerable. Yet somehow we find to strength to do what we have to do. Holding you in my heart. xx

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      September 8, 2015 10:27 pm

      Beautifully put, Julie, and so true. Thank you for your big heart.

  3. getthewordout permalink
    September 11, 2015 2:41 am

    It is a season of loss for us both. The heart is a fragile thing. Beautiful writing, as usual. Thanks for sharing.

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      September 11, 2015 4:49 am

      oh, no… I am so sorry. hearts can be so fragile, and yet so strong. peace to you as you tap into that strength.

  4. September 13, 2015 1:12 pm

    This post, your words, your ‘soulful’ confession, along with the MOST BEAUTIFUL images I have ever seen, has touched me DEEPLY. Straight to the heart.
    Can I say say thank you for this?
    In person? In three days?
    Big ‘ol hug this morning, Janet.

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      September 14, 2015 3:10 am

      gosh, such kind words from you my friend. they mean so much. let me assure you that I am greatly anticipating Wednesday evening! thanks for the hug– pay you back in THREE DAYS!!!!

  5. mary kelly permalink
    September 13, 2015 6:55 pm


    So good to have you back. Your message was beautifully put and I LOVED the photos.


    • sassysistersink permalink*
      September 14, 2015 3:13 am

      Mary! I learned to love the art of photography from you! the short cuts of iPhonography I’ve picked up along the way, although most of these were shot in manual mode on my dslr. I’m getting there…

  6. Brandi B. permalink
    September 15, 2015 1:36 am

    We’re both empaths. We’re both a bit out of balance these days.
    Let’s walk together, shall we, and prop each other up.

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      September 15, 2015 1:56 am

      I’d be delighted. It’s been an emotional season and I want to focus on the joy, the beauty, and the laughter again. Let’s do it together. xx

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