Some Words of Grief and Hope


Hope shines through, on my walk, no filters or edits


This morning a song (isn’t it always a song?) brought a tsunami of walled up grief down on me, and I sat in my kitchen and cried, and cried, and cried. Me, the queen of tears, hasn’t cried in weeks. Not once. Until this morning. It all washed over me, and as I watched the birds at my feeder, and the water in the bay, I just felt such a deep sadness.

I cried because I thought of my eldest son first, this song, and that he and his girlfriend, who live in NYC and are surrounded by this invisible threat. I cried because they are wise and careful, but the numbers make me shudder, and I’m a mother first, and so, I cried.

I cried for my daughter in Israel, who is trying to care for two little boys. I cried because she has found strengths she forgot she had. I cried because my grandson made the cutest picture of peppers, which his ema, mommy, taught him about. Peter Piper Picked A Peck of Pickled Peppers. I cried because she is shining, but exhausted and stretched, as she and my son-in-law try to live in 900 square feet of confinement and nourish little people.

I cried because my youngest son, Man Cub, is 23 and that’s a strange space––just exiting childhood, but not quite adulthood. That’s different depending on where you live, but I know that 23 is not supposed to be the time when everyone you love throws statistics and warning at you–– when you just want to be with your girlfriend, and go camping, and work, and play, and do it some more. I cried because that is lost right now in all of the statistics and warnings. And I am sorry.

I cried for all the high school seniors and college seniors who are missing this special time in their lives, that doesn’t come again. I cried for all the kids at home, missing their friends. I cried because I know that seems small, but to them it’s the world, and we should all remember that.

I cried for all my friends who are stuck at home, and who feel isolated and anxious. I cried for the world-wide trauma that so many people are experiencing.

I cried for the beauty of so many of those people sewing masks for medical staff. I am so moved and grateful.

I cried because the generosity of so many is so beautiful it fills me with hope and love.

I cried for my husband and his colleagues, who are on the front line and worry daily about paying their staff, caring for people in this crisis, while telling others that they will need to wait, because their pain is not “essential” right now. I cried because the toll of asking people in pain to wait, weighs on my husband’s shoulders every day. I cried because he and all of his colleagues are risking their health for all of us–– and it’s horrifying.

I cried because each time my husband walks in the door, at the end of his essential day, I worry that he may be bringing in something that could literally kill me, and we both dance around that every single evening that he comes home from the hospital. And I cried because each morning he leaves, I worry about stats and N95 masks.

I cried because I’m high risk, and so many others people are, too. This will not go away for people like me, until there’s a vaccine or cure. When others breathe a sigh of relief, and go back to their lives, many of us will have to continue to worry about something we can’t see, that we must somehow avoid––we will have to avoid your collective sighs. I cried for these huge unknowns.

I cried because when I warned the manager of Regal theaters that they had NO wipes and all of the staff was touching everything, when I went to my last movie weeks ago, he actually laughed at me. And when I called the manager of our local Haggens, he told me that corporate made the policies, and he was sorry, but cashiers can’t use sanitizer all the time, it ruins the machines.

I cried because all of those folks working in the grocery stores are taking such big risks for us all, and while I can’t go there right now, I’m grateful they continue to be there for us.

I cried because I wonder when (if) I’ll ever feel safe in the grocery store, or the theater, or a restaurant again. I know it will take a while, and that awkward phase will feel uncertain and strange. I cried because normal is gone, and maybe that’s a good thing.

I cried because whether we get along or we don’t, whether I know you, or you’re a stranger, I believe our tears mix together and we are all in this together. That humbles me to the core. And it makes me cry.

I cried because I can’t bear to hear the news, and I can’t turn it off.

I cried because the last time I posted I was focused on gratitude and I really thought this year was going to be “my year.” And then it all went up in a puff of dark smoke when: my car was totaled; I got a concussion and whiplash; I started following a story out of China, the story started to move; shit got real, and well, I cried.

I cried because I miss my weekly lunch with one of my closest friends. I cried because tomorrow is her birthday and the flowers I ordered won’t be delivered, and we won’t sit and laugh together, like we do each week.

