Just What Is Metamorphosis-Your Stories?

“There are no mistakes, no coincidences.  All events are blessings given to us to learn from.”     Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Metamorphosis-Your stories of transformation and self-realization

             Just What is Metamorphosis-Your Stories?

Metamorphosis-Your Stories is intended to be a place of inspiration. Just as in the tradition of Native American story telling,  each one of you in your own way fills in a section of the larger narrative, giving us a fuller sense of life’s possibilities.  Storytelling passes on personal experiences so they transcend to shared experiences.   My intention is to share stories which can heal,  encourage and motivate the reader.  It will weave a tapestry of narratives about  individuals who have been profoundly changed and reshaped by a life-altering event. 

Have you experienced an event which has transformed your life?    If so,  I invite you to participate in this journey of inspiration and hope by sharing the story of your personal transformation.  Please reach out to me via the “how to submit your story” page for details on how to submit a narrative in this Metamorphosis-Your Stories.

Why not “pay it forward and help these weave tales of inspiration and hope.  Thank you.  Laurel

Grief and Loss Are So Complicated

Grief and Loss Are So Complicated


Grief and loss are so complicated and intertwined within me. After my husband death in 2009, I wrote a poem called “Grief’s Cloak.”  An excerpt from that poem came back to “haunt” me recently.

“But wait! Was I also trying to outrun grief?

No hide and seek here, it was up ahead ~ my mourning was not complete.

Grief’s cloak is a harsh reminder that loss is real ~ it cannot be pushed away!

And, if not accepted, even honored, it will clip my wings and leave me unable to fly.

With this in mind, I have learned to say

Welcome back Grief ~ I acknowledge your presence!”

Grief reared up again after my recent hysterectomy and I knew that I had to acknowledge its presence. Why, you might ask would this operation cause me to go into a place of mourning and loss? Even though I had gone through menopause, and my ovaries and cervix no longer served a “purpose”, my womb represented my feminine core and it was alive with meaningful cellular memories.

I felt numb and shut down; angry and off-balance. Some of this is the natural aftermath of major surgery and anesthesia. But, the unexpected emotional ache I was experiencing felt dark and sad. My womb was the place where Marty and I co-created three children (one of whom we lost in an early term miscarriage). It was a sacred place where we gave the ultimate gift to each other – the combining of our cells to bring new life into the world – our sons. I felt like I had just lost another piece of my husband and wondered how much more of his memory could I stand to lose?

As I struggled with all of these “complicated” feelings of loss after the hysterectomy, I began to journal again. It was during one of these writing moments that I started to shift my belief system. I realized that, although I had lost my physical womb, my spiritual womb was still intact and within me. What and where you might ask am I talking about? My shift took me on a journey to my heart, my spiritual “womb”. It is from my heart that I love, remember and nurture; and it is where my feminine spirit is alive, strong and vibrant.

With this thought in mind, I blessed and released my physical womb with gratitude for what it brought into my life. It is my intent is to honor and open my heart to life’s memories and possibilities every day that I can. Yes, loss is complicated and grief can take on an unexpected shape in the blink of an eye, but when I am open and willing to “listen” to my inner voice, spiritual shifts can also happen which lead me to a place of hope and gratitude.


Laurel D Rund on how grief and loss are so complicated


This and other articles by Laurel can be found on the Open to Hope website.


Below is a response which someone wrote to the article.

Tinnycua on  said:

Thank you for those words. This year on November 6, 2012 it will be five years since my husband Wayne transitioned. Most days are pretty good days for me. Today in talking to a co -worker about a recent experience with 2 of my 3 kids in the park, I realized at that moment, that my issue at the time (I won’t bore you with the details) was that every time we go to the park or the store or most places that Wayne and I used to frequent with the kids is a reminder that he is not here. And then I had a moment. It was as if I was transported back to my initial grief. In any case thank you for the words it was such a source of comfort that I needed.

