A poem after the loss of my father

My grief lives in little boxes.

I put them up on a shelf

Like gifts to revisit

But the gifts bring pain

Sometimes I can choose when to open them

And other times they are like that surprise that shows up on your doorstep

The unwelcome guest that no matter how many times you tell them you are not interested in what they have to offer…they keep coming back

Some of the gifts are worn, dusty, old

Others still have their shine, their newness, the luster that attracts me to pick them up, examine them, hold onto them for a while.

How much would I love to replace the gift on the shelf with one more cup of coffee

One more late night piano concert

One more story

One more hug or kiss.  One more I love you

How is it we never learn

Never talk about this pain

How much more can my heart take?  How does one continue to live…

Funny how something that has caused me so much pain…I call a gift

My gifts have names

John
Jared
Barbara
Cindy
Myrtle
Peter
Lily
Mike
Charley
Bruce

Each one of these lives had impact.  Big or small.  And they will always be remembered in my heart.