A Poem from Point Lobos

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