Tag Archives: death

learn when to leave the table


Our dinners together always had a sort of tv dinner feel. Perfectly contained portions of mashed potatoes, corn, mystery protein, and silence. A silence that never left us once the microwave was put to rest.

This silence wasn’t tender or quiet. It seemed to envelop with its sharp and loud vibrancy that radiated in the dull ache that made up the right side of my chest, screaming the word leave over and over again.

How could I leave him after all this time though? What was the point anyway — he was dependent on me, and I was dependent on being a good Christian…

Though it was never stated, I think the silence at our meals, at the intersections between the possibility of the present moment and the memory of his long-standing affair with his high school sweetheart, were mandatory.

My body would often engage in a gentle humming and swaying that my dear long-time table would join in with soft, scraping sounds that were always on beat. He stared down at his plate the entire time, which was fine with me. It saved me from having to see that same look he always seemed to have on his face in my presence — one of incredible emptiness and remorse.

It hurt deep in my soul how he could just turn it off and on, rushing silence out of the house, on the days our daughters or friends would come over to visit, sharing all the jokes he had heard on a recent sitcom, and looking at me with an intense look of love on his face.

I imagine that one day when I die young from a broken heart and go to heaven, he’ll write to our daughters shortly after I’m gone about his new girlfriend. He’ll say keep an open mind. Your mother, Celeste, and me were all best friends in high school.  The pain without your mother was just too much for me. She was my best friend, my love, for forty years. Celeste helps me to feel like I can go on. I know your mother is smiling down on us in heaven.

& since this is all made up anyway, I like to think that I am smiling down on them with a happiness that could never be too much for me, and that my dear table continues to make soft, scraping sounds on beat with their fuckery.

Nine months & counting since her death


photo by januprasad


To be exact, it’s been 267 days since she died — not exactly nine months but very close. It feels so poignant that I return to write on the blog about her. Nine months can be a moment of joy and new life for so many. For me, life continues on with and without her.


I wrote this poem for her on the day she died:


I feel her presence incredibly strongly still and I feel so grateful for that.


Grief is such an intimate teacher. It feels like a young being, wild and vulnerable, desperate in its need for comfort, insatiably loud with its demands if ignored. In those moments, when the grief is most intense, I hold grief and myself, rocking and whispering, “I know. I know. I know, dear one. I’m here.” Somehow, someway, I seem to envelop myself in love in its purest, deepest form in those moments. It’s almost like grief leads me to love. Is grief love? The two are more interconnected than I ever realized.

I wonder how many countless other beings sit near or far by in the quiet, mourning their losses, healing in the best ways they know how? Even though it’s so hard to know sometimes, I hope they know, I hope I know, “We are not alone. We could never be alone.”

our only sunshine

photo by threelittlebirds (Mindy J).


i reach for him
my body already numb
from too much pinot noir
and anticipate his rejection.

i know he doesn’t mean it but god does
it hurt that he’s left me with only
the shell of his body, his inner core
on retreat in the world of sorrow.

i deal with life for the both of us.
i repaint the pink walls white.
i donate the little dresses to charity.
i put the picture books into boxes
unable to keep from reading each one.
my fingers caress the brightness
on the pages. i hold the hard covers
against my face, nudging the word
love that always seems to be in
the title with my cheek.
leap into me love
never let me go .

tonight the boundary
between our worlds finally collide.
when i reach for him
he lets me hold him.
he lets his body relax into mine
and i feel a piece of darkness
slip out from under us.

you are my sunshine
my only sunshine i say
rubbing his back
kissing the tears away.

we were supposed to sing it to her
i say as our bodies rock back and forth
finally wading through the pain together.


inspired by a readwritepoem prompt about light