the upside-down tree

If I never write this post, Trevor didn’t die.
That’s how my brain works.

If I just keep finding reasons to stall, then the Trevor of my mind is still alive– sitting on a sofa, smiling a second before his wife laughs. He knows her and he loves her, and in my mind, I tell Dave what I tell him every time we have a couples date with these people.  We are so lucky to know them. We are so lucky to be surrounded by people who inspire us.

But Dave isn’t here anymore, and neither is Trevor.

On 04-13-2016, in what must have been a totally impulsive decision whilst wrestling with depression, Trevor killed himself.

Trevor was husband and best friend to Iona– one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met– and father to Dorian– one of the happiest children I’ve ever seen.

And this poem– well, this is for Dorian and anyone else who needs it.

We got you, girl.
We got you, girl.  Then, now, and always.

With love from Rara…
and Dave.

The Upside-Down Tree

Some trees grow up.
Some trees grow down.
Noise grows like silence.
Silence leaves sound.

Trees grow in all ways.
The world is

Not everyone believes,
but I’m an upside-down tree.

… if someone needs proof,
you send ’em to me.

Two opposite things can be true
at a time…
or even four opposites!
Or was it

All I know
is what I know…

All I know is me.

I’m growing down.





My leaves grow out,
my roots grow in,
I grow every way but up.
Not everyone trusts an opposite.
Not everyone agrees.

… but if someone needs examples made,
you send ’em straight to me.

Even when the sun is out,
the moon still shines so bright.
There’s darkness to be found
in every single light,
and always a little nighttime
in every single dawn.

And when someone you love leaves you,
they’re never really gone.

Careless folk say careless things
— words so hard to bear–
and you won’t help but wonder
if they really even care–

but of course they do.
You are YOU.

And you know that often
two opposites are true.

They may think they are right,
but they’ve left right for wrong.
Loss made your heart weak.
Loss made your heart strong.

But the world is so round,
and life is round, too,
and no matter the others,
You are still YOU.
And you know
both sides of opposites
are true.

Some people still think
that all trees grow up,
but I didn’t, you see.

I am the giant
upside-down tree.

If someone needs convincing,
you send ’em to me.

I want you to grow
as well as can be,

whichever direction matters not
to me.

So if words or actions
ever make you feel small,
or imply that one opposite
is more true than them all,

Remember there’s many ways
to grow tall and free–

Pack up that nonsense,
And mail it to me.

The world is so round,
that life can’t be square.
But when someone’s still gone,
they’re also still there.

Your someone is gone
and loss makes you feel blue,
but here is another opposite that’s true:

Your loss makes you part of me,
because I’ve lost love too.
I am the giant upside-down tree,

with you.

So you, too, are big.

(Believe me, it’s true.)

And if ever your tears
make it hard to see…

you bottle them up,
and you send ’em to me.

Your loss is your own,
and so heavy to carry,
and the monsters you face
I know can be hairy.

But I am not the whole tree,
you are a part.
So no matter how heavy,
I am holding your heart.

Loss makes skies rainy,
and long days longer…
but as strong as pain is,
your heart is stronger.

Exercise your heart–
be loving and kind.
Greet life with a wide and open mind.
Most people have losses
they’ve locked behind doors…
and if you carry theirs,
they’ll help carry yours.
And both hearts will be stronger
and the world will be too–
because you chose to grow.

What a brave thing to do.

You don’t have to grow up,
I never did,
but you have to grow bravely.
You owe it to you.

And if you have fears
that creep into your dreams.
Fears made of teeth
and screech- screech screams,
catch any and all that you can see,

Then send them packing.

Send ’em to me.

I am the great big upside-down tree.
I see things differently.
I see silence in sound.

Life’s about opposites.
The world is

When someone is lost,
your heart keeps them found.

So let’s see your heart muscles.

Show me your brave.
Let’s see how much world
you can carry and save..

because there’s so much to hold,
and so much to let go,
and which one is which…
I’m sure you will know.

But if you need help,
or to differently see.

I’m here, little one.
You come to me.


    1. Thank you, Kate. You’re the magic upside-down tree, too. And if that doesn’t explain everything you need to know about us, I don’t know what would. 😉 Thuds and love and hugs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so very sorry for your loss, and Iona’s and their child. I know from experiencing life’s downs how close to the edge we all are. I’ve read that 1/5 to 4/5 gigs of all suicides are impulsive. That the thought arrives and is acted upon in under 5 minutes for many nod under an hour in most. That comforts me, because it means that it often isn’t an act of punishment but rather an ill-timed moment of desperation.

