SEPTEMBER 14, 2019: “The Lion Of Lucerne” …



At exactly 8am this morning we were supposed to be taking off on our flight to tour Switzerland for my 50th birthday. Lucerne was to be our first night and our last, and one of the things I was most looking forward to sharing with him was ”the lion” … the one that I myself stood before some 19 years prior while having the first of my many to follow “moments” while traveling.

Like Zack, I, too, was trapped inside the prison of my own mind at the time in a dark and lonely chasm where I was alive but not really living. So many of my realities back then were nothing more than lies and I but a walking farce. I vividly remember that day as the group I was with headed up a tree-lined path towards “something spectacular” our tour guide was excited to show us. I was looking down at my schedule, not paying much attention, and almost ran in to the person standing in front of me when the group suddenly stopped and turned to look across the pond at “him”.

The Lion of Lucerne is rock relief carved into the cliff face of a sandstone that was sculpted during the early part of the 19th century to commemorate the Swiss Guards who lost their lives in 1792 during the French Revolution. Yet, as I paused to gaze upon him, I saw so much more than just a fallen soldier. It was in that very moment that I began feeling the plethora of emotions I’d been suppressing behind a fraudulent smile to protect not only myself, but my children especially, from the wreckage to come when I finally started letting it all go.

The Lion. Just look at him lying there slain inside that wall. A beast of many burdens, lifeless and alone, with only the precious secrets he’d carried within his heart. Weak and weary. Tired and spent. Worn out, solemn, and vacant. Life had its way with him, and now he’s but a corpse of some unknown past he’d once lived, the demons that had devoured him, and the countless private dreams he’d dreamt that never were to be. Despite his years of his perceived magnificence, he is, ”no longer”.

Connecting with him in that one still moment screamed to me in ways that I have yet been able to fathom, but what I can tell you this. That was, indeed, the turning point at which I truly began to “feel” the pain from the broken, jagged, silent pieces that had been cutting me from within all the while. Both my stomach and my heart were aching so badly that I literally couldn’t breathe. Yet, it was without question one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

The Lion is me. The Lion is my husband. He is any and everyone who is now or has ever had the daunting task of wandering lost inside their own lonely head and heart just waiting for the day that they’re finally allowed to die.

So, with that, as I finish this post, I think I’ve made a decision. Someday, I will go on to Lucerne and offer some of his ashes to the pond beneath my Lion. It’s what I need to do, and I will when the time is right. In the meantime, I’ll just continue to rise from not just the ashes of his remains, but my own as well, and pray God that I’ll see the beauty that is surely yet to rise up out of them.