pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Grief

THE VALUE OF FAMILY AND THIRTY FIVE DAYS

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One year ago, today,
we unexpectedly secured
a one-bedroom apartment for Dad,
and moved him into it.
It was just down the hall from Mom and Dad’s place,
where Mom had passed in the wee hours prior.

A back-and-forth blur
of family
furniture
clothes
drums
wood carvings and wood-carving tools
kitchen supplies
medications
wheelchairs
walkers
jazz,
and love,

until one space was empty,
and the other, full
of sunlight and life
that dared each other
shine.

Food followed.
A feast, really,
provided by cousins.
All of us squeezed
‘round a long table
with Dad at one end,
and Mom’s brother and her identical twin
at the other,
between which
more conversation and laughter managed to flow
than tears.

Who could have known
a mere thirty five days later,
the one-bedroom’s sunlight would be called to shine
alone.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

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Before the dawn, a
mourning song fell hard and long –
one we loved, now gone.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

Marguerite Powers
March 16, 1931 – November 30, 2018

 

ROCKS, STREAMS, AND STORYTELLERS

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Photo by Keith R. Good

End-of-life
for those with whom we are particularly close,
seems to bring out who we are at our core.

Some of us are rocks.
Unbreakable.
Pillars.
Feeling the need to hold up all around us.
Or,
perhaps,
we just can’t let our surface crack,
lest we fall to pieces.

Some of us are streams.
We go with the flow,
while staying our course.
Occasionally we pick up others in need,
and carry them along.
But sometimes a stream’s flow
is fashioned from tears
that even a dam can’t contain.

Then some of us are storytellers.
We talk.
We laugh.
We reminisce.
We play familiarity like a piano concerto –
every part by heart.
We connect to those who are listening,
and telling stories of their own.
But can it be that we need to get lost in a story,
because the reality at hand
is too painful to fully embrace?

Let the rocks be strong.
But if they crack,
help them pick up the pieces.

Let the streams flow.
And if the tears run,
let them –
even as God collects
and records each one.

Let the storytellers recount,
and their experiences, count.
And if the present moment breaks them,
hold their pain
as a book in your embrace,
and help them tenderly
turn another page.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

SAVING SOUNDS

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They’ve not been gone long.
Just a few month’s time.
Sometimes I hear her laugh.
His voice, singing,
“I don’t buy sugar  —
Just touch my cup.”
Her coffeemaker’s sizzle.
His, “Go Bucks.”
Her, “I love you.  —
You know that.”
His drums.
Her sigh.

I clutch these sounds —
Secure them to my heart,
And listen to its beat.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

INTERMENT DAY

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All day, the sky shed tears, and I,
at times.
I prayed no more tears, graveside,
but they fell

and fell

on faulty umbrellas
and baying bagpipe
and wailing sax
and tone of Taps
and stars
and stripes
and dated stones
and downcast cheeks
and woeful thoughts
and hard-fought fear

while lavish love
flowed fierce and full,
affecting a fragrance
of
unreserved grace.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

Patricia A. Fagnano
March 16, 1931 – February 9, 2018

James F. Fagnano
January 7, 1932 – March 15, 2018

Mom and Dad, laid to rest.
In the presence of God
and the hearts of all,
the hardest day of my life,
and a thing of beauty
at once.

September 8, 2018
On the anniversary of their wedding. 

GRIEF

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Grief is a peculiar beast,
prowling when
and where
and how we least expect –
often at inopportune moments
when there is no fitting release
and nothing to do but cram it down,
thinking it will recede
and let us be,
but no
it lingers about,
then slinks in
at the next inopportune moment ,
chafing,
never ending,
like a run-on thought
or a spinning yarn
with no end in sight
and no

… funny,
how relief,
though brief,
comes conversely
through
tears,

and laughter.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018