November 30, 2015

If I were to tell you,
how much my chest hurts, but only when I’m riding shotgun in the car
with Jack’s Mannequin blasting,
would you know what I mean?

How the tears only seem to come
when the shower’s hot water beats down on my head,
or when I’m tucked under flannel sheets, and wake up remembering
where I am now. How it is now.
Do you get that?

Would you know how grief
is a punch in the stomach
when you were expecting a kiss?
Would you tell me, “It’s all too much, just go back to bed”?

It was only a week ago, the magical 12 week marker.
I know, I counted.
Week by week by week.
Each day a little brighter. Each day, something I could hold.

“I’m just so happy,” I said.
I savored the feeling of something larger than myself.
A universe expanding inside me.

The way the wind whips through the sycamores,
the crashing pulse of waves sliding up under the overpass
watching the sunset, with him by my side.
It’s all a lot bigger than us, life and death, and who’s to say otherwise?

The crackle of wood on the fire. Sips of red wine from a plastic cups.
Notes written on slips of paper to what might have been (we love you, we’re here when you’re ready) turning to ash.
Him reaching to hold my hand in the darkness, still a family of two.


I’ve decided to use Susannah Conway’s December Reflections as daily writing prompts this month, most posts to be small poems, good or bad, posted with a photo, to help me navigate a loss I experienced in late November.

See all posts here.

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  • Reply Jill Salahub November 30, 2015 at 11:02 am


  • Reply Renee December 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    This is so beautiful, though my heart aches for you, and I wanted to curse the universe when I read it. The way that some things are so out of our control…it’s frustrating, and heartbreaking, and I guess the chaos of what it means to be human, to be fully alive. Hurt and loss, and then love running through it all. <3

    • Reply jtao21 December 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Thank you xo

  • Reply Rita December 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I missed this earlier, and just want to say: This is a pain I know, and I’m so sorry you’re experiencing it. It’s a lovely piece of writing, on a loss that many don’t really understand.

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