Elegy to a Tree

Elegy to a Tree


Elegy to a Tree, the poem, was written about six months after my husband passed away.   It at the time when I had turned to the expressive arts to help me express my soul’s grief.

After enrolling in a drawing class, I was given an assignment to go outside and draw a tree.   I knew exactly which tree I wanted to draw – my favorite tree which was right outside my house on the golf course. There were oh so many times when I would sit and look at “my tree” in the sunshine and the lightning storms,  taking great comfort in its strength and dignity. When our neighbors built their house next to ours, my biggest concern was that it would block my view of the tree.   Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

When I took my drawing pad outside to work on this assignment, to my horror and dismay I discovered that “my tree” was missing.   It had been taken down and replaced with an ordinary palm tree.   So, from a state of grief and loss, I drew the found one of the many pictures I had taken of the tree and used that image to draw from.

Once completed, I was compelled to write “An Elegy to a Tree” as a tribute and eulogy.  The poem speaks volumes about what I was experiencing at that time in my life – a loss of any kind created a raw emotion that went down to my very core, my “roots”.

As I have traveled with my work to art shows, the piece created from my drawing and the photograph of the tree seems to call out to passers by.  This story art touches the viewers almost instantly.   It is spiritual in nature, and I don’t think I had much to do with creating it other than to have it come through my hands and heart onto paper.  Elegy to a tree is mean to be shared so that its spirit lives on.

Elegy to a Tree

Welcoming all to a vision of grandeur,

you stood tall and proud with your trunk rooted firmly in the ground

as your limbs reached towards the heavens.

I watched in awe as playful birds rested on your bare branches,

and marveled when your sparse limbs were

 illuminated by gleaming sunbeams.

You withstood the force of fierce winds, unrestrained rainstorms

and seemed to revel as lightning danced raggedly around you.

During your time on earth, your spirit was one of

beauty, dignity, grace and, above all, courage.

Then suddenly one day you disappeared!

 Thoughtlessly cut down to fulfill

man’s need for youthful perfection, you were

replaced with a rather unremarkable seedling.

Was it was time for your journey to

come to an end so that a new life could begin?

Nonetheless, your loss was jarring.

 Know this oh grand tree ~

 the indelible image of your

magnificent strength and glory

 will always have a home within my soul!

© Laurel  D. Rund 2009

Elegy to a Tree story art by Laurel D Rund

Elegy to a Tree

Trees play a significant part in my life.  On the first year marker of my husband’s death, February 11th, 2010, I planted a beautiful bottle brush tree outside my office window with notes from me and my grandchildren under the roots of the tree.  Birds and butterflies land on this tree (now “Marty’s tree”)  and it gives me great pleasure every time I look up from my computer and see it.

It is a symbol of hope and regrowth!   As it grows, so do I.    View all posts by Laurel Rund →on Open to Hope’s website

The Storm – The Dove – Renewal

The Storm – The Dove – Renewal

Laurel D. Rund    April 21, 2012

The Storm - The Dove - Renewal story about loss and renewal

The Storm – The Dove – Renewal

 The Dove’s Nest

A week or two ago, a beautiful dove built a nest in a palm tree next to my house.   It was nestled in a space where a palm frond had been, and there she sat on two white eggs.   None of the activity of the house scared her away – lawn mowing, power washing the house, the pool generator.  That mother dove centered herself on her nest in a tranquil and protective state as she waited for her eggs to hatch.  She brought peace and optimism with her.

My significant other –my love partner – and I would go outside and quietly observe this beautiful and peaceful scene several times a day.  It had special significance to us because it symbolized hope and new beginnings.   He took wonderful pictures of “our” dove in her nest and I published them on Facebook with a note about the meaning that a dove brings to life.   Those pictures touched the hearts of many, including my granddaughters who thought they were “awesome.”

