Amy Souza and Ash Martins

Amy Souza

Grief Is
Part I
By Ash Martins
Inspiration piece

Time slows down,
stops entirely,
then somehow starts again in the moments you transition from this life to your next

Grief is

It weighs a million invisible pounds

My shoulders sag under the weight of it
I am a crumpled heap on the floor,
clutching a photo of you like it’s one last hug

My heart pounds from the shock of it
Hell, maybe I’m dying, too

My world is instantly darker without your light in it
Things will never be the same — of this, I am sure

How could you do this to me?

I now know that
grief is

It is bewildering,

It is inexplicable,

It is selfless
and selfish

It is holding on
and letting go

It is unspoken
and shared

It is pitiful
and brave

It is love, shape shifting

Grief is joy drowning in tears

It is choked laughter sputtering for air

It is holding your breath while awaiting confirmation of news you somehow already know

It is the time before and the time after

It is learning to recalibrate my entire future to account for your absence

It is wracking my entire soul in search of yours in this plane of existence and coming up empty-handed

It is seeing your life flash before my eyes in a split second,
and knowing that your story is bookended by the finality of this moment

It is a gaping tear in my time-space continuum that I believe can never heal,
but later learn will be stitched back together—
one minute,
one hour,
one day at a time

And I feel certain I will never forgive you for being human,
but later learn that I will honor your humanity instead of resenting it

I wish your death wasn’t the last thing you taught me about living,
but as my mom, was there any other way?

Though I can’t really thank you now, I’ll do everything I can to make you proud

Y’know, in case there’s a chance you’re out there somewhere in the stars looking down on me



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One Comment

  1. Posted December 10, 2022 at 9:05 am | #

    This was a perfect response to this image. Loved the stages in the image, loved the whole poem. Just when I thought you’d said it all, there was more truth and beauty. Thank you.