Don’t try to understand it

because you can’t
Don’t try to forget about it
because you won’t
Don’t try to drown your sorrow
because you shouldn’t…
And don’t even think that you are alone
because you are not.

You have friends and family to lean on,
because you can
because you will
because you should…
And because we are.

You will come to accept it

because you have to
You will hold on to your memories
because you need them
You will gain strength
because you must…
And you will never be alone
because you are not.

You have friends and family to lean on,
you have acceptance
you have memories
you have strength…
And you have us.




Stopped instantly in your tracks.
Waves of shock and then disbelief.

Her picture right there for all to see
The headline, as plain as can be
Words that strike at your very core
Shaken by the thought of reading more
You dare to look, despite the knowing
Helpless to keep it all from showing
Putting your back against the wall
Needing support as your barriers fall

Because now,
you are weakened by what you’ve read,
and you can’t move ahead.

Staggered by this second-hand news.

An instantaneous jolt of clarity. 

Taken directly to a time and a place

Flashing back, to that perfect face
A playful smile you will never forget
The honest heart of your last regret
An ideal situation, some would say
Judged yourself and you walked away
A circumstance you left behind
Rarely ever crossing your mind

Until now.
You are taken aback by what you’ve heard,
but you can’t say a word.

Inhibited by the same weight of discretion.

Just as private as it was back then.

Age, and then distance, were both too far
You sullenly
remove your suit from the car
Knowing what no one else needs to know
That it’s far more respectful not to go
Keeping your distance is probably best
Questions to avoid in the eyes of the rest
Despite yourself, you know what to do
Closure is for the family, not for you

For now.
 You are constrained by the reasons why,
 so you cannot say good-bye.



A peculiar sensation of personal loss.
Over someone and something that you let go.

Finding yourself alone with your despair

Few who could really understand or care
Absolutely no shame in what you feel

Convenient secrets, you chose to conceal
Fleeting memories, you fought to dismiss
Coming around, when it comes to this
A conscious grip on things back then
You have to confront those choices again

But now,
you need time and space with what you know.
 Because you have to let her go…






Seeing a family struggle to understand
 How sudden and final life can be
When a moment ago all seemed right
Makes how you react so very key

It’s always difficult at a time like this
To find just the right words to say
You know it’s not I, and it’s never me
  It needs to be you, or he, or they

 Offer of yourself, and be available with
A knowing glance, a shoulder, an ear
And it isn’t wrong to share a laugh
You know he would if he were here

Be who you are and think about him
And the reasons why you feel so bad
 You’ll remember it’s because of who he was
And all of the great times you had

Absorb the emotions with all of these friends
And true perspective will take its hold
Listen, and share, and you will realize
 The lost can be found in the stories told

You have many memories to hold on to
 Lasting impressions of how they were made
So very evident as you look around
In the resilient smiles that can only fade

…Always difficult at a time like this
To find the words you struggle to say





Darkness fell silent

in black and white
Stark frozen winter 
cold, merciless night

Scant leafless trees
unwary and exposed
Desolate winter avenues
cold, icy and closed

Intoxicating and near
the scent of wood flames
Long winter evening
cold, careless games

Crisp breath of chatter
muffled and muted
Blunt, bitter winter
cold, sharp and refuted

Brutal relentless wind
frigid end to the day
Harsh winter reality
cold and credulous way

A blanket of isolation
numbing and weary
Sleepless winter night
cold, distant and dreary

Light through the window
awakening and reflective
Chilly winter morning
cold, silent perspective


Suppressing the urge to start anew

He knows just what he shouldn’t do

Never opens his doors at all

Never leaves from within his walls


His eyes may be open wide

But usually he will choose to hide

Safe within a world of doubt

Deafening whisper, reticent shout


Room to room with scattered thoughts

Kitchen cupboards holding empty pots

Basement depths, in cold calamity

Off-white walls, housing humanity


Ghosts remind him of past pains

Dragging demons like heavy chains

Apparitions fade into darkest night

Dissolved by cracks of laden light


An echo of places and names and places

Unfamiliar feelings and familiar faces

Hallways filled with hollow laughter

Closets shelved with before and after


Room to room with scattered thoughts

Kitchen cupboards holding empty pots

Leaking fixture, in bathroom vanity

Off-white walls, housing his sanity


His room is colder than ever before

Bitter draft through hardwood floor

He pulls the covers over his head

But feels no warmer in this bed


Sleepless hours afraid to dream

Lost alone in a recurring theme

Sheltered from the break of dawn

He always keeps his curtain drawn


Room to room with scattered thoughts

Kitchen cupboards holding empty pots

Low ceilings, in harsh tranquility

Off-white walls, housing humility


Room to room, in sheltered resistance

Off-white walls, housing existence




Who will I talk to now?

When I see you so peaceful soon after your fight
When the dark of this year is exposed to the light
When the mere thought of looking weakens my knees
When what to say then, becomes what are to be’s ?
When I think why we’re here and know what it’s for
When the wound from this day is open and sore
When I am up there alone spilling my gut
When I need someone’s help, to get out of this rut ?
When I carry this burden alone as I walk
When my shaky soul quivers as I try to talk
When the pain of this date recurs every year
When this terrible ache is replaced by the fear ?
When people come to me and look for strength
When answers escape me despite every length
When my weary shoulders feel only so strong
When the burden of right is outweighed by wrong ?

Who will I talk to?

When my mind drifts to that place where you were
What relief will I find that acts as my cure
Whenever my depths extend to new lows
Where can I run, to someone who knows ?
Where do I turn when I’ve just lost my way
When remembering delays the start to my day
When I look in the mirror to the reflection I see
When I turn to realize that you’re not here with me ?
When I think about what to buy for a gift
When my confidence wavers and I just need a lift
When I need someone to say just the right words
When I open a window, to “hear from the birds” ?
When my laughter subsides with a memory of you
When it’s out with the old and on to the new
When boxes can’t hide the now from the then
When doors don’t conceal the where from the when ?

Who will I turn to?

When inevitable loss finds me again
When I can’t erase what I write with my pen
When just the right phrase seems to elude
When the wrong expression alters my mood ?
When the root of my pain stings to the core
When the echo of your loss resonates more
When the whole of my heart is empty still
Whenever the way surpasses my will ?
What can I reach for, to lift up my mind
When I can’t leave frustration further behind
When the sound of my fury is the last that I’ve heard
When I cry with each reading, or with every word ?
When I question the reason, despite the rhyme
When the day never ends, despite the time
What do I do when my dreams see your face
When a song reminds me, of a time and a place ?

I will do my own talking…

When I’ve found the path to be my own guide
When the caring shapes my character inside
When my children ask me about who you were
When I answer, my words will be strong and be sure.
When someone I meet sees something in me
When I manage to love and just learn to be
When the feelings fly, from my mind to the page
When captured emotions release from their cage.
When my stories bring smiles more often than tears
When my heart opens up after all of these years
When I see your picture it reminds me to care
When I look at my life, I am sure and aware.
When the poems are complete and ready to share
When the things that I’ve said take me back there
What more can I say than I am happy and fine
When the memories are yours, they’ll always be mine.

G.G. Jan.18/13


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