Posted in #atozchallenge, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, slices of life, writing, Writing Sample

F is for Feeding the Body and Soul: #atozchallenge Day 6


Soul Amid Morsels


Food can feed the body

Food can nourish the soul

Soul wounded by grave loss

Soul in need of comforting

Comforting my spirit

Comforting broken places

Places torn asunder by death

Places in need of healing

Healing can come in many ways

Healing can be a basket of fruit

Fruit artfully arranged as a bouquet

Fruit chilled and sweetened

Sweetened flowers with berry centers

Sweetened moments spent together

Together we shared fruit on the big bed

Together in the first numbed shock

Shock that death had come to us here

Shock our beloved had finally succumbed

Succumbed to the cancer that weakened

Succumbed as his life was consumed

Consumed as we consumed the fruit

Consumed melons pineapples strawberries tart

Tart as the feel of tears and laughter

Tart as reality blended with sweet memory

Memory shared is thrice as sweet

Memory rolling out with every taste

Taste soothes the jagged edges

Taste so important a part of his life

Life now gone but lived as a chef

Life where taste was something cherished

Cherished meaning held in that fruit

Cherished moments sweetly shared

Shared as he shared his talents

Shared as we now share what we learn

Learn to create food to sustain us

Learn to see eating as an act of love

Love made real in food freely offered

Love in necessities generously tended

Tended with takeout with slow cooker

Tended with attention to bringing delight

Delight in meals shared and snacks provided

Delight in shopping and creating each new dish

Dish up a cup of healing and a big scoop of love

Dish about the times past and those yet to come

Come sit with us and have a savory bite

Come gather and share delightful morsels

Morsels of sorrow and remembrances

Morsels bitter and with laughter spiced




It’s not quite 11:30pm on April 6. That means that if I can get this posted before midnight, I’ll begin tomorrow caught up with both writing challenges, for the first time this month.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….

Food is a learning experience for me. I didn’t do much food preparation while Jim was alive. He was a chef – not just by occupation, but by passion. Everything he made, he made with the same attention to detail and craft I strive for in my writing.

Now, though –

Now, I realize that there was a certain mindlessness in the way I approached food. I often waited for it to be prepared for me. When Jim was working, I often ate freezer meals or scrounged. I didn’t think much about making food – only about feeding my hunger. Truthfully, food has never been a very high priority to me, beyond the biological need for it.

But I’m seeing it differently these days, and the change began with an Edible Arrangement my parents sent to us hours after Jim died. Despite knowing what was coming, the kids and I were more than a little stunned. Miah and I had been to the funeral home to make the arrangements, and, after over a week of very little sleep and intensive tending to Jim as he went about the business of dying, I was somewhere beyond exhausted.

That night, less than twenty-four hours after Jim died, we gathered and ate the chilled sweet fruit. We didn’t hurry; I don’t think any of us were really hungry. It was more about needing communion of sorts…something to do while we absorbed and shared, and began, in a very shaky, short-term way, to plan for the future.

Now, I’m learning new ways to prepare food, and cherishing the opportunity to be mindful not only of what I eat, but of the process that goes into creating it. I haven’t bought a freezer meal in weeks, and really don’t miss them.

There’s healing to be had in food, it seems.

Join me again tomorrow, when grief will give ground to joy.

Find more nourishing F posts here!

20th anniversary dinner, August 23, 2017, at the Plumb Oyster Bar. The next night, we were in the emergency room. Though we didn’t know it yet, this was the beginning of the end.

Posted in #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, poetry, slices of life, writing, Writing Sample

E is for Emotional Terrain: #atozchallenge Day 5

Explore Across Terrain

There is an emotional terrain

There are new landscapes to explore

Explore the deep valleys the rushing cataract

Explore the broken-topped mountain range

Range of feelings that grieving contains

Range of feelings nothing can hold within

Within each of us new worlds were born

Within the reality of this single death

Death of the familiar vistas we once knew

Death of the mindless passages over and through

Through places we almost didn’t notice anymore

Through what we assumed would stay the same

Same route to the store as we traveled back then

Same roads and sights but we have been changed

Changed so the known is now something unknown

Changed the familiar to a strange new frontier

Frontier of learning to go with a new flow

Frontier of feeling just what we feel

Feel the cold wind we must face now alone

Feel the new breeze of a saddened spring

Spring brings the feelings bursting like leaves

Spring is the time of greening rebirth

Rebirth of my life as a single not a pair

Rebirth of hope as the flowers bloom

Bloom as our children resuming their lives

Bloom into something rooted in love

Love we shared now sustains us all

Love is fertile soil watered by our tears

Tears of loss that fall like spring rain

Tears warm with memory cold with loss

Loss of an anchor that held us snug

Loss of a companion at my side

Side of a mountain covered in scree

Side of a hill softened with new life

Life goes on even after his death

Life blossoms and bursts and swells

Swells with the joys and thee sorrows

Swells with warmth and shadows

Shadows give dimension to sunshine

Shadows remind us of the light

Light reflects on deep still cool waters

Light touches my darkest pockets of grief

Grief changes my landscapes makes them new

Grief the shadow testament of sweeter days

Days solitary but not truly alone

Days remaining with new terrain

Terrain waiting to be explored

Terrain and landscapes of shifting emotion




I’m still running a day late, but I’m getting to this a couple of hours earlier than I did yesterday, so I’m counting that as progress.  It’s been a quieter day – I’ll be heading out with my son for some groceries later on, but haven’t needed to go anywhere for most of the day.

That’s refreshing. I’m tired from the extra busy-ness of the week, and it’s nice to be able to just hang at home, with no time-sensitive plans.

The weather’s been unsettled, so maybe that’s why this poem didn’t exactly go the way I thought it might.

Or maybe it’s that it can be sometime brutal living in this new emotional terrain, and sometimes I need to step back a little, wrap myself in a warm layer of insulation against the harshest of the elements, and survey it from behind a window rather than out in the thick of it.

Join me again sometime in the next few hours, when I’ll be feeding body and soul in a time of grief.

Enter to explore more emotional E posts!