Monday, December 19, 2016

Coping With Loss at Christmastime

Sometimes Christmas can be difficult...
The following poem was written after the death of my husband, Leo F. Carolan, 
in 2004. 

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Image credit:


Wrote my annual Christmas poem
and sent it out as usual
well aware that anyone who didn't already know
would know even before they opened it
as soon as they saw the return address label
with just my name on it—
Included your photograph
and a few words about your passing
baby photos of Logan and Aiden
and a few words about God taketh and giveth

Shopped, pretty much as usual
except, of course, that a significant gift
was missing from my list
I gift wrapped and set up the crèche
and a few decorations
baked cookies—
shortbread, chippers
anise biscotti, sugar cookie stars
Packed tins to mail
and give and have on hand
I'd glance at the empty chair
and miss you sitting there, smiling
as I rolled out dough
and sang O Holy Night way off key

Received lots of cards
and lots of notes and phone calls
from people stunned
by the news in my letter

Beth and Evert invited me to spend
the day before Christmas Eve with them
before they flew to Miami
with Logan to visit Evert's mom

On Christmas Eve I went to Beth Israel
to celebrate the birth of Messiah
Gave Pastor Jonathan his tin of cookies
then headed south on the Parkway
after midnight so I could be
at Kristin and Randy's in time
to see Aiden's eyes light up his first
Christmas morning

Over the next few days
I visited my sister and brother
Aunt Carol and friends

Kevin and Omayra invited me
to spend a quiet New Year's Eve
Tearless, pensive, I lifted a glass
to ring out the old, ring in new
I slept in the guest-room
We sat around the table in our bathrobes
New Year's Day morning, eating
buttered panetone with glazed chestnuts
We drove to The City to see a play
ate in a deli that charged holiday prices
and toured Ground Zero on foot

it was over
I got through it

without going to pieces

Maude Carolan

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