healing from child loss

On Loss and Missing Pieces

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Poems about Death

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©2020 Susan Noyes Anderson

image by Wioletta Plonkowska on Unsplash

The day Todd’s spirit flew,
mine rose to follow.
(Though only a few bits
got clean away.)

Important bits, some straight
from my own center,
blown out by grief
I could not hold at bay.

They darted to and fro
like errant seekers,
failing (or worse, refusing)
to return.

Perhaps they sought short
answers to long questions.
Or maybe they just had
some pain to burn.

I called my pieces home
with spirit longing,
but every plea fell flat.
Unheard, it seems.

I tried blocking emotions
that first freed them,
but grief would not be banished
from my dreams.

Like wounded teens
seeking emancipation, my
missing parts craved distance
and took wing.

They dived unfettered from
the hole Todd left us,
looked for relief in

“But you belong to me,
with me,” I told them.
Our comfort lies together,
not alone.

The healing path must cross
each loss, each feeling.
Let’s wend our way, remembering
ourselves home.

Come, join with me,
remembering ourselves home.

“Only from such a place of loss and longing can we begin remembering ourselves home.” – Toko-pa Turner

I am learning that integration is the key to my own comfort. I seek ways to integrate my pre-Todd’s-death self with my post-Todd’s-death self, relinquishing as little as I can while also being willing to admit that some pieces of that innocent me cannot be retrieved. It’s okay; my core (its foundation and every peripheral part I have managed to salvage) holds, though Todd’s physical presence is no longer at the center of it. Still, he is carried there, in all his spiritual glory. Within that reality, my spirit finds whatever healing (short of our highly-anticipated reunion) is available, and I am grateful.

If this poem resonates with you, you might also relate to this one: Carrying You.


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