I cried because watching Anne With An E each day, as I walk on my treadmill, brings me such joy and healing. That spirited, redheaded girl reminds me so much of me when I was little, and I feel compassion for her trauma and resilience––and that has allowed me to maybe have some compassion for the hurt girl inside, who is still trying to be nurtured and healed. This series is so filled with magic and beauty, everyone should watch it. It’s what we need to see and know right now: that our relationships matter most.

I cried because when I brought dinner to a dear friend last night, because she needs help, I couldn’t hug her, or see her. I had to let her husband take the food from my trunk. I just wanted to hug her and tell her this will all be okay. Even if I don’t know when or what that will look like. I cried because her pain is not essential right now, and she is one of the strongest people I know, who is in non-essential pain.

I cried because every day feels different and strange–– in ways that are scary and in ways that bring me joy. I am writing more. I haven’t been blogging until now, but working on my novel, but this week I wrote a chapter, this blog post, and  a children’s book that I feel proud of and excited about.

I cried because when I read that children’s book to my 4.5 year old grandson, he was totally absorbed in it, and smiled when he should smile, and frowned when he should, and told me “I love that story, Mima,” when I was done. I cried because my writing landed where and how it was meant to land.

I cried because I haven’t written so much in months. And I’ve missed it, even though I am the only thing holding me back. I cried because I’ve missed this space, and then I started writing again. I cried with trepidation and with conviction.

I cried because I miss my usual routine, even as I embrace one that has been more productive and centered.

I cried because I love this solitude and I hate that there’s no choice.

I cried because I desperately miss my work at Hospice, and I know that they are struggling to do the sacred work they do, without volunteers who do so much to help the team be strong. I know those nurses and staff are working so much harder to take care of people in their last days, and trying to keep everyone safe. I cried because I miss the people I love there, and the people I can’t sit with, and the joy that work brings me.

I cried for fractured and broken ties that still hurt, that this solitude shines a light on. And I cry for the bonds that sustain me.

I cried because more than ever I hate our president, and how carelessly he handles all of this––this, being the people I love, and the people I don’t know. I cried because science and facts are not something he embraces, in a time when we need them more than ever. I feel sick every time he speaks, and shows a complete lack of concern for MY BOY and every other son, daughter, mother, father, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew, grandmother and grandfather, dear friend, who are at risk, if we don’t take this seriously and put lives above dollars. And this ongoing anger with him just eats me up, and I have to work harder to move beyond it.

I cried because I know that the dollars matter so much, too. I worry about a fellow writer and fisherwoman who is literally trying to keep her boat afloat, as she also donates salmon to those in need. I worry about so many people who work so hard, and don’t know how they’ll make it. Which is more important: lives or economy? These questions wash over me, and I feel stricken.

I cried because my children are all so far from me, and even if I know they are smart and competent and as safe as they can be, they are not near us. I can’t go to them. I can’t hold my grandsons or my children, at a time when I just want to sweep them up in my arms and remind them that they are everything. Everything.

I cried because Italians are singing, and cheering for healthcare workers, as they are surrounded by loss. I cried because we’re all confined, doing our best or our worst.

I cried because my (exchange student) son in China is worried about me, having survived 2 months of strict quarantine, when friends and so many died. “Mum,” he says, “please take this seriously, this is the most horrible thing I ever imagined.” I cried because he’s worried about me, and that is so beautiful. I cried because he’s mailed me masks. His sweet concern fills me with bittersweet joy.

I cried because during my last “public” walk, a week ago, along the boardwalk that I love so much, I heard someone on the phone, saying that the Chinese did this on purpose and that this Chinese Virus is a hoax, even as he told that person that the Chinese are trying to kill us all. And in that moment, thinking of my son, China, who I love, I wanted to push that ignorant man in the water, and not throw him a line. I cried because I thought that.

