An Ode to Natalie by D.L.McHale

Natalie, you are destined to shine
beneath a dazzling array of bright colors
Brilliant, and brave, and blinding
Your light will provide bright reflections
and light the stage upon which you dance;
careless, joyful, and exuberant

Mine is a separate light that bathes me –
not quite so radiant and full of shadows
I will always struggle to find my way
my light will never warm me in its beam
It is what it seems: an insignificant blue glow,
dim and misleading.

In your light, you will be found
In mine, everything may be lost,

yet because you’ve shined your light upon me
there is hope…and f0r that, I’ll be forever grateful.

16 thoughts on “An Ode to Natalie by D.L.McHale

    1. So good to hear from you. So sorry I hadn’t emailed you sooner to let you know I am ok. I did attempt a suicide (stupid, stupid, stupid). I was in the hospital for two weeks then now I am in a recovery program for severe depression, but I’ll be evicted in a week because I can’t pay the $800 to stay another month. I never envisioned myself being homeless, but I’ll be okay, I think. I think of you (and Vic) almost daily. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for caring. I really don’t have anybody that does. No family, no friends, but I still have my writing.


      1. I felt you…knew you were in trouble and reached out to your sis but havent been back on facebook and have no idea if she ever got my message. We’ve bounced around in three different shelters…internet access has been spotty at best (and, as you know, your phone number disconnected.) I felt your thin silver cord stretch almost to the snapping point but knew you were still here…hurting terribly but i can still feel your spirit…wounded as it is. Call me 813-525-5771

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      2. Janet, it’s so fucking circular. Another botched attempt. My depression is like a black fog and I can’t navigate the darkness within which it floats. I give up. I am just no good at this, so I’ll have to live. Yeah, I haven’t spoken to family…all it does is hurt them. This is my journey and I’ll find my way through this. But this self-imposed drama has got to stop. I’m tired. I don’t have the courage to live or the strength to die. I feel like I’m in eternal limbo. Was I this depressed when I was with you?


      3. Janet, at all times I honor and respect your faith and your ministry. That’s just never been my thing. Remember when we went to that church on Gower off Cahuenga? I was open ten to combining my personal spirituality with organized religion. But I can’t do the wide-eyed shiny faced people. J looked up the Dream Center and while I do appreciate their social outreach, I was extremely uncomfortable. My relationship with God is very personal and one on one. And it isn’t always pleasant. But I love you for looking out for me.

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      4. I am wondering how you are doing? Have you found somewhere to live? I wish I had the money to pay for year to stay in the hospital. I think of you so often. Can you at least stay on medication for the depression? Please don’t stop writing and submitting your work for publication.

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      5. Your so sweet. No, no place to live. Can you believe before my divorce last year I was making 160,000 a year and now I’m going to be homes in a week. I just came undone. Then the depression and PTSD kicked in. I know this next thing I say is going to be upsetting, but I trust you. Two weeks ago I attempted suicide. I am currently in a psychiatric facility, but I am discharging in a week. I was unconscious for a week. Two shots of adrenaline in my heart while I was out. My chest is so sore and on fire! Don’t know where I’ll end up after here. My landlords say I’m facing eviction upon my release. I no longer care. I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be. Hey my email is These notes are too public. I had a dream of Vic last week. She was dancing and laughing. She said thank you and kissed my cheek. It was like a waking dream. So beautiful and peaceful. Love you, my friend. I’ll be okay. Please take care of yourself.


  1. Hey Dennis…love it if you’d call us. 813-525-5771 me or jason 813-255-9118. We’re still in tampa stuck but surviving and close to getting back into a place of our own. Come visit…grin. You need a dna shot my friend. Time…distance…love… sorrow…sharing…healing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d kill for a DNA shot. Listen, I’m in a secure pysch facility trying desperately to get a few steps ahead of the depression and PTSD. I will be discharged, onto the streets, in about ten days or so. Oh well, look at the positive. It can only increase my range of things to write about.


  2. No forgiveness…only love. Look for and cherish every particle of light…the millions of particles help defeat the darkness. The smile of a child, the huge hug I’m sending you across a continent, the rainbow reflections in our tears and the quick reflection from the shining wings of your guardian angels as they stand watch over you. I love you Dennis and I’m here…hang on.


  3. No…you were not that depressed because we were still so young we hadn’t even begun to process or comprehend how deep our wounds were. But at the same time our journey toward depression was only just beginning as we began to comprehend how egregious the damage really was in our lives from our origins. That we have survived this long — and lived and loved and felt joy — however fleeting — is miraculous.

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