Birth and Death, Breath by Breath

My knees met the floor at the side of my bed in desperation, exhaustion. Ironically, the same place I bowed down to birth, I found myself surrendering to grief.

In anger and tears, I had lost all strength. The pain was too much.

As time recklessly and graciously ticked on, the swell passed.

When I got to my feet, I was surprised to uncover that giving birth had taught me how to survive grief. 



As goes birth so does death,
breath by breath. 

Waves of intensity build to a first breath,
from a last.

Every swell comes crashing with a purpose.
Feel it, don’t fear it.
Welcome it, don’t fight it.
Dance to it, flow with it and let it move through you.

But don’t let it take you away.
Feel your feet on the ground,
your gaze on the wall,
the breath in your lungs.

Deep inhale.
Full exhale.

Determined minds present an endless Q and A:
What just happened? What’s next?
Why him? Will she ever come?

Deep Inhale.
Full exhale.

When your limit is near, the wave knowingly retreats:
Sweet relief.
Find your balance.
Brave a smile, an effortless laugh.
Reach for hope, a glass of water, connection and gratitude.

But how will I get through that intensity again?

Deep Inhale.
Full exhale.

You were made for this.
Cut from the same cloth as the sea and trees,
made to be two things at once.
Living and dying,
ebbing and flowing. 

Birth and death,
a tug-of-war of fear and hope.
Compassion, anxiety, resilience, resistance.

Tucked beneath comfort blankets and glossy eyes,
new life has unearthed.
Everything forever changed. 

What’s left? What’s next?
What’s always been:
Nothing but love.

Deep Inhale.
Full exhale.

3 thoughts on “Birth and Death, Breath by Breath

  1. This is amazing and one of your best poems. Go

    On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 2:39 PM Altered Latitude wrote:

    > Jenna posted: “My knees met the floor at the side of my bed in > desperation, exhaustion. Ironically, the same place I bowed down to birth, > I found myself surrendering to grief. In anger and tears, I had lost all > strength. The pain was too much. As time recklessly and g” >

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