The Three Beloveds

We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love. ~Madame de Stael

Yesterday I cried and my heart felt sad. It still does. I cried for many reasons, but mainly because sometimes life is hard, and today would have been my father’s 85th birthday. The first one, since he died in May, on Mother’s day, of all days. I can’t think of Thanksgiving without thinking of my father. His birthday often fell on it, or a day after. And my mother’s birthday comes only 5 days later. They were partners in every sense of the word, and were married for 57 sometimes difficult, sometimes disappointing, years. But there is no doubt they they loved and complimented and challenged each other, and they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My dad didn’t die suddenly, and there was time to say goodbye, but because of my own health issues, I wasn’t with him and my mother when It happened, Not being there to support her, in those last very difficult weeks, felt heartbreaking. Both my father and my mother loved and supported the arts. They exposed me to them from the time I was the littlest girl. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their brilliant minds and generous influences.

I’m not afraid to die. But I am afraid of living if and when I can’t look after myself, and hope like most of us do, to die in my sleep, or while doing the thing I love the most, or in peace, with my loved ones at my side.
But where death is concerned, we really don’t have much control. And sometimes it sneaks up on us when we’re least expecting it.
(Not that we have much control over our life either. Only over the way we respond to the things that occur in it.) This kind of control, is about mindfulness, and about choosing to walk in Beauty even in the midst of great suffering. A I believe it is what informs the quality of our life and forms our character.

Such was the case of the recent death of one of my dearest friend’s father, Geoffrey Gordon. A gifted musician, he died of a massive heart attack, soon after returning from what many said was one of the best performances of his life. Art, especially poetry, has always been a way for human beings to come to terms with heartbreak. I wrote the poem below in that spirit, and as a gift to Sandy, his widow, and to their daughter, Gyana, my wise, wonderful, sensitive, ever so dear friend whose presence in my life, even from afar…well, I wouldn’t want to imagine life without.

The Three Beloveds

(For Geoffrey Gordon and especially,for Sandy)

Who can say which is more
beautiful? It’s all in the eye
that knows how to behold.
The fading rose,
dusky desire full of knowing,
or the pink hot rose
who knows how to open
to the peak of her bloom,
or the budding rose
still becoming.

All so lovely.
The three beloveds,
you titled the photo,
one of the last you posted
Nana Sandy is in the middle.
she was the salt of the earth you kissed
for 30 years, the scent you followed
each night into sleep.

It didn’t happen all at once,
there were a few signs, that weren’t
recognized along the way.
cholesterol high.
Doctors appointments put off.
And the night before, on the road home,
tired, so tired,
you called and early riser that you were
said when I get home
tomorrow, just let me sleep in.

You are what you love,
this line, by Rumi, posted
after (in tribute) enters my heart
the way your music entered
the hearts of many. So many
tributes, so many touched, you
were a lucky man, a true
bhakta who gave thanks
with your hands. You danced
that last night and received
a standing ovation. Then-
and on many ordinary days,
from the bud, when you played
and danced together in the living
room and who said on the
way to the funeral, “I knew
I’d have to deal with this one day
but I thought I’d be 27, not 10.”

I love poetry,
I know letting tears flow,
so maybe
that makes me
I love Love,
so maybe
that makes me
love. Like you
like you loved,
the three Beloveds.

–Sabrina Coryell

Let life be as beautiful as summer flowers
And death as beautiful as autumn leaves.
~Rabindranath Tagore

About engagingly yours

Passionate Poet, Writer, Yoga Teacher, Realistic Idealist, Devotee, servant and Champion of Beauty, Lover of Life: visit me at
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4 Responses to The Three Beloveds

  1. Alex says:

    Sabrina–full of the heart and hard-won wisdom that is all yours now. I see beauty in your every step these days.

  2. It’s always difficult to be reminded of deep loss. This beautiful meditation is a wonderful way to greet the feeling. My thoughts are with you!

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