Posts tagged grief
Shadow & Shape

I’ve been walking like a shadow these last three days:
like me, but
silent, dark
and dimensionless,
with parts just misshapen enough
to not really be parts of me at all.
Legs stretched out
like cables between telephone poles–
fingers scraping the floor,
as if trying to seep straight through
warped wood and concrete
and wormy, black earth.
As if they could snatch you up and bring you back.
But my stomach is not round enough,
my head too small and pointed at the top,
ankles melted together like a fish tail
stinking in the garbage.
If I could bring you back
You probably wouldn’t recognize me at all.
I’m different now,
At least for now.
I am the shadow,
And grief is the shape.


You have hands that never formed–
fingers that didn’t get the chance
to curl into hungry fists
or wrap into the ribbons of your sister’s hair.
How then, did you
grab ahold of me so tightly?
I loved you
When you were nothing more
than a shade of pink
and I loved you still
When you turned red.

There is a future–
I think there is–
when others will come.
Pink, then flesh, and nude, and brown.
And I will love them just as well.
But there will always be
A space in me
That was meant for you to fill.

A Tribute to a Fellow Writer

doctorquote A friend of my husband's passed away this week. I didn't know him, and I don't know much about him, but I do know that he was a writer too, with an unwavering commitment to his craft. Even after the diagnosis that signaled the end of his life, he continued to work on his book with the desire to have it published. I greatly admire that determination and hope that somehow his book does get out there into the world, even though he no longer inhabits it. More importantly than that, I know he had people who cared for him deeply and who are now suffering a great loss due to his passing. I know he was a father, a grandfather, and a friend. For his loved ones, my heart aches. Instead of giving a writing prompt today, I'm asking that you say a prayer for Tom and the people who are now mourning for him. May God comfort them and heal their pain.

Thank you all,


Original photograph by flickr user Adrian Clark.

The Emotions in Writing (Quote of the Day)

It's interesting to me to think that we may each have one facet of our emotions that "informs our writing," as Ben Elton seems to imply. For him, it's love. Love is the strongest thing he's ever felt, and that gives a unique character to his writing. But what about the rest of us? What emotions might leave their stamp like fingerprints on other authors' writings?

For me, personally, the strongest emotion I have ever felt is sadness. It's not that I've felt sadness more often than any other emotion; it's simply that I've felt it… more. Truthfully, my life has been extremely happy. There's been an abundance of joy, love, and gratitude. But I've felt grief more deeply than joy. Tears have left a longer-lasting impression than laughter. Sadness tends to wrap a fist around me, while joy feels more like a gentle hand on my shoulder—no matter how great that joy may be.

To give an example: as a Christian, I can say that I'm more emotionally impacted by the crucifixion than the Ressurection. One of my favorite bible verses is the simple, two-word phrase, "Jesus wept." The idea of God coming to earth and dying strikes me more than the idea that I will go to heaven and live eternally.

That all may sound depressing and macabre, but the thing is, it isn't. I don't wallow. I don't enjoy being sad and I'm not fascinated by inherently sad things. Despair isn't in my nature; in fact, I'm probably the most dogged optimist you'll ever meet. Grief has so much beauty to me because it's so closely intertwined with hope. Incredible things can grow out of horrible circumstances, which makes them even more incredible. That is what leaves a lasting impression on me; that is what informs my writing. It's undeniable: grief and hope together make my stories what they are; when you read them, that's ultimately what you see. And that's okay in my book.

Today's Prompt: What emotion do you feel the most strongly? Identify it and then write a story in which that one emotion is completely absent.

Happy Writing!