In the style of Sharon Olds

In the style of Sharon Olds
letter to My Husband  on Moving Forward
Dear Pat, I saw your picture yesterday
and recognized a new kind of pain.
The pain of acceptance.
In the midst of this different spring
of isolation
I must truly begin my new life
as a homeowner
without you.
New and necessary jobs 
need to get started.
The first with the ring of a doorbell:
at safe distancing, an offer
to fix my clothesline.
Only you and my mother
could truly know
what that meant to me.
I have read much,
asked much, and heard much
on the  process of grieving,
but in the end
it is a journey
that belongs to those who grieve.
Many decisions I have made and continue to make
are hard ones and I end up feeling 
very selfish at times.
Resentment enters the muddy waters of loss 
and it is sometimes difficult being the sole parent
of even the best child.
Scary times do not always bring out
the best in us.
The unique paths we have each taken are not linear
but they do often cross
which is good.
A talking dog often gets to the heart of the matter.
I chose to work from the top down
beginning with the roof 
and cleaning up the debris after it falls.
At the peak with a difficult move, and then all the hard work
that follows.
I  miss the look of praise
in your eyes and in your smile.
You alone knew what that meant to me.
And whenever I get to see that look again
I will never take it for granted.
Love Melissa xo
In 1995, I was introduced to the poem "Letter to My Father from 40,000 Feet " by Sharon Olds. I was a practicing teacher at the time, all of 27 years old. Something about this poem has stayed with me ever since. Although it speaks of a complex relationship that Olds had with her father, it's really lines 12 to 17 that speak the most to me in terms of what it would be like to experience seeing and holding your loved one again. ~M


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8 Responses

  1. Melissa, this letter was so touching, Pat will always be missed by you and Bea and from the pictures of Pat it was very evident that he tought you both hung the moon. His eyes always showed how much he loved you both. Take Care Melissa!

  2. ❤ A healthy journey. ❤

    Just catching up on your writings. Dad has gone downhill in last 2 days. I have a new lens from which to read your grieving process.

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