Relaxing yesterday at a close friend’s house. Breakfast, sunlight tumbling through the patio door. One of those kinds of mornings. My girlfriend’s girlfriend was there too and we found ourselves talking. I learned she had lost her mother (too) and I mentioned a few blogs I’ve written that I thought she should read. Peek in: Gayle: I’ve written a few blogs I think you would like. M: about grief? Did I hear you say you had written about grief? Gayle: Um, well, I guess. But they aren’t just about grief. They’re mainly about life and how I see it most days. Little observances. M: But you said they’re about grief. Gayle: Well, you should just read one. M: Not if they’re about grief. Gayle: Err, ok. So it went and I see she’s not ready to read about what she’s experiencing. Or she’s not ready to read what she thinks I have to say about grief. Or maybe she’s not a reader. Or something like that. But who could blamer her? G-R-I-E-F is a dirty word. Look at it. Say it. Rough on the tongue. Ineloquent. Greasy with that hard F on the end. We avoid talking about our grief because it’s uncomfortable, its edges jagged. We figure if we don’t mention it, it’ll go away. Like a papercut or indigestion. Now wouldn’t it be sweet if it worked that way? Of course it doesn’t. In fact, pushing it aside makes it worse. A pimple that won’t pop but just keeps festering and filling with pus. Sometimes my schools will tell me to keep it down, that whole grief and loss thing. We don’t want to upset the children. And I say ok, then get onstage and do the poems I’d planned. Because there is no avoiding the pain of loss. There is no escape. Tuck it behind your ear and eventually it turns into a keloid. Bury it beneath your breastbone and wake one morning with a cyst above your ribs. Swallow it and it finds its way to your toilet. I couldn’t (nor do I want to) force my friend’s friend to read my blogs even though I suspect she could really use some of what I have to say. I love my blogs. They are my moments with you and me. Open laptop, sit the facing the screen, touch a few dusty keys, remember what I wanted to tell you, tell you and I am healed. Over and over. Trust me: if I had a magic wand, I’d wave it and we wouldn’t miss our loved ones anymore. We wouldn’t hurt. We wouldn’t long. All our loves would come back and have dinner with us tonight. We would laugh and pass the potatoes and pencil in the next dinner date. But for now, this is what we have; a few words of solidarity, a couple moments of me-too. Thanks for letting me share.