Tag Archives: Grief

Kali Gandaki by Connie Clark

Photo of canyon under blue sky
 

I have a fear of heights. It is a fear of depths, too. Stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and look down? No, no matter how beautiful it may be. Sit with my legs dangling off a mountain peak? Never. I can’t even look at pictures of people doing these things without flinching. For years, I refused to look over the precipice’s edge into the world of the dying. I ran from them. I turned off the phone, been out of town. I left the room. I have said, “I’m praying for you,” … Continue reading Kali Gandaki by Connie Clark

Afterglow by Emily Littlewood

Photo of Animal and Emily
 

My dog sits right next to me. He’s a fourteen-almost-fifteen year old soft-coated wheaton terrier. He’s recovering from another bout of pneumonia, only two months since the last. Insanely cozy and sweet, mellow and always ready for a nap, he’s night-and-day different from his puppy days, when my husband and I thought we’d made a mistake for the entire first year of his life. When Animal (named because of his similarity to the drum-rocking muppet) was a puppy he was batshit insane. He’s always been so lovable, and so loved, but those first years he … Continue reading Afterglow by Emily Littlewood

Immersed by Caroline Kahlenberg

Photo of ripples on water
 

    People will say it was suicide, but you mustn’t believe them. They’ll say I looked normal at first, a tall woman with long black hair in a gray, knee-length skirt. They’ll explain how I disappeared down the spur trail, into the woods, to the patch of dirt that dips into the Potomac River. When the newspapers announce my death, they’ll speculate that I desired to die. They’ll report that I ignored the “Swimming Prohibited” signs. The dog-walkers will confirm that they’d seen me on the C&O Canal path before, that my Golden Retriever … Continue reading Immersed by Caroline Kahlenberg

The Little Colt by Laura Marello

Photo of colt, background purple mountains
 

I had heard when you get older you revert to a lot of your tastes and activities when young, but I disregarded it, until I started buying old Joni Mitchell and Buffalo Springfield albums, and listening to the Beach Boys and James Taylor in the car. Now I am riveted to a 230-acre ranch in the high coastal mountains of British Columbia, with wild horses and meadows bordered by beautiful woods full of aspens and birch, and even taller, snow-covered mountains in the distance. A few days ago, one of the spunkiest, fiercest of the … Continue reading The Little Colt by Laura Marello

A Room Called Remember by Mary McCue

Photo of stars in sky
 

The sound of rustling leaves, like old fashioned petticoats, soothed the cold lodged like a stone above my brow. Compliant for once to the vagaries of my body, I stretched out on the floor letting my mind wander toward the Blue Ridge sprawled across the horizon in a color I love because of its smoky calm. How relieved my father would be to see where I live. In a rare heart-to heart conversation two years before his death in 1992, I told him how unhappy I was in my marriage of thirty years “We’ve come … Continue reading A Room Called Remember by Mary McCue

COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

An old brass key dropped in the woods.
 

I’ve been having some strange dreams lately, probably most of us have. A cooked salmon lies in the middle of the highway, missing half his body, yet alive and showing no signs of distress. We all get out of our cars to gape, wondering how he can survive, cooked, headless. The salmon seems sentient, yet placid, accepting. A woman is sawing the legs off a live fox. Witnesses don’t protest; the fox seems fine. Someone is removing a variety of my organs — heart, liver, intestines — as I watch from a distance. I don’t think I’ll miss them. … Continue reading COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

Memento Mori by Melissa Knox

Photo of person by grave marked with rocks and teddy bear
 

To be no more; sad cure; for who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through Eternity, To perish rather, swallowed up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night, Devoid of sense and motion? John Milton, Paradise Lost   In the middle of the night, my husband sat up; he’d been coughing too much and I’d been lying awake listening to his rasping breathing. His doctors understand as much as anyone about his little-known lung disease, but that’s not saying much. They’d ordered an oxygen tank which … Continue reading Memento Mori by Melissa Knox

Indelible Tracks Essay by Erin Levens

Train Tracks
 

***Erin Levens is an Honorable Mention of Streetlight’s 2018 Essay/Memoir Contest***   I know I’m falling asleep when I slip under the cowcatcher onto a bed of hay. Strands of hay poke through the bars of iron used to clear the track of obstacles impeding the train’s journey. I curl up and feel protected and safe behind these bars. I trust that the train will guard me with its power. My holy place is a train station. I remember standing on the platform careful to stay behind the white line. Four, five years old. If … Continue reading Indelible Tracks Essay by Erin Levens

Butter, Bread, Beethoven: I Remember My Father by Cora Schenberg

Plate with bread and butter
 

In the Valley of the Bones The hand of HASHEM was upon me; it took me out by the spirit of HASHEM and set me down in the midst of the valley—and it was filled with bones…He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones! Say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of HASHEM!’ Thus said the Lord HASHEM/ELOHIM to these bones: Behold, I will bring a spirit into you, and you will come to life. I will put sinew upon you, and I will coat you with skin; then I will put a … Continue reading Butter, Bread, Beethoven: I Remember My Father by Cora Schenberg

My Father’s Tears by Jean Auguste Gravel

man grieving
 

I’ve never seen my father cry. This is surprising because he’s not one of those “boys don’t cry” sorts and never scolded us for tears. With four small boys running around the house, he saw ours almost daily as we grew up, most often for scraped knees or easily forgotten boyhood tragedies. To him, tears were to sadness what laughter was to mirth—each held an important part in the yin and yang of the emotional spectrum. But I thought I saw him cry once. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. I only remember … Continue reading My Father’s Tears by Jean Auguste Gravel