the stars are not wanted now

stars and shrinking human




I have gotten to an age where the list of people we have to say goodbye to gets added to far too often.


On the other hand … thinking about it … even at 25 my list was far too long.






The wife of a good friend, she also a friend, passed away early Easter morning.


This is what I hope she reads when she has a moment <I assume heaven has the internet>.




Capturing sadness in words is one of the most difficult things to do as a writer. It is one of the rare situations in which words seem so inadequate. And, yet, what other choice do we have than to sift thru the words available to us and attempt to capture that which is, was and will be with the death of one we admire, adore as a person and assess our own lives against.



But this is my note to Jen.



A bigger “5’ foot nothing” woman has never lived. She left a family behind and yet left nothing behind in her Life. I am not sure I have ever known anyone who I could unequivocally say lived a full life more than she.


jen and maddie

She left nothing behind in the way she lived and, because of that, left behind everything in death.



I won’t be asked to speak at her service but if I were I believe I would say this:





I tried to think of one word to describe Jen on this day and at this moment … I thought of strength, character, courage, intelligence, determination … and discarded them all as not enough.

The one word big enough is Dignity. She bore life with dignity.

And in doing so she stood tall in Life.

In fact she stood taller than most of us around her. And she did so without making the rest of us look small … but instead we found ourselves trying to be a little taller ourselves.


She lived with the utmost respect for Life and treated each moment in life with dignity. Because of that everyone who entered into one of ‘her moments’ was better for it.

She made us all better or want to be better.

What more could have anyone ask of a legacy?


She was the tallest person I knew.


sigh charlie

As soon as I finished writing I thought of her distinctive voice … a surprisingly deep, strong and confident voice which sounded so much bigger coming out of such a petite woman … giving me shit for suggesting she was ‘more’ than anyone else.

Sorry Jen … this is my post and I get to say what I want.

Death should translate into something bigger than emptiness and with you it has … it has translates into something much bigger … and better than some trite platitudes with regard to emptiness.

Sorry Jen … suck it up and just accept the fact that’s the way we think about you.



And now I turn my attention to my friend Jay who I worry will be lost somewhat despite the fact he has a great support group and two fabulous children.




Because Jen was his <to use Auden’s words> … my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song …




For a while I imagine he will think the stars are no longer wanted.

stop all the clocks stars no longer


I ache for my friend and all I could think of was him sitting there by her bedside as she passed away and these words:





Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,

Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.

For nothing now can ever come to any good.


Wystan Hugh Auden <W.H. Auden> … stop all the clocks … <from “Funeral Blues” and is the first poem in a duo titled “Two Songs for Hedli Anderson.>.



The clocks did stop and pianos were silent … if but for a moment … because life is meant to be lived and born with the dignity of ones who respect Life & living.



We will go on.jen coaching




Jay will go on.



Mostly because Jen would give us shit if we didn’t.



RIP Jen Marra Cronin.

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Written by Bruce