Grief Work (Still)

Last year I wrote and posted this poem in the last weeks of my mother-in-law’s life. I revisit (update) and share these observations and hopes as we now find ourselves living the third stanza.

Then

As buds bloomed

As grass greened

As the horse and plow turned the soft dirt in neat rows

We wondered

We faced uncertainty and unknowing

We hoped for the best

but (attempted to) prepare for the worst.

We waited for the official diagnosis

And in our knowing without knowing

We knew the world was about to shift.

Grief began it’s slow work, poisoning everything

*

Last Year…

As trees greened

As bulbs flowered

As the horse and plow turned the soft dirt in neat rows

We waited

There were no more words to be said, only vigil to be held

We hoped for peace 

But wrestled with ourselves (and each other) toward surrender

We waited for death to come

And in our knowing without knowing

We knew the world is about to shift (again)

Grief was doing it’s aching work, and we carry it with us in everything

*

And Now…

As seeds awaken

As days lengthen

As the horse and plow again turn soft dirt in neat rows

We remember

We are grateful for the time we had together

We treasure the sweet memories

And we carry the imprint of her love 

We will continue to live

And in our knowing without knowing

We have shifted with the world, yet again

Grief is be doing it’s healing work and that changes everything

The original version of this poem, posted in May of 2020 is available here.

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