An Unfillable Emptiness

Laura Basha

Photo By: Tommy Shellberg

It was 1:00pm on February 27th, 2001.

I was in the kitchen talking on the phone with my friend Helene who had recently relocated to Palm Springs. Call waiting interrupted the conversation, and I excused myself from Helene for a moment to take the call.

It was Alicia. “Laura?”. “Yes, Hi Alicia.” She said, “Are you sitting down?”

Concerned, I sat down and said, “What is it?” Alicia said, “It’s Bert. He has committed suicide. He has hung himself.”

Bert was the father of my children.

Numbness infused me as she told me more details. In shock, I said goodbye, got off the phone with Helene, and I basically lost the next hour. I have a memory as if in a foggy nightmare, snippets of seeing myself instinctively keening, renting my clothes, stumbling and falling into the hallway walls.

As disbelief prickled back into reality, I realized that our 17 year old son was coming home from school, and I would have to pull myself together in some fashion and tell him. And then I would have to call and tell his 20 year old sister, in London and almost at midnight, away on a college art seminar semester …

How does one do that?!

What does a mother say …



Loving an Old Warrior on Father’s Day




1951- 2001


Father of my children, old warrior, mystic.
We love you still, and thank you for
Your brilliance,
Your music,
Your way with water and stars,
Your gift of humor.
Thinking of you always,
Thinking of you on
Father’s Day.




by Bruce Springsteen

Where the river runs to black
I take the schoolbooks from your pack
Plastics, wire and your kiss
The breath of eternity on your lips

In the crowded marketplace
I drift from face to face
I hold my breath and close my eyes
I hold my breath and close my eyes
And I wait for paradise
And I wait for paradise

The Virginia hills have gone to brown
Another day, another sun goin’ down
I visit you in another dream
I visit you in another dream

I reach and feel your hair
Your smell lingers in the air
I brush your cheek with my fingertips
I taste the void upon your lips
And I wait for paradise
And I wait for paradise

I search for you on the other side
Where the river runs clean and wide
Up to my heart the waters rise
Up to my heart the waters rise

I sink ‘neath the river cool and clear
Drifting down I disappear
I see you on the other side
I search for the peace in your eyes
But they’re as empty as paradise
They’re as empty as paradise

I break above the waves
I feel the sun upon my face



Love Lives On



Settling back in after moving houses at the end of the year. 
Some things in order, others not so much. 

Odds and ends of sacred things that used to have a reliable placement in the previous home pop up to be noticed, wanting to find their perfect setting in this new abode.

Above is one. Tomorrow marks another year gone by without him, without my old-shoes-friend and comrade, my great and terrible love, my irreplaceable children’s Dad. We walked through centuries together and no doubt will walk some more before the whole journey is complete.

Wishing you well. 
Wishing you Joy and Freedom. 

Thinking of you, with Love, old friend.

No comments