Too Close to Heaven: A Poem by Christine Bode for Those Suffering With Their Mental Health

Circle of Angels in Dante’s Paradise by Gustave Dore

Do you or someone you know feel as if you’re getting too close to heaven? Do you feel that life is unbearable on this crazy blue planet and that you don’t know how much longer you can live here? I have felt that way too, I assure you.

Acutely aware that an innumerable amount of people has lost someone they love during this pandemic, from either the virus, because they couldn’t get the medical care they needed, or because they took their own life, I am thinking of you today and wanted to share a poem that I wrote years ago for a friend of mine who took his life. The poem was inspired by the song “Too Close to Heaven” by The Waterboys which you can hear in the stunningly beautiful and powerful video below, posted by deep46blue on YouTube.

If you know of someone who is struggling with their mental health right now, please reach out to The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for advice on how you can help them. Their toll-free number is 1-800-463-2338.

TOO CLOSE TO HEAVEN

by Christine Bode

You are the brother I never had
Seeing your pain made me so sad
Grateful for every moment we spent
Knowing everything that I said I meant

All the love
All the laughter
Every joy
Every game

You’re too close to heaven to worry about shame

I miss you more than you’ll ever know
Every road travelled has led us here
If I had my way I would go before
I’ll try my best not to need you near

All the raging
All the mud
Every river
Every flood

You’re too close to heaven to worry about blood

Will you ask God when you see him
If he will help me bear your loss
Tell him I am pissed off that
he didn’t pick some other sod

All the stress
All the fright
Every vow
Every tear

You’re too close to heaven to worry about fear

I’ll ask God when he’s listening
to take care of your soul
I’ll ask him for understanding
in this forbidding vicious world

All the past
All the future
Every hope
Every strife

You’re too close to heaven to worry about life

deep46blue

Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak

Book Review
Title: Daisy Dooley Does Divorce
Author: Anna Pasternak
Publisher: 5 Spot
Released: 2007
Pages: 368
ISBN-10: 0446177946
ISBN-13: 978-0446177948
Stars: 4.5

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 10:55am (Facebook)

This is the book I’m reading at the moment…snug in my bed under my brand new duvet where I can totally ignore the horrendous winter that’s waiting outside along with an hour’s worth of snow shoveling!

Daisy Dooley Does Divorce is a humorous and heartfelt romp through 39-year-old Brit, Daisy Dooley’s divorce and her consequent quest to understand men, relationships, and most importantly herself and the decisions she makes. It’s a Bridget Jones’s Diary for divorcees and an easy, charming and highly enjoyable read. It is laugh out loud funny, often thought-provokingly poignant and Daisy’s penchant for spiritual/self-help books makes her a kindred spirit. You will love this heartwarming, easy-to-read-in-a-few-sittings book about friendship and daring to realize one’s dreams, even if you’re not divorced or have never been married. Anyone who has been disappointed at some point in her life by love will find so much in common with delightful Daisy. She’s full of spirit, sass and sensitivity and if she were a real person I would want to be her friend.

This particular nugget of wisdom struck me this morning when I read it…

It was true – my heart was like Miles’s shelves, gnawed and splintered with emotional woodworm. I read on: “The difference between a little life and a big life is trust. Trust is the midwife of a big life. People only choose little lives because they don’t trust and they want to control.” That’s the most difficult thing in life, I thought, getting the balance right between not giving up on your dreams and yet having enough faith in their fruition to let them go.

This paragraph rings so true to me as I struggle every day of my life with climbing the mountain of adversity (the mountain that I know is largely self-made) and self-doubt, all the while wondering if I even believe in true love anymore, let alone have the faith that it will find me some day. I have to be willing to be open to it, to trust that it exists and that eventually there will be a man out there who won’t lie to me, use me, play me for the fool, trod all over my broken heart and leave me to reinforce my bitter, cynical, untrusting view of men. They can’t all be utter heartless, cruel, dishonest cads, can they? Now if I could just believe that and hold it as truth in my heart, I might have a fighting chance of actually attracting the right one. Must focus on The Law of Attraction and believe that I deserve the love of a truly good man! If I believe he’s out there, he will be and he will find me.

Discovering the novel Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak was the biggest joy I had in reading in 2008. The book was based on Anna’s weekly column of the same name in the London Daily Mail (it has since been retired). Anna’s honesty as a writer, the depth of her characters and her fantastic wit quickly made her a new favourite author and any woman who enjoys chick/wit lit or romance and relationships between women will undoubtedly love this book.

This is the review that changed my life.

It began with my becoming acquainted with a lovely, intelligent woman named Paige O’Neill who is the person who looks after The Waterboys’ online presence on numerous social networking websites. Paige and I connected in 2006 when I sent Mike Scott of The Waterboys a personal letter about a sick friend of mine who was a huge fan (as am I). We became good friends online and in the past three years she has become a soul sister of immense importance in my life, even though I have never met her in person.

Paige looks after the maintenance of Daisy Dooley’s MySpace profile for Anna Pasternak and in March 2008, after reading my review of the book, and with Paige’s recommendation, Anna asked me to help her maintain a Facebook fan page and group for Daisy Dooley. I was honoured to do it and I even got paid for it.

Since then, and as a result of Paige and Anna’s unfailing support and encouragement, I formed my own business, Scully Love Promo, promoting authors & musicians using the major social networking websites on the internet. Over the past year and a half, I have worked for at least 10 different talented artists and although this is only a part-time endeavor for me at this time, I believe there is a good chance that it could one day become my full-time job. And I love it! I love spreading the love about artists that I respect and admire. I’ve done this naturally for many years through my review writing and in every day conversation with friends. However, now I get paid to do it, and I owe that privilege to Paige O’Neill and Anna Pasternak, who are the most amazingly resilient, spiritual, intelligent, and loving women and friends that anyone could hope to have.

Above all else, that is why I continue to recommend this delightful book, Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak (available through 5 Spot, a division of Hachette Books, Grand Central’s trade paperback imprint featuring fresh, original voices in women’s fiction and nonfiction).