A Ceremony of Ashes

A friend shared this poem with me that was given as a reading by her son when scattering her husbands ashes.  I think it’s beautiful.

A Ceremony of Ashes
By Edward Storey

The wind was blowing from north to south
to give your wings their eager lift
from man-made boundaries.
Clouds were the continents you crossed,
hills the last frontier of a life
to reconcile histories.
What joy, what freed exuberance
suddenly leapt from Offa’s,
creating stars from mortal ash.
You rode like a king on the ancient dyke
to be one with a day that soon unveiled
the landfall of your choice.
You became earth and fire and rain,
tree-root and leaf, sun-shaft and frost,
where miles can never pin you down.
Whoever walks this hallowed track
will, without knowing, always have
your wise and jovial company.

Make Them

Tonight, tears were not shed…..grief doesn’t always soak my face.
Instead, an empty feeling where the silence deafens.
It’s just me and my wine and a silent room where his voice once filled like pleasant interludes.

How arrogant to assume tomorrow is ours, that we own ourselves and the light that follows.
We are oh so fragile yet oh so strong.
We carry on, making memories.  Because we know that where life is short, a memory is long.  And it’s all we can do is make them.

7th May

I’ve been dreading today, this anniversary, when 1 year ago today, life changed forever.  I owe it to my man, to keep on fighting, keep on dreaming and keep on living.  To lead a life he would be proud of me for and be the best version of myself, that he taught me to strive for. To keep looking forwards, even though every part of my being is tugged to that day, in some attempt to process the impossible.  I know tomorrow is never promised, but tomorrow I will fight again.  Today, I lament our fate.


Smacked in the face with another event

The grief train is as punctual as ever, chugging along with its repetitive rasp.  Why can’t it pause at the last stop or take a wrong turn?  After all, the driver is a learner.

But no, it has a timetable and at the moment, it’s sticking to it.  Today is Easter Sunday and as I sit here contemplatively shouving chocolates into my mouth, I wonder why you haven’t risen again? If it was possible to rise again based on love alone, you’d be here.  You’d be here, tenfold.

C’mon Sweetheart.  There’s chocolate to be eaten.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  There’s wine to be drunk.

Just How?


How am I breathing, and fast
when I’ve seen you draw your last?
How am I standing tall,
when it’s all I can do, to not fall?
How are these cheeks dry
and breast and thigh, when heavy eyes just want to cry?
How am I not bruised and burned
as I’m disgraced that the world has turned?
How can I speak instead of ball
when it’s no longer your name I can call?
How can I hear
when I still hear your voice just like it’s near?
How do I not scream
when now I only get to see you in a dream? 

Whether The Weather

Under normal circumstances I love the spring, after all, I am a spring baby.  That glimpse of pink on the shoulders of trees, bulbs in bloom…even the city looks pretty. But now, but since, but after that…. Spring sings a different song.

Yes it still looks pretty, all that extra daylight bringing in extra promise and extra dreams. But underneath that sunny exterior, for me it’s still stormy inside.  With every ultra violet ray brings just another ultra vile dismay.

I feel this, not because I wish the world in shadow and without hope.  But because of the spring he is denied.  The overwhelming sadness of a sunny day he will not see.  Shorts and shades, beats and blooms, he loved the sunny days and sunny days were his.

The weather has an impact on grief.  Our emotions are in tune with it.  It’s always assumed that sunshine makes people happy. Without ever considering that sunshine magnifies loss.  And somehow, with the beating rain and howling wind, things feel better, better because in that moment, the weather knows how we are feeling, it’s feeling it too.