Grief Over Tea: A Letter to Dad

by Mindy Farmer


Dear Dad,

Grief came to me this morning.

Not like it was yesterday.

Not like 14

numbed by my reality –

An unimaginable future

without you.

No, grief knocked softly,

gracefully sitting beside me;

Contemplation in a cup of tea.

I wish I could offer her a chair,

14 year old me,

that girl gutted, broken, raw with grief.

I’d offer her a cuppa of compassion and introduce her to grief

now mellowed and matured with age.

She’d refuse to sit, of course,

betrayed by my eyes

absent of tears, anger, fear. Grief as she knows it.

I wouldn’t push her to sit but stand beside her instead.

I’d quietly tell her how I haven’t forgotten.

How I miss you every day.

How tears sometimes fall unexpectedly, a warm relief of pain.

How I tried every which way to deal with grief

-the old bastard-

until I nearly lost myself

in empty platitudes of faith, debilitating depression,

cynicism born of unbearable pain.

How the fear of forgetting you immobilized me

and my joy felt like a betrayal to your memory.

Except my life didn’t end with your death.

And grief is nothing if not persistent.

I learned to accept the companionship of grief,

allowing it to inform and reform my life, rather than consume it

-rather than consume me.

I wish you could sit with us – 14 year old me and 37 year old me –

pull up a chair, and sip with us in our grief.

We want to despise grief

-the old bastard-

yet our grief unites us, making room at the table

for memories, hope, joy, love, change, renewal

life.

Category: Featured, Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing, SNHU Student