The Black and White of Grief
June 5, 2023
I wrote this poem in the days following our adventure at Point Lobos. When grief hits us, it can feel like the color has drained from our world. After our daughter Celeste died during birth from anencephaly and as we adjusted our son Peter’s medical world, motherhood was fundamentally changed for me.
As we walk through life as it is now, we begin to see things here and there, whether a moment or a memory, some things in color. Those things become the moments in which we feel we can breathe again, in which we feel the presence of God, in which we know that somehow, it is going to be okay.
That is what I see when I look at my Stella.
You are in color Let them go ahead With you, I will stay Your hand in mine
Let them run up stairs Up compact sandy trails Up Spyglass Hill They scatter along Hunt for hermit crabs Just beyond hearing
When you say, “Let’s run” I walk a little faster Every three steps You gently pet the yarrow, the aster Like the legs of a honeybee Your forefingers brush They grow brighter at your touch We name each flower
When I let go You slipped in the tidepool Sea water drips down Your arm You clasp my neck
Along the avenue of Monterey Cypress On the path to China Cove Those drops are my permission Not to let you go To hold you fast And the moment as it lasts