I cried because each time my sweet grandson talks to me on skype, he asks when I will come, and I have no answer. Not this week, when I would have been arriving. Not next week, when I would have been past my jetlag, and we would be watching the parrots and exploring the parks and streets where he lives. Not now, when I would be drinking a latte at my favorite local café in Israel, while my dearest boy eats a bakery treat next to me, and the café owner welcomes me back in Hebrew and I answer in English, and we smile and connect again. Not now when I would be getting to know my newest grandson, and helping him to walk. Not getting to hold that baby, before he is fully a toddler–– because time is rushing by, and I am stuck here. In this kitchen. Without them.

I cried because the Avett Brother’s If I Get Murdered In the City, brings me to tears, every single time. “He said I love you, and I’m proud of you both, in so many different way.” “Always remember there was nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name.”

I cried because this song reminds me of my children in faraway places. And that reminds me of all the other things I love and miss, and all the feelings I’ve tried to push down for weeks. I felt this wall of saved-up grief come rushing in, even as I sit here feeling solid as a rock and ready for the long road ahead.

I cried because the birds at my feeder and the music is so soothing, that today I cried.

We are all in this. We are all coping in different ways, no doubt. Some people cry, and some pull up their boots. Today I am writing. But the birds still come to my feeder, and the water still moves toward the shore. We still love, and miss, and laugh, and hope this will all bring us closer, and leave us stronger. This will not go away quickly, and we will all see numbers that represent people who have been hit so much harder by this. We will read the numbers and say a quiet thank you––to God or the Universe, or Allah, or Adonai, or whoever we speak to when we are silent and seeking––that that number is not someone we love.

I cried because, well, social distancing.

From the start, my motto has been physical distancing, social connections. I am writing this and sharing my tears this morning, to connect. I hope you are out there. I hope you are reading this. I hope that we can all grab a life line and float together, on hope that is fragile but more important than ever before. Tell me you’re here.

I am writing again, and I would love to think that one of the silver linings is that I find my way back to this blog, and the readers I’ve missed. I hope that there is silver in any of these linings.

I cried just now because a song reminded me that this is worth some tears, even as I set my sights on hope. I cried for about five minutes, but those tears held weeks of anxiety and concern. They held hours of wondering and even more hours of hoping. These tears held prayers and emotions I’ve held down and finally let fly. I cried for gratitude. This morning, I cried.

Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for reading my words. It means more than you can know. Thanks for leaving a comment; please do. If you want to read more, check out the links I’ve provided, or take a look at the archives on the right of this page.

If you need a good cry, as you dance, this song will always be one of my favorites. Peter Gabriel wrote it right after the 9/11 attacks. It rings true, now and always.




 * * *


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©2011-2020 All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Beauty, Daily Observations, Foreign exchange students, graduation, Honest observations on many things, Hospice, Love, Positivity, Tales From the Motherland, Trauma, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Some Words of Grief and Hope

  1. Mike Lince says:

    I hope your words bring some comfort to your readers, because even though we are forced to isolate ourselves, we are also going through this challenging time together. I am fortunate to have all I need to see it through to better times, but I fear a dear price will be paid by many before all is said and done. Be well and stay safe, my friend. – Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike! How wonderful to hear from you; it’s been ages! I hope you guys are staying well and hanging in there. Yes, a dear price indeed is coming our way, and it’s terrifying. I’ve thought of writing every single day. Just glad to finally put some words out. Thank you so much for stopping by! Stay well. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marian Exall says:

    So glad you are blogging again. I share many of the same feelings. I’m going to start (restart) a gratitude journal (your idea). Have to focus on the positive, and the important things (NOT the stock market or youknowwho.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes indeed! I feel like I am trying to share some gratitude each day on FB, but need to get back to formally writing it down. It felt good to do this. Thanks for stopping by, Marian. Stay well!


