I recently attended a Grief & Loss Writing Workshop, which provided me the space and time to start writing again after months of emotional constipation.
The following is the result of a writing prompt, with a twelve minute allotted writing period. Only slightly edited and cleaned up, mostly raw, the way the words emerged.
Unread Sympathy Cards
It has been 9 months already since my father died ~ almost a year with very little space to hold him quietly in my own private thoughts.
My writing practice died when he died; the rush of the merry-go-round I couldn’t get off didn’t allow for it.
I became a Hospice Nurse 3 months before he died. No time to grieve, no time to sit with my loss. Straight back to the work of nursing other patients, other families.
Always reminding myself to not let my story interfere with their stories.
Giving others the space that was not given to me.
“He’s in a better place now,” were the words on the first and only bereavement card I opened and read.
Fury. I felt fury reading those words.
9 months later, the rest of the cards and notes lay unread, wrapped in a plain blue ribbon at the bottom of my sock drawer.
My husband, and my 18 year old son ~ Bob’s only grandchild ~ read the cards as they arrived to our home. They were not just for me, after all. But I could not subject myself to reading another.
December 15th, was Bob’s birthday. I had thought that perhaps I might read them then. But no. I wasn’t ready.
May 1st will be the anniversary of the day he died. Maybe that will be the day.