The following is a hand-picked collection of works from all of our volumes of Grieve.
Today I had a call from the young woman who used to be my kind and loving daughter. The special ring tone that I reserve for her calls punches me hard in the middle of my chest. I take a deep breath and press ‘accept’. It’s what I am trying to do—accept her for who she is now.
“Hello Darling, how are you today?”
“Fine. Can I borrow your car? I need to pick up my stuff from a friend’s place.”
Agnes’ pa used to embarrass her. Even in ICU he embarrassed her—the scent of unwashed hair and old cigarettes, the tatts from his navy days and the answers she had to give the organ donation nurses. They couldn’t use his organs in the end but she kept his handprints and locks of hair in a sealed envelope, a tangible memory in shades of black, white and grey.
I do not master well this art of losing—
last year our Dad, and now the house is sold.
Instinctively, I grieve for all that’s passing.
So many homes we’ve had—we’re used to moving—
yet strange to see Mum taking charge alone.
We pack and sweep, distracted from our losing.