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

N is for No More of So Much: #atozchallenge Day 14

Love Amid Loss

An end to morning coffee and conversation

An end of snuggling close and making love

Love is more though than physical touch

Love can’t be ended at the bottom of the cup

Cup once overflowing now holds only dregs

Cup not half full or even half empty

Empty moments turn to empty days

Empty weeks empty months empty years

Years ahead yawning hollow as deepest caves

Years of marriage piled deeply all around us

Us has been in my vocabulary for so long

Us is a word that belongs now to my past

Past the point where we can fix this

Past days of easy love taken for granted

Granted twenty years ten months

Granted a small bundle of extra days

Days spent in revelry and days spent in spite

Days of joy many days of sorrow woven through

Through the everyday magic of being a team

Through the everyday challenges of being a family

Family we nurtured and sustained

Family we created for ourselves and of ourselves

Ourselves always our greatest strength

Ourselves too soon parted by his death

Death that brought the end of our team

Death that brought the end of our marriage

Marriage that seasoned and matured us

Marriage we were still negotiating

Negotiating with death is impossible

Negotiating this new life is essential

Essential for this shattered team

Essential for those of us who remain

Remain here though death claimed him

Remain behind in the land of the living

Living together his children and I

Living a new life we create as we go

Go forward with many backward glances

Go on living because we are still alive

Alive and not as bereft as we seem

Alive as his love’s lasting embrace

Embrace us now hold and keep us

Embrace us as we gather

Gather to share the love he gave

Gather our memories to sustain

Sustain us in these times of sorrow

Sustain us even through his loss

Loss of a cherished partner and friend

Loss of a life but not the gifts he bestowed



In the days between Jim’s diagnosis and his death, I seemed to keep bumping into things that were going to end with his death. We hadn’t been intimate as often even in the preceding months – as he’d grown sicker with what he assumed were digestive difficulties, he lost interest – and I realized at some point that we’d had the last intimate encounter we would have.

We had taken a trip to Maine in October.  We had always talked about visiting Acadia National Park, and, with the kids old enough to remain home alone, it was our first romantic getaway. Realizing it was also the only one we’d ever have was a deep regret we shared…

I wasn’t prepared for the loss of simple conversations…but, as his disease progressed and death neared, lucidity became sporadic, then infrequent, then almost absent……and then, in the final days, words faded away altogether, sealing us in two different realities, with a threshold neither of us could cross.

And so he died, and I live, and I’m still finding those things we’ll never have again.

Yet, at the same time, I’m also finding that he left us with so much that we can hold to, and use to carry us forward.

Join us again tomorrow, when we’ll be opening to new possibilities…..

Read more N posts here.


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!

2 thoughts on “N is for No More of So Much: #atozchallenge Day 14

  1. Shan, my feed reader dropped you at some point (probably with all the moving from one to another) and I just saw your blog pop up elsewhere. Sorry, first, for that, but more importantly, I’m so sorry your husband passed away. I’ll read back through your entries for the details. How are you doing?

    1. Hi, John. I did some moving, too, and was very focused on Jim’s cottage business last fall, so wasn’t blogging as much.

      There aren’t a lot of details posted, because it was very swift. He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer on November 13, and died on January 12 – so, in some ways, the kids and I are still wrapping our brains around it.

      It helps that we’re a very connected family, and that the kids are older (16 and 13, now), so were moving toward independence. It’s hardest for Lise, because she and Jim have always been close.

      As for me…I tend toward optimism. Finances are a concern at least until insurance settles, but I have faith we’ll manage. I’m a bit bereft without my best friend of over 20 years… but also have decided that it’s time for me to truly inhabit my life.

      I adopted a shelter dog two weeks ago, and she’s helping to fill the empty place in my new bed. It’s a bit of a time for reinvention, and reassessing.

      I intend to live a joyful life that honors a man who was my complement and Accomplice in so many ways, and to raise our children well.

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