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

G is for Grief Gives Ground: #atozchallenge Day 7


Ground With Presence


Grief gains ground

Grief gives ground

Ground taken with floods of tears

Ground surrendered when laughter drifts

Drifts of sorrow and

Drifts of joy

Joy is the grief-easer

Joy brings the return of the light

Light to shine into shadowed places

Light to lift us up from the dark

Dark sorrow like a shroud envelopes

Dark despair gives the lie to his life

Life given to happiness and kindness

Life lived for laughter for love for wonder

Wonder that brought spontaneity

Wonder shared with wife and children

Children nearly grown and still grieving

Children who embody his light and his love

Love given freely and without hesitation

Love we still feel can’t be erased or undone

Undone moments when the loss overwhelms

Undone business now my task alone

Alone I might be in the physical plane

Alone never truly for he is within me still

Still moments when I feel him watching

Still heard when the children laugh and sing

Sing “Eat dessert first” for that was his motto

Sing nonsense words that don’t mean anything

Anything can be a reminder

Anything can serve to lift us up

Up into the clear air of memory

Up where remembering helps us to soar

Soar as he would have wanted

Soar in spirit so we can give more

More love more laughter

More wonder more joy more sharing

Sharing his memory with one another

Sharing ourselves with the world beyond

Beyond our family and ourselves

Beyond grief and the loss of this one soul

Soul carried forward through our lives

Soul embodied anew in our choices

Choices are the stuff that life is made of

Choices to sink or choices to fly

Fly into tomorrow not burdened by grief

Fly on in our lives buoyed by his presence

Presence we had for a time

Presence we spread as we honor his life



It can be easy to be drowned and overwhelmed by grief. Grief encompasses everything, when the loss is as intimate as the loss of a husband or a father. Jim was a close, connected, fun-loving father, and, before he was my lover or my husband, he was my friend.

His physical absence is acute and ever-present. We can’t ignore or forget it.

But we don’t have to let it destroy us.

The kids and I are fans of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. We went to a live reading/Q&A quote session with the series creators, Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink, just after Jim was diagnosed with terminal metastasized pancreatic cancer. During the event, a quote was shared:

“Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you.”

Jim’s part of the story ended with his death on the night of January 12. But the children and I are still alive, and our story goes on from there. It’s a new book, maybe, and certainly a new chapter,  and will take a different direction than it might have, had he lived.

That can be a reason to lock ourselves into grief and a sense of unfairness – or it can be a chance to be grateful for the parts of our story that were interwoven with his, and to carry what was best in him forward and out into the world.

I choose to do the second. Happily, so do the kids. In loving Jim, we were nourished with wonder and laughter and love.

Now it’s time to share them.

Please visit us again Monday – out of the hospital, and in hospice.

And, don’t forget to go visit more groovy G posts!

I’ll leave you with one of Jim’s favorite songs about life and death….


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

4 thoughts on “G is for Grief Gives Ground: #atozchallenge Day 7

  1. I’ve been reading along each day so far and I wanted you to know that while my heart hurts for you, I can see the beginnings of healing happening. 🙂

    The poem form — Blitz? — is amazing and I think I will try to write a few.

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