The Storm

Last night there was a much needed and welcomed rainstorm here in Florida.  This morning, with coffee in hand, I went outside to visit the dove to see how she did after the rain.  My heart was jolted when I saw that the storm had torn away the nest from the tree and the dove was nowhere to be seen. There on the ground were the remnants of the mama bird’s nest and the two white eggs, one of which was broken. I wept in sorrow and in loss.

Before I went out this morning to visit the dove’s nest, I signed onto my computer to visit a site called “Open to Hope” to see if a piece I sent them as a contributing author was published (it came out today, April 21).  The piece, a poem, was written in 2009 two months after my husband Marty passed away.  It is titled “The Storm” and the words continue to have meaning to me.  The storm swept away the life I had for 42 years, and I was left with no choice but to slowly rebuild a new one.   Just as the dove will no doubt find another tree to build a nest in and patiently wait for her eggs to hatch, the loss of this nest will not stop her from “going on”.   I’m not sure what to make of this moment ~ maybe to remember that storms occur in every living creature’s life – and that survival and rebuilding one’s proverbial nest (life) is the key.

The Renewal*

My journey since my husband’s death and that devastating “storm” has taken me on a winding road of countless steps.   After a summer rainstorm, what very often follows is the sweet smell of renewal in the air.  The tears I shed during my times of grief stirred something different and promising within me, but to love again seemed unfathomable.   In the past three years I have experienced a newfound sense of purpose through writing and artwork; an awareness of my own spirituality; and a sweet and gentle love for a man who has swept into my heart in the most unexpected way.

When an annual flowering plant ceases to blossom and withers away, leaving an empty space in its place, in time something magical occurs.  After a period of nurturing and regrowth in the earth, the plant slowly resurfaces and reaches to the heavens in full bloom and renewal.  A quote by Walter Anderson that sits on my computer desktop reminded me today  “I am responsible.  Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”  Walter Anderson

*Update, the mama dove has returned to the repaired nest and laid two more eggs. The papa dove perches on the roof across from ours cooing with pride. Life does always renew itself. Laurel 5/23/2012

The Storm – The Poem 

written by Laurel D. Rund on 4.12.09

As the thunder rolled and signaled danger,

we kept fighting our way through

the confusing maze of gathered facts,

disappointments, setbacks, and fear.

As you disappeared inch by inch, pound by pound,

I averted my eyes to avoid what I was seeing.

And closed my ears to what I was hearing.

Your lovely smile was fading and

your magnificent presence was disappearing

in the midst of our denial.

Then, lightning struck!

It was sharp and jagged and

it crackled and tormented our very beings!

We ran for cover, seeking protection from

the onslaught to come.

But,  there was nowhere left to hide.

The zig-zag of harsh light

made us open our eyes, our souls,

to the understanding that we had finally run out of time.

Frightened, yet quietly relieved, we surrendered to the inevitable.

After the storm, your spirit was gently released,

and for you my darling,

the rainbow beckoned and a new passage began.

Our journey together came to an end.

As “We” ceased to be an “Us,

I was left waiting for the clouds to retreat

and for a sliver of hope to emerge.

For now, there is a deafening silence.

Dedicated to my husband Martin Rund 

who passed away on February 11th, 2009

Life’s Possibilities – Renewal










With a Wink and a Nod

Widow Wonders if She’ll Ever ‘Fit’ with Another Man

Story published by Open to Hope

Laurel Rund | November 23, 2011


Liana watched as the email came in.  A “wink” from the cyberspace-dating world.  God, she said to herself, how did I get myself into this? 

She settled down into the office chair and clicked on the picture.  Ugg, not for me.  So she pushed the search button and scanned the faces that were supposed to match with her.  Looking at their eyes, their smile – trying to find someone who seemed familiar, someone to fill the huge void in her heart.

She knew that it was really too soon to start dating again, but the computer drew her in and offered temporary distraction from her grief.   Sam was gone only three months, and her loneliness felt bottomless and searing.  The pain was mind numbing, and she was filled with chaotic noise.

Liana was surprised that the thought of another man even entered her head.  She was searching for comfort and was drawn to the images coming from her computer.

