Tapestry Poem about Life and Death, and Jimmy Buffett Quote about Measuring Time

A friend sent me this poem when my father passed away on March 28, 2009. It really helped me emotionally and spiritually. I hope it does the same for you and your loved ones. Over the years, I have shared it with many people. I thought now would be a good time to post it here. I don’t feel my passing will be in the next few weeks. The way things are going with God wanting me to still be here could mean I might be around for a few more months, not sure about years. None of us knows when our time is up and God has us begin our new journey.


My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hole
Words from the old Carole King song “Tapestry”

In fact our lives are “tapestries,” and the death of a loved one is a ripping, gaping, bleeding hole in the very midst of the tapestry of our life. How, then, is the tapestry rewoven? It does not, with the mere passage of time, magically pull itself back together. Rather, it is rewoven only with the initiative, energy, and strength of the survivor reaching in and grasping the torn ends of threads, painfully pulling back and tying them together. And it is rewoven only with those persons around the survivor cutting threads from their own tapestries and bringing them to the survivor, with love and support and caring and tears and strength, helping to further tie the threads and fill in that gaping hole.

So, eventually, the tapestry is rewoven. But that “glitch” is always there, the roughness of that reweaving is, and always will be, apparent. In fact it may be twenty years from now, as the survivor reviews the tapestry of his or her life, or is in a particular setting, or hears a song on the radio, or remembers a special day of the month, that the rewoven seam is seen and felt again, and the survivor remembers and cries, or feels sad, or is touched by the love and caring expressed by those whose threads are apparent there – and that is perfectly normal. We do not recover from a death, but, when we allow others to help, we can reweave our tapestry, which may include continuing to grieve from time to time in varying degrees of intensity for the rest of our lives.

Many people want to know how to identify “abnormal” grieving. Obviously bizarre behavior that is out of character for the survivor is relatively easy to recognize. But less blatantly, if it seems clear that the emotional intensity of the survivor is consistently getting in the way of regular patterns of functioning (shopping, eating, work, health), then additional support in the form of counseling or medication could well be in order.

In any case, understanding the framework of grieving is useful both to survivors and their support system. It is only as these two work together that resolution and healing may occur.

Besides reading books, I love to listen to music. Almost all types of music. My friend Michael just sent me several CDs of Native American musicians including 3 of my friend Albert Gray Eagle that I didn’t already have in my collection of music. If you have not listened to Native American music, you are missing a wonderful experience. Just like with other types of music, Native American music has lots of variety such as easy listening with flutes and other instruments, and more upbeat music like pow wow drum, rock, blues, instrumental, and much more. Many times the songs tell stories about the culture, events, and life experiences.

A few years ago when I was reading one of Jimmy Buffett’s songs I saw this quote. It meant a lot to me at the time, because it was just before I left on my 2011 trip when I knew I would be driving thousands of miles around the USA.

“The simple and beautiful idea of a songline is that music is the way to measure time. Life is a journey that’s measured not in miles or years but in experiences, and the route your life takes is built not of roads but of songs. How far is it from Key West to Miami? To some it is 147 miles. To me, it is about eleven songs.” Jimmy Buffett from his book A Pirate Looks at Fifty.

Want to laugh… watch this video on Utube. The Madray Springs Volunteer Fire Department in southeast Georgia made this video last summer and submitted it to a company that had a contest to win 10 pairs of boots. This was a nationwide contest and Madray Springs VFD won the boots, which they received in the fall. Patty, one of their firefighters, is the lady that is pretending that her cat is in the tree. This was filmed behind their fire station. Chief Ashley Dent is the driver of their very old fire truck. They are hoping the county is going to buy them a new or used truck soon. They really need it. I’ve watched this video often, and I always laugh.

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1 Response to Tapestry Poem about Life and Death, and Jimmy Buffett Quote about Measuring Time

  1. Jenn Cassano says:

    Thankyou for this Carol…..beautiful.

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