“Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have put off writing this post for many reasons.  I never deal well with death.  I don’t think any of us do.  Death is final.  It feels hollow and empty to me.  The pain of the loss is unbearable.  And yet I have blogged about grief and death not because I have a morbid fear or fascination.  But it is a life lesson, an emotional letting go that I must come face to face with from time to time in my life.

The emotions that accompany death have slipped into my life again and ever so innocently.  It started a week ago when my sister told me that our family’s beloved dog of 14 years, Pepper, was going to be put down.  He was barely moving or eating and it was the right thing to do for him, but for me it brought back that well spring of emotions I try so hard to keep pushed down.  We have lost our share of dogs.  Our first pup from the pound lived but a few short weeks.  His death tore a hole in my heart so profound I still feel that twinge whenever we must say goodbye to another beloved pet.

After learning about Pepper we found a dead bird in the pond near the waterfall.  It seems the smaller birds, like the bigger birds, are trying to use the top of the waterfall as a place to drink and bath avoiding the aggressive frogs below in the pond.  This poor bird  was most likely swept away in the waterfall and drowned.

Thoughts of my dad consumed me this week and my sweet neighbor Ruth was lost to us 2 years ago this past week too.  I also watched my husband relive the pain of his father’s death that happened 37 years ago as if it had just occurred.  All this has left me dazed and in a fog or cocoon of self protection.  Trying to find my way out of the pain.

Once the emotions do come back up to hit me square in the face, it all comes up….all the family and friends I miss desperately.  It doesn’t seem to be any less painful even though people tell you the pain will diminish.  I say we just are able to keep the pain buried down in the recesses of our hearts and minds.  It never fades for me.  I sometimes catch myself wanting to call a friend and realizing they are gone to me forever and I no longer have their counsel.

And yet it is these emotions surrounding death that gave me the inspiration for the poetry that was chosen for publication.  And as the publication date nears, those very emotions contained in the lines of poetry are front and center.  The book, The Moment I Knew, is scheduled to be published on August 26th on Women’s Equality Day.  The books cover is pictured here.  The work of 30 female authors celebrated on the very day women were given the right to vote in the United States 91 years ago is monumental.  I am proud and humbled to be among these incredible women.  There will be publicity around the country, and I will be participating in an online Book Salon August 28th at 5pm Eastern Time to discuss the book.  This is a new area for me to explore and express myself since I usually shy away from publicity.

If I have learned anything about myself on my journey to authenticity this year, it is to that you must experience the emotions.  Whatever the lesson, whatever the reason the emotions are back I must let myself experience them.  It isn’t OK to stuff them down anymore or try to avoid them. For in these experiences I am finding a new me.  One that is accepting myself more.  One that is seeking balance in my life.  Like a seed sprouting from last year’s long dead flower to begin anew this season, this time…now…




Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~ Seneca






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  1. Donna says:

    On a happier note, congrats on your poems being published. That is truly an honor. Even though the poems came from deep emotion surrounding death, it brought out something good and profound to be published.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Donna…I am thankful to everyone who commented…I knew this was a hard post to write and for some to read…the poems are indeed the brightness that came from the shadows…

  2. Christine @ The Gardening Blog says:

    Hi Donna – I am so sorry to hear about Pepper. No words I have can comfort you, but please know that as a crazy animal-lover I am feeling for you and understand where you are at right now. I believe that Pepper will be waiting for you in the clouds one day – happy and pain-free, just as you remember him.

    On a lighter note – will the book be available on or another online channel for purchase? I’d like to buy one when it is available. Congrats to you! That is a fantastic achievement to be included in such a book. I’m very excited for you.

    • Donna says:

      Christine once again your words have lightened my heart…I am inquiring now about the book and where folks can buy it. I do believe Amazon will be one place. I cannot wait to read all the wonderful words these incredible women put to page…I still pinch myself to think I have been included…thx for all your encouragement…

  3. Cat says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your family dog Donna. While death is never easy, what a gift to be able to express your emotions so eloquently to be published. Having a safe outlet for your pain and grief has helped you confront it. You’re making huge strides in your goal for authenticity…hugs and prayers for comfort.

  4. Jan @ Thanks for today. says:

    I, too, am sorry for your recent loss, Donna. Losing a pet is often as difficult as losing a person…for some, it can be even more so. And it often does trigger a flood of emotions for other losses that have gone before it. It’s true that we can’t go around, under or in-between the pain–we need to go through it head on and allow the feelings to take their course. It’s part of being human, something we all have to deal with from time to time. Congratulations on your poetry publication coming up…that is indeed quite an accomplishment and honor;-)

    • Donna says:

      Jan, thx for your kind thoughts…I think we all prefer to not have to deal with the pain, but the best way out of the dark indeed is through to the light..