She was acutely aware that there was no one to put his arm around her shoulder in a familiar and loving way.  It was the knowing that Sam wasn’t there to embrace her, or to share in a lingering and familiar kiss.  It was the sadness she had knowing that she was no longer held special in his eyes, or that she would never again feel the safety of his arms.   His being was gone and the curtain had come down on their shared history.

While looking at the computer screen, she wondered if she would ever “fit” with someone again?   It was as if she would be an alien meeting a human for the first time.  After so many years, 44, to be precise, Liana didn’t know what someone else would feel like.  How would she feel when someone other than Sam kissed or touched her?

She shuddered when she used the word widow.  It was a label she hadn’t anticipated, and didn’t want to embody. She could taste the bitterness surging through her body. Liana stroked the image of Sam’s face in his picture.  She said out loud with tears flowing down her cheeks, “why did you leave me?  How could you do that to me, to us at this time in our lives?”

Seeking comfort, Liana wrapped herself in Sam’s bathrobe, sniffing it to catch a whiff of him.  She often sprayed his bathrobe with his favorite cologne – a familiar and delicious smell.  The bathrobe brought back so many memories – when she would stand behind him, wrap her arms around him, and nuzzle into him.  Sam would laugh and turn his face to her with his winning grin.  Never to be relived again, just to be replayed in her memory as a treasured moment.

Liana wandered into the kitchen and rummaged though the pantry looking for something to push down her pain.  Nothing worked, nothing removed the bitter taste, and even chewing was an effort.  She felt lost, weary and lonely.

So she reluctantly made her way into their bedroom with her beloved cats in tow.  Liana’s cats had been sentinels at her side during the ordeal of his dying and death. They knew something was wrong, and tried to comfort her by curling up beside her – nuzzling her arm, hitting her with their tails.  They slept nearby which helped ease her loneliness.

Her side of the king sized bed shrunk; she slept near the edge – not wanting to move into the sacred space where she used to snuggle into him.  Sam’s side of the bed was empty and a reminder of his absence.  She could barely look at it and covered up the vacant space by putting things there — magazines, books, folders, and papers.

During those rare moments when she actually slept, out of habit Liana would reach out to touch him, nudge him with her foot, put her hand on his back to make sure he was breathing.  These “things” gave her something to touch other than empty space.

While sitting in their bed and silently weeping, Liana often wrote Sam letters, sharing words for him to hear.  She knew that Sam’s energy was there, and if he could, he would have reached through the ethers to comfort her.

Throughout their ordeal, Sam’s eyes told her that he desperately wanted to protect her from what was to come, but he didn’t know how.  Her heart actually hurt and her grief oozed out when that image emerged.  She was wounded and raw, and felt like a stranger in her own body and mind.

Liana knew that she was in uncharted waters. It was another beginning, a new unanticipated journey.  Her survival instincts kicked in and she made an appointment with a hospice bereavement counselor, intuitively knowing this would help guide her through the maze of her loss, her grief.

After finally falling into a fitful sleep she awoke with a start, and these words surfaced: “Where are you?Where are you? “  The silence in their bedroom provided no comfort, no answer.  Just the blinking of a digital clock telling her that it had been his time to go, and it was her time to learn how to “be” on her own.   Together, as a couple, Sam and Liana’s life had been filled with treasured gifts. Now, on her own, there were life lessons ahead to experience.

The next morning, Liana sat in bed with her coffee and opened her laptop.  The computer blinked, a new cyber-space stranger had noticed her and wanted to communicate.  And, so, another day began with a “wink” and a “nod”.

Laurel D. Rund 2010

Note:  I am pleased to say that this piece, which was a reflection of my life over two years ago, no longer holds true.  I offer these words and this story as solace and understanding to anyone going through the loss of a partner.  Cyberspace for me, now, is a place I go to for sharing (and shopping).  Even though I didn’t think it was possible to really love again, a wonderful man has entered my life, and has helped heal and fill my heart. I will always hold a special place for my husband in this heart of mine, but I have learned that  life is filled with infinite possibilities as we create our story each day.

