June 29, 2012–Funeral for my son. 101 degrees dropping to 73 degrees in a matter of minutes. Whirling wind. Gusts of whipping wind. Snapping wind. Dark skies. Clotted clouds. Midday sun going away–suddenly. A piercing dark. A turbulent sky. Trying to get to the car before the rains came. Things blowing. Paper across parking lots. Light going out. Light extinguished. Darkness on the wings of violent winds. 60-80 m.p.h. Trees cracking. Branches breaking. Traffic lights swaying to and fro. As if in a dream I couldn’t break. A nightmare I’d have to live out the rest of my life.
June 29, 2012–My son’s funeral was on a day heaving itself pellmell, uprooting itself, shaking lose all grounding, breaking all that held it dear, all that called it life, all that depended upon it to be as it had always been.
A day rupturing earth in a storm violent and of epic proportion. Derecho. Unpredictable. Violent. Sudden. Never knowing we were in the path of such a storm. Having never seen let alone been through a storm capable of damaging this much to so many.
The noise of the wind. As if it were screaming. Over and over, rising and hissing, falling and rising, screaming and moaning, cracking and casting itself broken. Falling down. Tumbling down. The sudden downing of it all. Power down. Wires down. Caught in the catastrophic exhale of sky, earth, trees, and now, even light extinguished.
Derecho is derived from the Spanish adjective for “straight” or “direct.” A derecho is a fast-moving (60-80 mph winds) storm seeming to come out of nowhere. A violent storm bent on destruction, a derecho is a
widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms. . . Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods.Chicago Tribune, By Russ Schumacher, The Conversation
A STORM OUT OF NOWHERE
Derecho He left too soon— Lifting life from June, Casting torrents of rain His absence— Breath of pain whose exhale can only bring Heart heaving, this beating of tears Breaking loose— All hell in earth's upturned rupture, Death shoveling shadows over me As I bend to lay flowers on his name— Inscribed and bronzed, A permanence come to stay My love laced now with pain— Standing over my son's grave, Death's derecho come to stay in my shadow. “Derecho” ©Beth Brown, 2021
The Historic Derecho of June 29, 2012
On June 29, 2012, a devastating line of thunderstorms known as a derecho (deh REY cho) moved east-southeast at 60 miles per hour (mph) from Indiana in the early afternoon to the Mid-Atlantic region around midnight. The states most significantly impacted were Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and North Carolina, as well as Washington, D.C. Nearly every county impacted by this convective system suffered damages and power outages.
Winds were commonly above 60 mph with numerous reports of winds exceeding 80 mph. Some areas reported isolated pockets of winds greater than 100 mph. The storm resulted in 13 deaths, mainly a result of falling trees. One major impact from the derecho was widespread power outages. More than 4 million customers were without power, some for more than a week after the storms moved through. To make matters worse, the area affected was in the midst of a prolonged heat wave.The Historic Derecho of June 29, 2012
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service
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The following resources, book lists, narratives from parents who have lost a child to suicide, support groups, and more are meant to be a resource bank. Many have helped me keep on keeping on these past nine years of grieving.
The Stigma of Suicide That we must even ponder: “Is suicide really a choice?” reflects a still pervasive stigma of suicide that somehow, losing a loved one to death by suicide can be controlled–that losing a loved one could have, might have been prevented; that we missed something, a fatal flaw in the way we […]
It’s on my refrigerator door–a small, rectangular magnet wedged between a “Choose Hope” magnet and a photograph of my son. The image on the magnet startles. Think Edvard Munch crossed with Vincent Van Gogh. An image depicting a bit of both artists: the sheer starkness of Munch’s scream on a yellow-splashed figure with arms uplifted […]
- What Happened?
- Featured Content: Poems About Losing a Child
- My Forever Son
. . .the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that after a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the rate of suicide among those aged 10 to 24 increased dramatically — by 56 percent — between 2007 and 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death in this age group, following accidents like […]
Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon A Poem for Dylan by Beth Brown And once upon a blue-sky moon, We sailed our ships in your bedroom, With stars for light, we fled the dark But the lightening flashed, And the sky grew dark. You tucked away your childhood dreams On wings that soared beyond infinity, Your […]
If Only a Mother’s Love Could Have Saved You by Beth Brown Bones bear girth where once, love birthed you, arms cradled and rocking, love holding me to you. If only a mother’s love could have saved you, been there to catch your fall tears stilled by the heavens to where now and forever, […]