Friday, February 2, 2018


In this house grief dwells,
An unwanted boarder that follows me
As I turn on lamps to chase away the lingering night
I feel its breath upon my neck, its long fingers clutching
While I wash the breakfast dishes and clear the kitchen, memories
Stick like yesterday’s words, like a song I heard in 1970, Like the moment you were born,
Like your little fingers circling mine.

It watches as I sweep the floors,
Put away books and papers and pictures
And start the day’s laundry. Grief is in no hurry;
It can bide its time and wait to strike when some little thing,
A button, a photo, the cutting board you made when you were seventeen
Tears an opening in my defenses.

In darkness I draw the covers over my mind
And flip the pages of the photo album of your too-short life,
The recording of your voice, the unending video of your death in snow and ice
I replay over and over and over.

Grief does not sleep, it is never tired
Or weary of its singular pursuit. It will be here as long
As I draw breath, as long as my heart knows you and remembers,
As long as time.

Here is where grief lives;

There is nothing that can be done about it.
It is, and that is all.


Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Debbie Couture said...

Beautiful poem Sue but so sad. An early unexpected death hits so hard and yet we have to go on as best we can. Do you watch This is us. I plan to watch it after the Super Bowl but it will be hard. Bless you on this day.

Boud said...

So sorry for your loss. Beautiful post.

Nance said...

Such a great loss, that of a child. Such a burden to carry each day and this anniversary. May your memories lighten the load and get you thru.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

A Son who followed his life plan and finished his list. Too soon, leaving so many to remember with love. Thank you Sue.

Anonymous said...

Grief has no period of time or expiration date. It can crack the wall of defense like its an egg shell.

Anonymous said...

This is so spot on . Grief is an invisible presence . I remember those blizzard like conditions and your pictures . I would share with Dan when he would get home from work " what all " you all were having to endure . I felt as if " I knew " you then , even though we've never met . Dan has just now asked me , " What's wrong ?" as I am typing this . I am just so sorry . I was then , and I am now . Prayers and love from the foothills in NE Tennessee .

Dee from Tennessee

Devonia Dykes Cochran on FB

Jenny said...

Thank you for sharing today & remembering with us.

Mac n' Janet said...

So incredibly sad and beautiful, so sorry for your loss.

Robin said...

Beautifully expressed Susanna. I've been experiencing some grief lately too. Although it has a different source, the feelings seem the same as you describe them here. Thank you. The only way we come to enjoying the occasional sunset or morning birdsong or anything else is to allow the feelings of loss to come when they will. Sorry for your loss and many blessings for your heart.

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