Here’s how I serendiptiously met my significant (truly significant) other.     Just Be!

A Year of Solitary Firsts – Grief and Loss


 A Year of Solitary Firsts by Laurel Rund | September 1, 2011


story of spousal loss and getting through the first yearAs I write this article, 2-1/2 years after my husband Marty’s death, I am overwhelmed with surprise that so much time has passed. Memories of that first year are wrapped in a surreal haze and when vivid images do surface, the fog lifts and reveals my year of solitary firsts. February 11th, 2009 marked the death of my husband, my mate of 42 years.

A quote on the back of the Joyce Carol Oates book, A Widow’s Story, says “of the widow’s countless death-duties there is really just one that matters:  on the first anniversary of her husband’s death, the widow should think ‘I kept myself alive.’ ”  When I read those words, I remember thinking, “I did that.”

My flight to New York for Marty’s Celebration of Life service was laden with emotions.   I remember walking with heavy legs through the airport wanting to scream, “You don’t understand, I just lost my husband.”   I remember sitting next to a middle-aged couple and wanting to say to them, “You don’t understand your time together is limited.”   I remember writing a note to Marty on the plane, telling him how alone I was feeling, pressed up against the window, weeping silently and wanting to be invisible.

After the Celebration of Life, I turned around to find Marty to say “okay, let’s go home,” and felt a wound to my heart. I had forgotten for an instant that he was gone. That moment brought with it the realization that my husband would never be there to go home with again and that I was no longer Marty’s wife.

I don’t remember the trip back to Florida. All I do remember is the feeling that I wanted to go home.   Entering our house to no one’s arms and a “hi babe” was grim and deafening.   Yet it was also somehow comforting because it was our home, it held our things, and most of all, Marty’s energy was still palpable.

Everywhere I turned, there was a sense of his presence and of his loss.  Marty’s side of the bed was empty, his place at the kitchen table was bare, and his closet was filled with clothing that would never be worn by him again.  I wandered around like a ghost, closing doors. I fell into our bed and tried to avert my eyes to the sights of emptiness and my ears to the sound of silence.

At night, I reached over in my sleep to touch Marty with my hand or foot, and awoke with a start remembering that he was GONE.  I woke up at 3 a.m. thinking, “This was the time it happened, this was the hour.”   Sleeping and eating became unwelcomed obligations – what I knew I had to do in order to survive, but had no taste for.

I didn’t have a big support system in Florida and knew that I had to get help.  I met with a hospice counselor who encouraged me to join a bereavement group.  Talking with people who understand grief and who had also experienced loss was as essential part of my healing process.

Sometimes I liken that first year to a soldier returning from the war with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  Images would flash before my eyes at unexpected moments.  When I passed a building associated with Marty’s illness, I would shudder; when I saw an emaciated person who looked ill, I would lose my breath and look away.

Rituals started to emerge. I wrapped myself in Marty’s bathrobe and sprayed it with his cologne every single night – envisioning his arms around me. For more than a year, I wrote letters to him and when I showered, I wrote love notes on the steamy glass shower wall.  I put on Marty’s watch and his Chai because it felt like his “energy.” I calendared a reminder to myself (as if I would forget) to light a memory candle on the 11th of each month.

When it came time to pick up Marty’s ashes, I felt anxious and panicked.  As I drove to the crematorium on my own, I was in a state of suspended disbelief over what I was doing. When the container holding his ashes was placed in my car, a sense of calm came over me because I was taking my husband home. I don’t believe that these ashes contain Marty’s spirit, but they sit on a credenza facing the golf course in a special wooden box.  Just in case there’s a bit of his spirit there, I want him to be able to watch his favorite sport.