  3. I love seeing posts from people who haven’t blogged in a while, even if they’re sharing pain and tears. This is most definitely the time for it. Because I’ve been homeschooling for a while, some of my schedule hasn’t changed, but I didn’t realize how much doing my regular weekly shopping after a weekly meeting up in your neck of the woods meant to me. I miss popping into the Food Coop, picking up a few treats that I only find there, opting to shop closer to home and less frequently. I miss hugging friends and sitting down with people in person. I’m so grateful for the internet and for the ability to connect virtually, but there’s nothing like “in person”. Sending a virtual hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so hear you! It’s strange how we take the smallest things for granted. I really miss feeling safe in my grocery store. I miss getting out more and seeing folks who make me smile. I’m grateful to hear from you, Susan. Let’s have coffee when this is all over! Stay well, Mariner. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kjlangton says:

    Grief comes from many sources and expressed in many way. I grieve with you. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol Middelburg says:

    Such powerful writing, it made me cry, too! HUGE hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this Dawn and I’m crying with you– our young people at the top of their careers and should be socializing and enjoying life. And then there’s the grands whose lives are so disrupted and I can’t visit them and if I do I have to stay away. We’re not that good at tech visits– I just start crying.
    sending you hugs dear friend. Stay safe. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. angela Maria garcia-johnson says:

    Sad that you need some positivity and hope on all these moments of despair. Glad that you, like so many others, have found a chance to be a helper…spreading your bounty and your family and friends with love and sustenance. . Quite sad that you have dwelt on the partisan comments regarding the government and the words of passers-by who have no knowledge of world affairs. People need to set aside their political leanings and align with a spirit of American patriotism to fight this pandemic and work hard with supportive WORDS, AS WELL AS, ACTIONS to join in the challenge that faces our country. Please, remove me from the mailing list…I need more positivity in my life…and I send you hope.


    • Angela, I’m sorry that you missed so much of my post; it’s hardly dwelling to mention one political thing. It’s my right, and yours to feel otherwise. This was a post about grief, and surely you could have skipped it. I wish you well, too, and if you would like to unsubscribe, that is something you need to do on your own. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and stay well.


  8. Psychobabble says:

    Thanks for writing. We’re all crying, we’re all panicking, we’re all grieving. I’ve been writing too. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I haven’t cried yet. But I really, really want to. I think I’m just stunned. Truly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much, Dawn, for sharing your tears and for pouring your heart onto the page ♥️ Sending love and all good wishes that you and your beautiful family stay safe ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Vivian. Sending you the same, and hoping you stay well in NYC. Our son is there, too. Keep sending out hope in children’s books… who knows, maybe you will be sharing mine, some time soon! ♥ xo


  11. Carol says:

    Dancing with you from afar. Thank you for sharing what we all are feeling in some way. Frightened yet grateful. It is such a strange place to be. I am thankful for those that put themselves at risk so that we may continue living. Praying for you and your loved ones to be kept safe and that you will find comfort in the connections this electronic age allows us to keep. Praying also for those who are missing these connections. So many thoughts and feelings are overwhelming and I appreciate your courage in sharing yours with us. Sending love and a giant hug I hope you can feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carol; strange days indeed! I’m grateful that you are out there supporting those we need. Thanks for your prayers and kind words; they mean so much more right now. I am grateful for each person who takes the time to read my words, and inspired that my writing touches you. Stay well! xo


  12. jgroeber says:

    Physical distancing, social connection. It’s the best we can do. ❤️ Sharing our tears.


    • Thanks so much, Jen. I JUST opened your post, and got a chill that we were sitting at our computers, with tears, at the same time, and for essentially the same reasons. I’m not sure if you read this long post of mine––I realize it prattles on––but your words connect and intertwine with mine, and remind me of a day on the beach, and all the reasons I hold you dear. Thanks for stopping by, for connecting. It feels so important and good right now. Stay well, friend. ♥


  13. ruth says:

    Dawn, this touched me real and heartfelt

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Linda says:

    Thanks for your blog Dawn . You share many of the emotions I feel . Safe havens for you and all the family .


  15. noahezra says:

    Dawn, I am crying inside for similar reasons and thank you for putting it all out there for everyone’s behalf. Saying what we are thinking. Emoting for those of us who can’t tap into it yet or won’t. Somehow I missed the fact that you totaled your car and got a concussion. I am sorry that happened and glad you are doing better. As always, your writing cuts me to the very quick. In a good way. In a cathartic way. I am so grateful. Stay safe and healthy. Prayers for your family and thanks to your husband for what he endures day after day. Love, Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: The World On Fire | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND


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