“HeartSpun Talk from the Crucible of Experience”©

From the life of Ken Matthies - Author, Poet, Real Life Storyteller

When I walked into the funeral parlor prior to my daughter’s funeral for a private family viewing time, the powerful music and words of Vince Gill’s song “Go Rest High on that Mountain” was playing on the speakers. The poignant words and haunting beauty of this song drove me into a pew at the time, curled up and covered in pain and tears with the harsh reality of her death before me.

The fact that this was also one of the songs I’d chosen to be played at my own funeral someday only served at the time to drive home the truth of the bond – now forever broken it seemed – which had existed between my daughter and I.

I’ve thought often about those moments of time when these two universes collided – and over the course of my healing time in the years since have come to see a higher meaning for myself in the music and words of that song, and the events which shattered me on that day.

Today, ‘Go Rest High on that Mountain’ speaks to me of two wonderful truths about both of us.

One truth is the vivid memories I have of both her and I perched on bedrock high on the mountain above my home. It was a favored place at the time for the two of us to go for some serious daddy/daughter conversations about important aspects of life. It was also a place which represented a precursor of the pilot she was to become as she stood strong and proud on rocks edge, seeming ready to launch herself into flight with the power of her own stated dreams, visions and goals of achieving it. I remain awestruck with the privilege I was given to witness such moments high on our own personal mountain.

She achieved her goals of flight in her brief lifetime and flies now with utter abandon and joy among the stars which hang above that mountain – and the bond between us is once again strong in the light of my own healing and acceptance of these simple truths.

The other truth is that high mountains have always spoken to me of much more than mere height. Having climbed a few in my lifetime I’ve been privileged to be able to come to view the world around me from a whole new perspective, one far removed from the narrowness of our tunneled vision on the ground far below.

With the death of my daughter I was faced with having to climb another mountain if I was ever to change my grief-tunneled ground level perspective – this one a mountain of loss, grief and bereavement which over the course of my climb has challenged every belief ever held as truth in my life.

Yet I have persisted in my effort because I somehow knew inside my heart that the top of this mountain was where I would find the healing of new perspectives, and once again connect with the spirit of my daughter. This has proven itself to be utterly true.

Today I am able to ‘Go Rest High on that Mountain’ I have climbed knowing not only the beauty which has gone before me in the form of my daughter, but also the new perspective which awaits me when my own time comes for this song to be played and I go to join her high in the stars above it.

Author's Bio: 

For almost forty years of his life Ken Matthies has been a writer and chronicler of life expressed in poetic form, following the family tradition laid down by his grandfather before him.

Faced with the dramatically life altering experience of his helicopter pilot daughter’s sudden death in 2002 he has grown to also become a literary author of true events based on his own life. Though grief opened his literary doors it is the Light of Love and Memories supplying the fuel of inspiration to write through them.

As a second-chance dad given the opportunity to verbally share his life stories with his newly rediscovered daughter it was she who told him that she believed him to be a ‘worthy man’ after having heard them, and who encouraged him that they should be shared in written form beyond her own life – not yet knowing as she said it that she was soon to leave him behind. As a bereaved father and writer learning how to live life again in the Light of his own Love and Memories of his daughter, he writes those stories now as a testament to her belief and faith in their value.

His full length book entitled "How to Survive the Death of a Child - A Father's Story of Healing Light" was the first of these stories which he wrote in the Light of those Love and Memories.

He lives in the solitude and grandeur of a tiny southern Yukon village with his Tlingit native wife Skoehoeteen and the successor to their venerable old Tahltan bear dog Clancy Underfoot, who now happily awaits them at the Rainbow Bridge in Doggy Heaven. She’s a new female puppy named Hlinukts Seew which means ‘Sweet Rain’ in the Tlingit language, a wonderful phonetic variation in memory of Clancy’s name who was also called C.U. for short. It’s a good place to tell those stories from.

You can read more of Ken's writings and find his Amazon Kindle book at www.kenmatthies.com.