Loss

A poem for this first day of February. 

Though Loss Is Everywhere

Your mother has died and you feel her

tenderness everywhere you turn. You reach

for her and come up empty. You long to pick

up the phone and call. You look for things

of hers to hold. But the dearest thing she

held was you. Perhaps her greatest gift

in going is that to feel her now, 

you have to hold yourself. 


You ask how can I go on? Why don't

I have regrets? I guess I've been worn

to where I no longer reach. This is 

neither better or worse. This is just

how it's happened to me. I am not

removed. I just feel like a pebble

scoured in the bottom of the stream. 


The losses hurt and I struggle too, 

to stay in the light, to get up and 

try again. But the shore crumbling 

into its beauty gives me strength. 


Like the sun which changes everything, 

those we love vanish, but their light

returns as another day, 

like it or not.  


So open your hand that has held

so much. What it has known

now lives in you, in a place

you can't always reach. 


I will hold you every chance I get

but this won't compare to holding

yourself. Perhaps grief is how we exhaust

our reach for things that have gone, 

and acceptance is how we slowly 

learn to hold ourselves in 

the middle of the storm. 

Mark Nepo "The Way Under the Way - The Place of True Meeting" 

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