Last night I attended a wake for the son of a poet friend. She now has two sons who have preceded her in death, both sons dying unexpectedly. It's hard to imagine that kind of grief. And still I grieve for her, her husband, the daughter that lives on in the midst of the loss. I sat, studying the faces of those there, wondering how they came to know this young man gone. From life to loss.
Emily Dickinson's poem speaks. The lines in that last stanza. The great hope, I guess. That letting go.
"As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go".
After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes
By Emily Dickinson
After great pain a formal feeling comes--
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions--was it He that bore?
And yesterday--or centuries before?
The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.
This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.
I have another friend, Marcia Pradzinski, who lost a son quite a few years ago. She's written a book, keenly titled, Left Behind, that speaks to her grief, of her loss.
Marcia J. Pradzinski
I look for it in the honeyed plumpness
of the golden comforter,
the cold morning bathroom tiles,
the rain of water warm then cool
that bathes my senses awake.
I look for it
in the fire and fragrance
of my son’s hair
as we begin our morning struggle,
in the earthy tang of coffee
and the soft cork of the bulletin board
littered with reminders.
I look for it
in the burgundy sofa
that sighs with my weight as I listen
for the rumble of the yellow school bus,
in the newspaper-reading faces on the train,
the conductor’s song of stops,
the garlic-scented accents of students
their struggle twisting their way into English
as I twist my way in and out of the day.
And when it comes, it comes
not in days away, not in evenings out.
But as the day ebbs
with dishes stacked in the sink,
clothes to be washed, lists to be made
it calls me softly into my son’s room
invites me to sit at the edge of his bed
and stroke his soft curls.
of his breath the ticking clock
my breath weld the scene
and hold us
in an eggshell of space.
May we all be held in that eggshell of space when grief muscles in.
The Revival Tour
Poet Bloggers 2018
Kelli Russell Agodon-
Donna Vorreyer – https://djvorreyer.wordpress.com
Beth Adams – http://www.cassandrapages.com
Sandra Beasley – http://sbeasley.blogspot.com
Carolee Bennett – https://gooduniversenextdoor.com/
Mary Biddinger – wordcage.blogspot.com/
Andrea Blythe – http://www.andreablythe.com
Dave Bonta – http://vianegativa.us
Jim Brock --
Angela T Carr
Kevin Connor – https://ordinaryaveragethoughts.wordpress.com/
Jared Conti – http://www.theoracularbeard.com
Jenelle D’Alessandro – http://www.borderandgreetme.com
Laura E. Davis – http://www.dearouterspace.com/
Kate Debolt – http://www.katedebolt.net/blog/
Heather Derr-Smith – ferhext.com/
Risa Denenberg – https://risadenenberg.weebly.com/blog
Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow http://cschwartzbergedlow.blogspot.com
Lou Faber – https://anoldwriter.com
Jeannine Hall Gailey – webbish6.com
Gail Goepfert –In the Mix gailgoepfert..com/blog
Sarah Kain Gutowski – mimsyandoutgrabe.blogspot.com
Erin Hollowell – http://www.beingpoetry.net . T
Crystal Ignatowski – http://somehiatus.tumblr.com/
Charles Jensen – https://charles-jensen.com/kinemapoetics-blog/
Jill McCabe Johnson http://jillmccabejohnson.com/blog-chanson-daventure.html
Collin Kelley http://www.collinkelley.blogspot.com
Anita Olivia Koester https://www.forkandpage.com/
Lakshmi – thiswinterheart.tumblr.com
Courtney LeBlanc – wordperv.com
Lorena P Matejowsky https://nothingbutblueskies.wordpress.com/
Marilyn McCabe O
Ann Michael – www.annemichael.wordpress.com
Amy Miller – http://writers-island.blogspot.com/
James Moore – jameswmoore.wordpress.com
LouAnn Sheperd Muhm – https://louannmuhm.com/
Gill O’Neill – http://poetmom.blogspot.com
Shawnte Orion http://batteredhive.blogspot.com/
Susan Rich – http://thealchemistskitchen.blogspot.com .
Lee Ann Roripaugh https://runningbrush.wordpress.com/
Sarah Russell – https://sarahrussellpoetry.net
Kim Bailey Spradlin – www.kimbaileydeal.net
Bonnie Staiger –https://bonniestaiger.com/
Rosemary Starace https://thresholdview.wordpress.com/
Hannah Stephenson – http://thestorialist.com
Stephanie Lane Sutton
Christine Swint – https://balancedonedge.blog/
Dylan Tweney – http://dylan20.tumblr.com/
Michael Allyn Wells:
Allyson Whipple http://allysonmwhipple.com