Categories

Loss of Spouse
Barbara Chilcote

Folding the Sheets

When I fold them, I see you my devoted launderer, how you washed and dried and folded for decades in our small attic laundry, where the ceiling slopes down to the eaves and where folding a sheet required dedication and practice. Practice I never had in our decades together because you took the task of washing clothes we wore out into the world, and bed sheets, our second home. The room still tilts. Even though your folding is done, you are still here in the creases and seams of the house, in the clean and shining fabric I pull from

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Loss of Mother
Tara Lynn Marta

Trading Places With My Mother

I had reservations about transitioning into my forties. Everyone offered worst-case scenarios about what to expect, from needing reading glasses to predicting the weather with my knees. They kept the most thrilling part until the end, a brief glimpse into what was coming: perimenopause. I needed solid advice from a trusting source. My initial instinct was to pick up the phone and call my mother to ask about how she handled her forties. Except for one thing, my mother died when she was thirty-nine. I glanced at my fortieth birthday cake while wax trickled down the number 4 candle, and

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Coping With Grief
Katharine Pettit

Art: Dance

Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, the book Seasons of Grief: Creative Interventions to Support Bereaved People, edited by Claudia Coenen came out.  It included a chapter I wrote titled Out of Grief Comes Art.  In that chapter I profile seven different artists.  The questions I asked each artist were all the same: What’s your grief story? Why do you make your art? How do you make it? and What are your recommendations for others who are bereaved? Katharine’s story had a profound impact on me and I wanted to highlight it here on the Grief Dialogues website.  Below is Katharine’s full

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Loss of Spouse
Stephanie Sloane

Dear Me: Poems of loss, grief, and hope in New York’s darkest days

These poems are from her book Dear Me: Poems of loss, grief, and hope in New York’s darkest days Forever I hadn’t considered what was ahead I thought our lives would go on forever As they were Perhaps foolishness Perhaps survival A New Life Is it possible that I’ve managed to design A new life for myself? I loved the old one I would wake up each morning and think What do I want to do today? The possibilities were endless All of them good Grasp Life Now The gods of loss decry Wait one year after loss To make

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Loss of Other Relative
Tara Lynn Marta

Better Days Are Coming

The doctor wheeled the gurney carrying Anna into the elevator. Her breathing had slowed considerably. A few more breaths and the once vibrant lady whose entire life personified the Frank Sinatra song “My Way” was gone. Her resolute spirit surrendered to the cancer that had ravaged her frail body. My car accelerated along with my anger. I veered left, then a sharp right, hugging the guardrail on the narrow stretch of road. The lake had always been my refuge. One hundred and eighty-five acres of ecstasy, far from the clamor of city life. Rows of country homes lined the lakefront.

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Coping With Grief
Hilary Jastram

Don’t Change the Channel

Don’t change the channel when I’m grieving. It’s in people to want to protect us and make us feel better. But I put this on to cry. I will explode if I don’t watch Jack Frost or Instant Family. It is a tool to help me move through the process, and I walk willingly into it. Instead, hold me as I cry and cry with me if you want to. Our eyes are meant for many things. Recalling memories is one. Crying is another. Don’t spread sunshine when I want to be under gray skies. In the safety beneath the

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Loss of Friend
Nya Chambless

My Friend Teeja. My Guardian Angel.

In Nya’s Own Words In Florida, I was born a day after the school year cut off that basically set me back a year in my studies. So, when I was in daycare, I was very interested in the VPK (Voluntary PreKindergarden) class because I was bored with what I was doing, and I wanted to do what the other kids my age were doing so I persuaded my way into the class. My VPK teacher recognized this and gave my parents paperwork to get me into a more advanced program. I transferred to the new school in my second

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Loss of Father
Cynthia Kaplan

How to Start the Essay About My Father’s Death: A List

1. Here’s a piece of advice. While spending the afternoon with your dying father, don’t ask Alexa to play the songs of Judy Collins which, once upon a time, he loved, because the first song out of the gate might be this: Across the morning sky All the birds are leaving Ah, how can they know it’s time for them to go? Before the winter fire We’ll still be dreaming I do not count the time Who knows where the time goes? Who knows where the time goes? 2. If you’re wondering how to get a very ill man in his late

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Coping With Grief
Jessica Wheeler

Sunflower

Golden streams journey to Earth from the sun aiming for blooms in the fields where they run rising and shining with pigments that stun growing to brighten the earth one by one Flowers aspire, in meadows they thrive dreaming the moment they come to arrive daughter of Sun, his adoring revive standing in sunlight so bright and alive Facing the sky with inherited power petals of gold brighten up every hour flowers admiring under her tower all looking up to the glowing Sunflower I knew a girl once who stood out this way basked in the sunlight that graced her

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