Learning from loss: a quick catch-up

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Learning from loss: a quick catch-up

I’m sorry it has been a little while since I’ve written.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!   Our festive period was quite strange and emotional, due to the loss of my grandmother, but we enjoyed family time together and really made the best of it.  Unfortunately on New Year’s Eve, the day after my grandma’s funeral, we had to take my beloved cat, Maisie, to the vet to be put to sleep.  She has been unwell recently, the prognosis was not good, and we knew it was only a matter of time.  The

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The little one

The little one

The little one has mucus gathered at her nose this evening and she lays in my arms unpurring and still, onyx eyes open.   Her tiny animal heart  beats at a speed she surely cannot take for too long.   My fingers touch it, fluttering wildly in the cage of her ribs, beneath her front limbs  when I lift her up to feel the sun.  The skin of her ears is paper thin, red and veined, translucent and warm.   He, an old man in a crumpled suit, bones only recently filtered into the earth, bends to sing from his gut,  while

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A poem for us, about you

​Our wild sea is white in your absence though dogs leap and roll on the shingle, knowing nothing of our grief.   Of course, you are not really absent,  and the leaves, now withered and cracked, will grow again, emerald in the spring.   These songs we sing with tears in our throats will rise beyond this simple roof and be carried upon the clouds to your quiet, eternal heart. Lovers, daughters, friends and mothers shall never truly part.   Your kindness and grace, bestowed throughout the years, has given comfort and inspiration to us all.  Of all the words you

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Thoughts on living and dying

It is easy to forget, in the rain and the routine, the aches and pains of each day, what a tremendous privilege it is to be alive.   Proximity to death brings a kind of urgency about life that one can quickly lose in the humdrum of work, commuting and making dinner.  Having just witnessed the passing of my beloved grandmother, I am feeling a range of emotions from sadness to gratitude to emptiness.  But, within the grief, there is also an overwhelming urge to live.  To stop worrying, stop complaining, stop being fearful, stop clinging onto things not meant

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Only a few moments ago

​Only a few moments ago,  I slumped on the floor by your bed like a child and pressed my thumb into the fleshy nook of your elbow and felt the last waxy warmth between your ribs and your arm,  as though you were still able to hold me.   And I thought then about wandering upon the wet cobblestones in Galway after dark,  live music from gallery bars competing with the rushing of the sea and the stars  falling one by one like shivering birds shot out of the sky.   Sleep well now, my love, and thank you for

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