  5. b-a-g says:

    Donna – Congratulations on your writing being selected for publication. People will soon be quoting lines of your poetry in their posts …

  6. Holley says:

    Congratulations on the publication of your poetry. What an honor. I feel exactly how you put it : we are able to keep the pain buried, but it is not any less painful.

    • Donna says:

      Diana how you read between the lines so well…I think that was the hardest part of losing my first pet…I hardly had any time with him….thx for your understanding comment!

  7. Jean says:

    Donna, I’ve been thinking about death this week, too, because it was the anniversary of my mother’s death. I do feel, though, that those who are gone live on in our memory. And now, they will live on in your poetry, too.

    • Donna says:

      So sorry Jean for your loss…I think the poetry just fell out of me because it is a living tribute to my loved ones….thx Jean!

  8. One says:

    Good to know of what you have learnt and is sharing here; ACCEPT & LET GO.

    Congratulations for having your poetry published in a book!

    • Donna says:

      You are so sweet and I am learning to accept this inevitable part of life…thx for caring and commenting…it means a lot!

  9. Masha says:

    I am very sorry about the dog, the loss of a loved one always brings so much sadness…

    I am so happy to hear you will be published! Congratulations! Isn’t it amazing what a mix of sad and happy things life is. I hope the book becomes a best-seller, I will look out for it.

  10. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    So sorry that you have lost your much loved dog Donna, and that it has raised the spectre of so many other losses. I don’t think one ever “gets over” loss, one – hopefully – just learns to live with it. I applaud your bravery in being determined to live with the feelings rather than trying to deny them. As someone who did the burying thing for many, many years, and is now on the same journey, I do think it is a better, though not easier, way to go. I find the mindfulness approach very liberating in the end.

    And HUGE congratulations on the publication, as you say, a momentous occasion to be part of celebrating.

    • Donna says:

      Janet thx and as you say it is the better way to deal with this although not the easiest…I wasn’t sure many folks would want to read this post but I had to write it for me and was hopeful others would understand and maybe it would speak to them too…so heart warming to see such wonderful friends giving their support and congrats!! Keeps one going 🙂

  11. Sheila says:

    I appreciate your sharing with us on a subject that most of us try to repress … (Hugs)

    I hope you will share your poetry with us – what a gift to be able to put your emotions and memories into words …

    • Donna says:

      Sheila I hope to write more poetry and put it together in a book to share and share some on my blog….it is a love of mine that I lost since high school..this book has brought it back to me 🙂

  12. PlantPostings says:

    Joy tempered with pain. That seems to be how things happen in life. But finding your way is huge! Congrats on being published in the poetry book. I’ll look forward to reading it!

  13. Pam's English Garden says:

    Dear Donna, I would like to add my congratulations on the forthcoming book, and my condolences for your loss… I know how difficult it is to lose a pet. As an admirer of your blog writings, I look forward to reading your poems. I will search out a copy for myself. P. x

  14. Liane says:

    Hi Donna,
    Your post made me reminded me that I also do not like to write about or think about death. It takes courage to do so and so thank you for sharing that with us. Hugs to you, my friend!

    I am so happy for you! The journey from a difficult place not too long ago when we worked together to this awesome place of self discovery and expression has been amazing to witness. I cannot wait to read the book!

    Regarding your writing, your next post for WC will be posted in the next day or two. Sincere apologies for the delay. Multiple factors have impacted our work there.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Liane…it has been an interesting journey for me…no apologies necessary for the post date in WC. I know how crazy busy you have been with life and work…I am grateful to have the opportunity to guest post!!

  15. Flâneur Gardener says:

    The brightness that came from the shadows…

    I like that turn of phrase a lot. Almost as much as Joseph Conrad’s statement that a book is a deed, that the writing of it is an enterprise as much as the conquest of a colony.

    To me, you seem sure to conquer.

    • Donna says:

      I love the thought of “brightness from shadow”…so simple and visual…so easy to see it and feel it…it is a wonderful mantra to use to help me conquer it…thx for sharing!!

    • Donna says:

      Oh Michelle I am overwhelmed and honored…it is a fabulous book. My poems begin the grief section…hope you like them and the book.

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