First Day of the Second Summer Without You

Katherine in the parking lot at our local beach.

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Today, a short poem to commemorate another moment that brings the stark recognition of my daughter’s absense. There is no timetable for grief. That is what I am learning in the time following Katherine’s departure January 9, 2021.

Others march on into their brave new world’s blessings, but grieving the loss of a child is like having a deep wound, scabbed over that is torn open every day. The same blood, from the same body, but different… because this wound cannot heal. Not this side of ever after. C.S. Lewis put it this way, “How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”

For Katherine:

Today is the first day of Summer
and you’re not here

The heaviness crushing my heart
is too much to bear

If I could take back every yesterday
and trade them all for you near-

would that replace the empty space in my heart
where grief resides with fear?

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”

― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Dawn Paoletta likes to write, ignore rules, and confess her transgressions while driving. She believes caffeine enhances her personality, and is self -admittedly, the only living expert on the subject of how to conduct one’s vehicle at a 4-way stop sign. Check out more here.

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

2 thoughts on “First Day of the Second Summer Without You

  1. Dear Dawn, My heart goes out to you this morning. I understand your fresh grief that comes back with each passing of seasons and holidays and ordinary days. Life will never be exactly the same again. Oh, we move on to new things and try to pick up our old life the best we can, but it will never be the same. Memories come back to flood our hearts and the tears overflow like a bucket left out in the rain. The best advice I can give from a mother who has been there is to cherish those precious memories, and continue to allow the grief to heal you. Every new day is a day for healing through the pain and sorrow. Plant a tree or flower in your darling girl’s memory. Do something for someone else who may be hurting in loving memory of your sweet girl. Help her to live on in the choices you make and the lives you touch as a result. One day at a time…your story touches other people’s lives and helps bring healing to them. You are in my heart and mind today. (((hugs))) my friend.

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