top of page
  • Writer's pictureCherie


On April 8th, 2024, I got to see a total eclipse of the sun. As a child of the 80's, I can't hear the term "total eclipse" without thinking of the Bonnie Tyler hit, "Total Eclipse of the Heart", so I'm just letting you know right now that no matter how poignant of a post we end up with here, in my brain the soundtrack of all of it will be that song. And now it is for you, too. You're welcome.

Joe motorcycled up to Idaho a few years back to see the last total eclipse, and I, being the boring parent, thought our kids shouldn't miss the first day of school that year, which was when the celestial event was. Joe has told me ever since then, that we really missed out, and that we should move heaven and earth to make it to the next one. So, for years, we had a plan in place to go to Dallas, Texas where my sister lived, to watch it with her and her family. No matter what else was going on in our lives.

It happened to fall right after Spring Break for the kids. My straight A student kids were a little stressed about what they'd miss at school. We vowed to do anything we had to do in order to make it right when we got back. Incidentally that is the phase we are in right now which has NOT been a picnic but TOTALLY, ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. They'd all agree.

We did fly to Dallas. We did go to my sister's home. We talked and laughed and caught up. It was wonderful. I kept feeling all night on our first night there, that my sister might walk though the door any minute. I hadn't been to her home or her town since the funeral. Of course that was not to be.

The next day we went to the cemetery, where we decided to watch the eclipse. A wave of grief washed over me when we arrived. It was unexpected. I had been doing pretty well. But I flashed back to all the events from the last time we were there. The funeral home. Dressing her body. Standing next to her coffin, that held her body over a hole in the ground. Now we were setting up lawn chairs next to a stone that marked where that hole was; where her body is. I had to run to the car and I broke down in sobs. I stayed there for a few minutes, till my daughter got worried about me and came to find me. I pulled myself together and then went over to where everyone was and I put on my eclipse glasses. My nephew's wife brought pie. Because it's shaped like the sun, and also because my sister ate pie every day when she was on hospice since pie is amazing and why not eat it every day if you're already going to die before it gives you diabetes?

We had some other good snacks and drinks. We were having a nice time chatting and glancing up every few minutes to see the progress of the eclipse. When the moment of totality arrived I was totally unprepared for what it would do to me.

The automatic lights in the cemetery came on as it got dark. The birds stopped chirping. It got cold. Crickets started "cricketing", as my son said. We all gasped and cried out and hugged each other and also just sat or stood in awe, for those four minutes. It was cosmic and creepy and wonderful. And then, a sliver of the sun came back and it was instantly warmer. The birds sang again. The cemetery lit back up with natural light. I was overwhelmed by the symbolism I couldn't help but notice. Words don't do justice. It's like, well, trying to take a photo of the moon. You really just have to be there. But that symbolism, though...All that was taken away would come all the way back.

It's what we live and hope for, isn't it? That all will be made right somehow? It ended up being a sweet day. One that Julie would have loved. She would have loved everything about it. I hope she had a chance to drop in.

(Turn around, bright eyes.......turn around bright eyes......)


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page