Coming Home from the Cemetery

As the anniversary of my father’s death approaches I have been reflecting on how grief left me feeling dissociated from life, people and relationships. I was also remembering how small acts of kindness planted the seeds of healing that helped me through a dark time.

Coming Home from the Cemetery

Coming home from the cemetery
wrapped in grief
like a cloak of invisibility
I began to dissolve

fading from view
I passed through space
leaving no shadow

looking out onto busy people
living their lives

Unmoored from life
I returned to familiar places
but left no mark
no crease on the bed where I lay awake all night
unnoticed in class where I pretend to concentrate
waiting for an appetite while
waiters pass by without noticing my empty place setting

You tapped me gently on the shoulder
looked deeply into my eyes
and asked
“Who did you lose?”
My face belying my confusion – at being seen, being understood
you point to the torn fragment of clothing I wore
as a sign of grief

A brief moment
two people tethered across a chasm of emptiness
you anchored safely on land
me adrift, drowning in a sea of sadness
the connection a lifeline dragging me back to shore

color began to return to the world
I became more solid
I noticed my reflection in a passing window
the person next to me on the bus smiled as I sat down

I began the long journey home

~Carl Josehart
October, 2019

You may also appreciate Grief is a Garden

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