This is How You Grieve Him

With aging photos, phone calls planning dinner,

with the same story of the same diner pancakes

on countless Sundays that you never finished, but

were allowed to order anyway.


With your great aunt in the hospital hallway

being selfish as usual, with your father in the

hospital hallway with circles under his eyes

the size of dinner plates, dirt in the brim of

his baseball cap, sipping coffee and watching

his father die.


You grieve him with the counting of his breath

like the anticipation between lightning and thunder,

with laughter you managed to scrape from the very

bottom of your lungs.


With yoga, with a glass of milk, with quick,

quiet crying in the cereal aisle of the supermarket.


You line up sympathy cards like paper trinkets

on the mantel, and you grieve because they grieve for you.


You grieve without sadness too, the first time you’re able

to say you lost him without hunching your shoulders.


With every look at your rounding belly,

the shape of some new world without him in it

except he is, in the still unknown face of your son.


Over coffee, over breakfast, over a good book,

watching your favorite television show, paying

for an ice cream, kissing your husband goodnight,

brushing your hair.


You grieve him in any way, in every way, in light and dark,

your grandfather.


Filed under Writing

10 responses to “This is How You Grieve Him

  1. Beautiful words, Nicole. I’m so sorry about your grandpa. He will be missed.

  2. I’m so sorry about your grandpa, Nicole. What a wonderful tribute to him…you’ll do a fabulous job telling your little guy about him. xo

  3. What a lovely tribute. Hugs to you.

  4. Pingback: HE WOULDN’T ACCEPT MY COMPASSION | hastywords

  5. I just read your post at Hasty Words…beautifully penned. I am so sorry for your loss. You are right, grieving is anytime, anywhere, no right or wrong way it consumes you and slips out when you least expect it. I lost my mom Dec 2nd and know that my heart is with you. When my father passed, my daughter announced she was pregnant that same week…I knew she would have a boy before she did. Grief is like having washers that are worn out, you never know when the taps will leak. Blessings, Oliana xx

  6. Pingback: Nicole Marie: Featured Poet | Laura A. Lord

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