I have been thinking about the way grief has moved into my life, a permanent, unwanted resident.
I have been trying to figure out daily how to navigate life with this new occupant who, whether I want to accept it or not, has decided to stay. I have been leaning hard on faith, which, in turn, has carried me faithfully (even when I haven’t fully appreciated it).
I have two things to offer you in light of the losses suffered in this life. In light of living with grief and sadness when they come knocking, bags in hand, to stay. Or when they kick down your door, push past you, and make themselves comfortable glaring at you from your living room couch, the unpleasant couple’s visit you hadn’t anticipated. To those who receive, I offer a poem. For those who fear saying the wrong thing (which you most likely have already done anyway, as I have) I offer some words of guidance, and I hope empowerment. For those of you who will squirm over my candor, I assure you, yes, this does need to be said. Shall we get on with it then?
This morning I woke up to the date which marks the second anniversary of our daughter Katherine’s death. How is it that such a date can be spoken of as an anniversary? This I cannot answer, but only acknowledge. And as I sat wondering what I wanted to do in the many ways I want to acknowledge both her living and dying, I decided to take out the poem that still is fresh in my heart and mind. Though I wrote a new poem this morning both for and to my girl, it is yet too raw, too tender to share today…
Instead, I am sharing a poem I wrote in 2015, which comes to my mind now and again. Though I have written many poems, and prose about and for my daughter, I think this is one of my favorites, if not my very favorite. I made some revisions, as I often do. Not so much the content but more the structure and also one line in particular, as I felt it needed some clarity. It’s actually the line about the nine-year-old girl killed in her own home (.Jamyla Bolden of Ferguson, MO)- I felt it was too vague and in time might lose its meaning. This event so struck me at the time of writing- it exemplified and magnified the challenge we all face in acknowledging the heartbreaking, hard realities and injustices of life.
I bring you my latest journey on the first Monday of the New Year 2023. Strap yourself in, grab a cup of tea, or some other beverage, and come with me in search of something you didn’t know you needed to hear, but trust me…you do. Join me on my last adventure of 2022, as I lose a phone and find the sufficiency of Jesus, all over again. Spoiler: It’s a happy ending. But not how you might think.