    May you all, including the child, find comfort wherever it may lie. And may there be more comfort than desperation in all our lives.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am just so teary-eyed at this, yet, I find such great beauty in your compassion and the way of the word. This could almost be a Shel Silverstein book for grown-ups. I bet you could even illustrate it yourself. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and I hope the surviving friends and family get through this OK. xoxo ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. 🙂 I am planning on printing it up for him and BurnsTheFire is going to illustrate an image for me for the cover. I was going to make it just for Dorian, but maybe I’ll make it available for everyone. Thank you for everything. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh Ra! Such great sadness and pain, but I pray the great love you share with and for Iona and Dorian will help heal and comfort them and you. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. P/S I’m having trouble getting the Go Fund me page to load. I’m hoping it’s because so many people are trying to access it at the same time. I’ll keep trying ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hugs Comfort Love to you, Iona, and Dorian and all who love Trevor…

    Ms Rara, you have a gift of reaching the beauty in all of our humanity with your way with words.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Extreme lose becomes like a dormant virus that flares up whenever we are near other people’s lose. The closer those people are to us, the more painful the flare-up. I am, as always, so sorry for your lose Ra.
    I love love love the poem. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Only so I can like everyone’s things, under a name. 🙂 nothing written. Maybe one day. who knows. Thank you for asking. I’ve been enjoying your travels today. The poetry tree. good heavens. and the horses… sigh. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t know what to say, but you said everything so beautifully and honestly. I think a Ra’s Book of Poetry and Other Oddities needs to be a thing. I would read it all the time.
    Thud, and hugs, and love to you and Iona and Dorian.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This was wonderful! Filled with healing and love. The kindest and most heartfelt expression of caring you could have possibly given to your friend (and shared with us). You have a gift and have chosen to share it in beautiful ways. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. if shel silverstein and theodor geisel sat down together to write a poem for dorian, this would have been the result. let us know when it’s illustrated and in print, and i’ll buy them for all my friends. i am so sorry for your loss, and for iona’s, and for dorian’s.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. This … oh sweetheart. I’m so, so sorry about your friend. I know how you feel, how much it hurts and how confusing it feels, and even the part about feeling angry that people don’t like to talk about. I wish I could hug you so hard the hurts got squeezed out of you.

    My heart breaks for Iona, and Dorian. The path ahead won’t be easy, but with friends like you surrounding them with as much love as you do, the path ahead won’t be lonely. My prayers go out to and for them.

    Your poem made me cry. It was beautiful. Like you. *hugs* ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you, Ra, for being you. Thank you for sharing this poem with everyone. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for widening our hearts and helping us to bear this with you and within community. Thank you for writing this poem for Dorian and everyone involved. I love you, Ra! ❤ I am so sorry for our loss.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. This is so beautiful and is just a pure reflection of who you are . Headed over to make a small donation. Thank you for sharing your friends with us and I am truly sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rara….. RARA – every day the universe sends me something to tear up about. every day. well today it was your beautiful exquisite poem. oh heavens… it is a thing of beauty.

    I don’t have much else… this will go where it needs to go – it truly needs to be published.. it really should be. xo

    hugs.. blessings… light.. all of it to you. You spread the light .. you can’t help it. it radiates out of you and reaches those in need. I’m so glad I found your words… they help me immensely. well done….<3

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Please let me again offer my condolences to you and everyone who loved Trevor. May his family feel the love that is coming their way. May it comfort them each day when the darkness comes in. May peace find them during the dark… so they can see the light a little easier. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your words, your heart, have brought tears to my eyes. A loss so final there is no true goodbye.
    My husband was (and really…still is) in the army, an infantryman. In the last week he has lost two of his ‘brothers’ to a losing battle with PTSD. It never seems to be seen though the after is felt through the universe…like a planet has fallen far from its sun.
    I know your loss is not of a recent moment but it is still such a loss. And without sounding like a broken record ‘I’m sorry’ that you know such pain.
    You are so beautiful Ra, so loved, and so compassionate. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It does, a bit. The problem is that Iona hasn’t worked in her time with Trevor, and they’ve been together 18 years. Plus the baby, and the void of things because of suicide as a cause. .. and the timing, rent being due right after. Cali is expensive. I rent a room for about 12k a year, they rent a house and have a lease. Without big change the 18k won’t last long, but it’s a huge breather for sure…. and Iona is strong and very responsible. She’ll find a way to make the big changes needed to make it last. For totally selfish reasons, I am hoping that doesn’t mean too far of a move from me, but then. .. who knows where I’ll be in a few years anyway. 🙂

      Anyway, sorry for the ramble. People are awesome and generous and Trevor and Iona are important to many so I wasn’t surprised by the 18k… but I was and continue to be incredibly thankful. ♡

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh gosh, yes I see, so it provides a small breather but certainly not a long solution. It’s so hard. It’s awful when people have huge emotional issues to deal with and yet lack of money means that they have to focus on that instead. I know money absolutely doesn’t buy happiness, but lack of it certainly adds huge stress!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. You there, the tree, that somehow grew down, you’re still free. Free to grow up, down, square or round. Remember tree that grew down somehow, that the roots that grow underground are as big as the trees. That, tree, that grew down somehow, is how you know you’re free, just like the other trees, that grew up somehow. You just grew down somehow, which is lovely because you’re free to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Both your poem, and your eloquent reading of it touched my heart. You sound like a wonderfully positive person, despite all the horrible things that you’ve had to bear, and now, you’re extending your huge, beautiful spirit to a friend when she needs it. I loved this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Heartbreaking.

    I’ve lost two brothers to suicide. The first when he was quite young, leaving four children, ages 3 to 14. The second just a few days before his 60th birthday, leaving us all dumbfounded; his grandchildren asking tough questions. I know what is left behind after a suicide. Please give Iona and her daughter all the hugs you can. I’ve shared this on FB and am reblogging. I hope some of my friends will contribute.


  19. I’ve never finished a poem this long. lols But this is so beautifully written. Thanks so much for sharing. Keep them coming!



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