During the first six months, I called home many times to hear Marty’s voice on the message machine. It took courage for me to change that message, and I only did that because I was able to capture his voice and store it on my computer. I then recorded my first message as Laurel, a single woman.  It was an “I’m not home” message, not a “we’re not home” message.

Every day brought in something new and unanticipated; sometimes it was a day filled with raw emotion. I no longer lived in a state of fear, because the worst had happened – Marty had died. At other times, it was a day that brought me little slivers of hope and optimism. I enrolled in art and writing classes, formed new friendships, and started to live life as a single woman. I was experiencing a renewal and my own transition and there were days when I even managed to smile again.

As it got closer to the year “anniversary”  (why would anyone call the day someone dies an anniversary?), I felt anxious and wanted it to be over with.  I didn’t know what to expect or how I would handle the day. It was very difficult during those two months before the year marker, much tougher than I had thought. I was raw; once again, I was left waiting and, as if in a thunderstorm, fresh tears rained down.

To mark the year gone by, I decided that I would plant a memory tree outside my office window as a living symbol to honor Marty’s legacy.  Letters from my children, my grandchildren and me, along with some cherished pictures and mementos, were buried in the soil underneath the roots of this memory tree. On February 11th, 2010, some of my dear friends came over and we held a small ceremony over that tree of love.   It was then that I decided that the day shouldn’t be about loss, but should symbolize something good.   Simply put, I now chose to recognize the day that Marty passed away as one of transition – Marty’s and mine.

In the rush of life, there are many symbolic moments that slip by without notice. After someone you love dies, that first year is filled with memories which are too countless to describe.  That year, the year of solitary firsts, is stitched into my heart and will be with me for however long my forever is.

Laurel D. Rund   2011

Grief’s Cloak is a poem I wrote in January 2010, one month before the anniversary of Marty’s death.   It and the accompanying artwork is shared below –

Emerging Voices - Living On by Laurel Rund

“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us,which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.”  Marcel Proust

3 Responses to “After Husband’s Death, a Year of ‘Solitary Firsts’”

  1. Anne Garden Says:
    September 1st, 2011 at 10:08 amBeautiful OneI have been single most of my life; I have never known a long term
    companion.My childhood was traumatic with parents divorcing when I was ten.I have always wondered what it would be like to know the closeness
    you have now expressed with a mate, another human under your own skin! I have recently met someone I hope to know as intimately as you have shared with us.I am only sad that I will never know the impressions of 40plus years, my birthday was 2/11/50. My Birthday now has a new tatoo on my heart with you and Marty.Thank You for my birthday gift for all my forever Laurel.It’s funny, on your birthday, at your party at the meadows, you gifted me with your book.! So many gifts to so many come from you; it makes me wonder ALL Marty must still have in his Spirit from you!Thanks Again,…. and again……
    Love, Anne
  2. Ken & Mabel Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 4:32 amWe pray that the seed of your GOD-given talent continues to grow and flourish, as you convey the power of healing love to others.
  3. Dixie Mahan Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 9:56 amLaurel, You have hit the mark with this essay! I have used your book almost daily, reading your poems or journaling my own responses to the loss of my husband, Russ, 11/7/10. I often feel that I am doing well, getting use to living alone after 56 years of marriage, and then something will trigger an overwhelming sense of loss and emptyness. My first birthday alone was filled with cards and friends, but I still went to bed alone. Our anniversary is coming up in a few days, and it seems unreal that he has been gone all this time. I tell myself to buck up, after all we did have 56 mostly wonderful years together! But, I still have this emptyness in my gut.Laurel, I really appreciate your writings, as it puts words to some of my feelings, and helps me to understand what I am experiencing. I also feel gratitude for our friendship.
    Love, Dixie
  4. Kathy on  said: I am coming up on the one year “anniversary” of my husbands death. Thank you for writing. You understand. I needed to find someone else that understood.

