Child Loss Family loss Grief Poems Poems about Loss Suicide loss

Derecho: A Storm Out of Nowhere

Chronicling Grief, Hope, and Healing After the Death of My Son By Suicide

Storm Clouds, “Derecho”, My Forever Son

Heart heaving, this beating of tears
Breaking loose—
All hell in earth’s upturned rupture

Beth Brown, “Derecho” My Forever Son

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
Associated Press



Chronicling Grief, Hope, and Healing After the Death of My Son By Suicide

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.

©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
U.S. Department of Commerce Weather

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“Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon”–A Poem about Child Loss

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By Beth Brown

Rememberer of dreams. Whisperer of gardens green.
At the whim of "Most Beloved" and a hot cup of tea.
I live life between, straddled here now and then,
My continuity through writing--
Pen dripping ink, mind swirling confused,
Love lingering still, and Most Beloved's purring soothes.

Blogger at "Gardens at Effingham" (where cats do the talking) and "My Forever Son" (where a mother's heart runs deep after losing her son to suicide)
Musician. Writer. Literary Connoisseur.
At the whim of a calico cat and a strong cup of tea.

2 replies on “Derecho: A Storm Out of Nowhere”

This was so powerfully, painfully beautiful, Beth, Your moving expressions describing this grief transported me in time to my own loss and moved me to tears. I will definitely be following this blog. Thank you for so eloquently speaking for all of us. Sending you and Dylan hugs and love, always.
Forever Justin’s Mother

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