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The emptiness had returned, a hollow feeling deep in her chest. She didn’t know, yet, that it would never leave her.

— Antonia Hodgson, A Death at Fountains Abbey (2016)

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Does It Ever Get Better?

Does It Ever Get Better?

I know that when I first stumbled onto a bereaved parent group, it was one of the things I was looking for: evidence that the overwhelming pain of child loss would not last forever.  

Some days I was encouraged as those who had traveled farther down this path posted comments affirming that they could feel something other than sorrow.

Some days I was devastated to read comments from parents who…


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Day 21: Something I Miss

Oh man…ok I’m gonna write this fast so hopefully I can get through it without crying. I miss spending time with Matt. He was our person and we used to do everything together. We watched movies, helped each other out on a literal every day basis, we went on vacations together, and we shopped together. He was my kids godfather, he was our family and we were his, and we played Legos together. Now he…

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because I have already experienced a Major Loss™️ before it’s already weirder this time because I’m more self aware

I’ve had 11 years of experience with grief and I physically feel ill right now and all I can think about is memories of being sick in my college dorm bathroom at 2 am bc it felt like my insides were trying to stab me and just being doubled over in pain and feeling too weak to do anything

Well tonight I’m sick again

I HATE how familiar this feels

I hate having a prior loss to compare this pain to

Once again I didn’t get to say goodbye!

I didn’t get to spend my mom’s last several weeks with her beyond one weekend because I started college

I didn’t get to see my aunt since 2019 because of this fucking pandemic

losing my mom first and then my aunt (her sister) now makes both of them feel so much farther away

like when I still had my aunt I still had that connection to my mom and my aunt had stepped up and acted like a mother to me when I needed it after my mom had passed

and now I have neither

there is this quiet panic deep down, remembering how bad the first loss was, how horrific that first year without her was and I don’t want to do it again

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“that we were afraid and pressed our fear
low in our breast, held it alongside our breath;
that the tenor of our grief matched,
so nearly, the tenor of our hysteria;”

-Donika Kelly, Whale

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The forest ahead. The path awaits. We plod along as we do in grief. Henry’s Ridge, Maple Valley, WA. Photo by Carrie Redway.

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A Nail the Evening Hangs On by Monica Sok

A Nail the Evening Hangs On by Monica Sok

Summary from Goodreads: In her debut collection, Monica Sok uses poetry to reshape a family’s memory about the Khmer Rouge regime—memory that is both real and imagined—according to a child of refugees. Driven by myth-making and fables, the poems examine the inheritance of the genocide and the profound struggles of searing grief and PTSD. Though the landscape of Cambodia is always present, it is…


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In Accelerated Silence: Poems by Brooke Matson

In Accelerated Silence: Poems by Brooke Matson

Summary from Goodreads: “The thin knife that severed your tumor,” writes Brooke Matson in these poems, “it cleaves me still.” What to do when a world is split–terribly, wholly–by grief? When the loss of the beloved undermines the most stable foundations, the most sacred spaces, of that world? What else but to interrogate the very fundamental principles themselves, all the knowns previously relied…


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When I first heard this song I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t stop crying.
It’s like it’s written from the grave, from someone I miss a whole lot.

It reminded me of the letter my best friend left behind when he took his own life.

I’m writing you this message just so I can say that I love you, mmm
I had to let you know that everything about me was you, yeah
I think it’s time for me to leave but I’ll never leave you
I just looked at your pictures so the last thing I did was see you
I’m 29 my anxiety’s eating me alive
I’m fighting with myself and my sobriety every night
And last time I couldn’t barely open up my eyes, I apologize

In his letter he said the hardest part was leaving me, knowing how it was going to hurt me. The letter was attached to a polaroid picture of us that he always had in his car. He struggled with substance abuse and he used to cry when I had to look after him.

I’m not gonna lie and tell you it’s alright, it’s alright
You’re gonna cry and, baby, that’s alright, it’s alright
I wrote you this song to keep, when I’m gone if you ever feel alone
You’re gonna cry and, baby, that’s alright, it’s alright

He apologised in his letter saying he was sorry for hurting me this way, he said he didn’t believe in an after life but if there was one he’d always keep a watch over me.

I hope you get to go to all the places that I showed you
When I was on the road and couldn’t be home to hold you
Part of me doesn’t want this cruel world to know you
So just try and keep in mind everything that I told you
I’m 29 and society’s eating me alive
I’m fighting what comes this notoriety every night
This is the last time I’ll ever open up my eyes, I apologize

We had always planned to travel together, he went travelling around America and I couldn’t join him, so he kept a list of all the places he went so we could go back. He bought me back T-shirts from everywhere he’d been so it felt like I’d been with him. That will always be one of my greatest regrets, not going with him. He was a big brother to me, I looked up to him and he was always giving me lectures about life.

I’m not gonna lie and tell you it’s alright, it’s alright
You’re gonna cry and, baby, that’s alright, it’s alright
I wrote you this song to keep, when I’m gone if you ever feel alone
You’re gonna cry and, baby, that’s alright, it’s alright

And I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you, yeah
And I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you

“We’ll meet again, but until then I’ll miss you”

Not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t ache for him, but somehow talking/typing about it helps get a little bit of my shoulders.

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I am a hospice volunteer.

As soon as I seen the ad, I immediately applied.

I knew this would be something I’d love to do.

To bring happiness and peace to patients and families. I knew my grandma would be proud.

I wanted to do this for her and be there for families potentially facing that horrible reality soon.

I was so excited to volunteer in many ways. From visiting to bereavement…..but… days after my orientation I found out that I was pregnant.

That put a massive halt on it all. The sickness and fatigue made it hard to do anything.

I didnt resume volunteer work until after the birth and only doing crafts, mostly blankets.

When I make these blankets I either add a tag in memory of my grandma or this most recent time I ironed on her initials. Just to represent I’m doing it because of her and I want her to be remembered in some way, no matter how small.

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She never forgot it, the look that Jack Smeaton gave her in that long, silent moment. ‘You were my jewel, Molly,’ he said, quietly.

The cobbles tilted beneath her feet. She never knew. He’d never told her. If she could just go back half an hour. That was all she needed to make things right again — just half an hour. But it was too late.

— Antonia Hodgson, A Death at Fountains Abbey (2016)

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how could i ever feel sorry for myself when you’re still searching for the right words to tell me you’re half-dead and like it better that way?
why would i allow myself to grieve when there’s a family standing around their child’s coffin?
there isn’t any sadness in the world that hasn’t already been used up by someone else. it’s out now, we’re all empty. run dry like the taps in the bars and the oil in passerby’s cars.
there’s no reaching out when all the lines have been blurred and broken.
there’s no telling you i’m drowning when you’ve got photos of a girl who is now dead on the walls of your home. 

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Oh boy this is a fun one, poor Eli finally deals with his brother’s death

@ihaventwritteninsolong​ suggested the fantastic idea for this, based off the idea of Cathal’s own memorial, and I was possessed by the motivation to write it all out last night and I only cried like two or three times

Word Count: 3,119

CW: Death, sibling death, alcohol mentions, references to neglectful and absent parents, grief, Wren is not having a great time


 He found it in the bottom of a forgotten moving box, never unpacked from when he’d first moved into the apartment. Zander was helping him go through the mountain of junk shoved into his closet, helping him get rid of things and organize stuff, and really that was the only reason he bothered to open it once he dragged it out of his closet in the first place. The shoebox was buried under discarded books and old blankets, and he sat down with it once he pulled it out, Zander coming to kneel next to him. 

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