Valentines Day Without You

Valentine’s Day Without You

The Bradenton Herald asked Tidewell Hospice to recommend someone for this article on Valentines Day.   I had the honor of being the one selected and interviewed for this piece called “Valentine’s Day Without You.”   My heart is not heavy, it is full.   It is grateful.   It is open to life’s possibilities.   I had 42 years with someone I loved and who loved me.   He is wrapping his arms around all those he loved … me, our children and grandchildren, family, friends, pets (and his golf clubs.)   As a spirit, his reach is wide.  His energy sparkles.   He doesn’t need to send a card or flowers, he is sending his everlasting love to all of us.
At 3:00 in the morning  of February 11th, 2009, my husband Marty started on his new journey.   He promised that he would always be here in my heart … and he has kept that promise.   My promise to him was to live my life to the fullest and I, too,  have kept that promise.
My wish for you is that your Valentines Day is “full” of promise.   Below is a poem I wrote called “Valentine’s Day Without You.”   Laurel
After spousal loss, how a widow copes with Valentines Day
How a widow felt on the first Valentine's Day without her husband.

Life-Altering Transitions

Life’s Transitions

Touch drawing called TransitionsOn February 4th of 2009 my husband Marty and I made the decision to bring in hospice.   After a yearlong illness, we acknowledged that the battle was over and it was time to let Marty transition with ease and grace.  I had been a caretaker for a year, living in fear and terror … a lonely and sad time in our 44 years together.  A lightning storm struck and left us with nowhere to hide.  We were exhausted, saddened and crushed.  Actually, Marty seemed relieved, because in truth he was fighting to stay alive for the kids and me.  He was ready to leave.   I was numb and didn’t know what to expect.
The point of this is that at the worst time in my life, a social worker from hospice came into our home, our lives.   She counseled and offered solace, but the most important thing she told me was that during this dark time, I should remain open and observe because I would see and encounter “golden nuggets” which would remain with me forever.   I don’t know why my befuddled head heard her, or why I was able to retain what the social worker said, but I did.
Because of that advice, (that golden nugget) I was able to see and feel the kindness offered by those who surrounded us that final week.   Moments arrived of humans “being” the light that they are.  It was as if a switch went off in my head, my heart … and my vision cleared.   It was the beginning of my transition as well.   I was, at such a sorrowful time, openingup to allow life in.  

There have been many “golden nuggets” in my life this last year.   I am grateful for each and every one of them … big and small, because each nugget has helped pave the way for me to “be.”   Loss and grief are a part of life, which everyone will encounter, and experience.   But, remain open my friends … there are golden nuggets which are occurring every moment around you … embrace them, be in them, experience them.   These treasures are part of your life’s story.   Attached is the artwork (my first touch drawing) and poem written about that time of “Transitions.”  Both came from my soul which was tapping into its “golden nuggets.”

Metamorphosis - Your Stories of transformation and self-realization


We were battle scarred and knew the long struggle was about to end.
Simply put, you were dying, going to leave.
An acute awareness filled the air; the clock had run out!
Our time together was rapidly coming to an end.
The face of death made itself known to us at warped speed.
It had been lurking around for months – playing hide and seek,
and was finally declaring itself the winner. 
Wanting to claim its reward, death beckoned.
Embracing whatever time was left; you became focused and alert.
Your eyes cleared as they sought memories.
You found your voice, and spoke and wrote to those whom you loved.
In the dark at night, I felt you silently shed tears of loss and regret. 
All I could offer was comfort and my love.
Your transition had begun.
In numbness, I couldn’t wrap my mind around what was to come. 
The finality of “it” – the loss of you – the loss of us loomed.
A wound was emerging that would seep into my heart
and into my being … it would change me forever.
I am here alone now, looking at your picture,
imagining being in your arms;
searching for signs of your presence. 
Sadness permeates my heart, tears are wept,
and I long for you. 
Life is a spiral of events. 
It is always teaching welcomed and unwelcomed lessons. 
Our love affair here on earth has ended.
And … now … I have begun my own transition.
Laurel D. Rund (c) March 2009