Children of absence 

The world is strange

how for some death is a petite mort

for others, not pleasure nor hell

just a slice to be taken out and left without warmth

they can with their approximating whole

continue without sore heart

while others

they are vigil in grief

nothing mends what is broken

I was told once this is weak

it is the substance of survival that we let go, move on

those who are able to open their fists

those who feel less or brew sense of senseless things

I am therefore not strong

for death stings like it has

pressed its poisonous quill deep

my heart lays heavy in its fur cloak

nothing really aids grief

but the passing of time and memory

ushering us further from the moment

like a worried parent seeking retreat

though we know

as with all circles we will return inevitably to completion

and I wonder since I do not believe

in Gods and Devils

but occasionally I am convinced monsters may, be an exception

where then, shall we find ourselves?

after all our pieces have fallen and the board is emptied

will I feel you next to me still?

as dust, we strive to rejoin star light

or will a wink be simply a wink out?

and so gentle light is drowned

for a time it worried me until

I saw this as a curtain fall, something peaceful almost alluring

what hurts us is not our own demise

but the loss of others to the other side

where shade invagels night and the smudge of life

for none of us

not even the preacher

who believes he sees the face of Jesus in the sky

can truly know what happens

when those we love die

it is the ache of their absence

even if that love was filled with holes

incomplete moments where like a colindar 

we saw more water fall than keep

I know loving me was at best a fractured and intermittent thing

but real love is not how you felt, it is the emotion I had

Stirred into my rise, even as you walked away 

even as need became a habit, not a desire

I may have always been

following you, looking for breadcrumbs

and you may have rarely noticed

your child who wanted so badly to matter

but I find time changes those emotions

it is ultimately the love I bare

irrespective of your own

that will hurt the most

when you are not around to call

hoping you pick up the phone or

send me a postcard ‘I am having a wonderful time’

and my only regret will be

just one more day I’d like

to know you were on this earth

a feeling of being as secure as you can

with nothing underfoot

we get used to little, us, children of absence

we learn to eat what we are given

and from nothing comes so much

it springs up 

around emptied houses and abandoned lots

like red weeds will show

vivid and wild

in a landscape of naught

we are the tender feelings who labor

in spite of all

and that I believe is the depth and mercy

of a full heart 



51 thoughts on “Children of absence 

  1. Beautifully written with your usual striking imagery, your magic way with words. (And synchronicitly, I’ve just been writing down some of my own thoughts on the subject – very similar – but not as adeptly put as yours.)


  2. Love this, beautiful and filling. This makes me think about how I will feel when my parents die and how I wish for so much more for their lives… and how their lack of really living and loving impacts me. I am always in awe of how touching and meaningful your words are ❤


  3. Candice, you are so talented. This is by far the best piece I have seen in a long time.
    My wife lost her father when he was 52. It’s been ten years and she still grieves for him. I think it’s all the unsaid bits, our sons birthdays, graduations and other moments where only a parent will do. Live, learn and never take the living for granted.


  4. Absolutely beautiful. Grief is individual. One of my friends asked me why I still talk about my partner. This caught me by surprise. Why not – death is only physical. It all depends on the deep quality you have. Some people have been together for many years staying together for the kids or it is the thing to do or afraid to start over and their partners die and it seems like they don’t grieve. It was quantity of years not the quality. It also depends the deepness or the relationship as well. Just saying grief is individual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your friend said that? SERIOUSLY? Okay maybe not my place but I’m gobsmacked they’d say that. In your shoes that would have either hurt or made me angry. That’s unreal. I know people who talk about passed loved ones 50 years on, how is ONE YEAR ever qualified for that statement??? What kind of person would even think like that??? If that’s the way people think let’s seriously find a remote island as there is no love or mercy there. I would be more surprised if you did NOT talk about him or think about him, that’s just the very least I would believe and not even mentioning how he is with you in all things, how do you cleave all that? I never want to know. I’m so sorry that’s the most insensitive thing. You deserve more respect so do the ones who have passed. Never ever stop being exactly as you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was surprised at first and had made the decision afterwards looking at our relationship that it always was about her and her needs. She tried to set me up four days after my partner passed. I was shocked back then and now it makes me angry the insensitivity. I have pushed her away a little at a time. I don’t hear from her all that much and I don’t think she even knows that I am pushing her away. I think she will find somebody new to support her in her egoistic ways and I am not willing to do so anymore. Thanks for your support it means a lot. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Set you up 4 fays later? This is not a well person. You jnow me I’m loathe to judge typically but come on! No respect for your heart not best intentions more demented insensitivity you did not need that. Optimism doesn’t mean forgetting it means living in spite of loss. Good grief. Not okay. That on top of losing him, not okay.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This may be my favorite of the poems of yours I’ve read. Profound thoughts said beautifully. Yes, it is the living who suffer (as far as I know–with you, I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but perhaps monsters.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Deep ponderings. Do our beliefs create what we experience at our passing from this mortal coil? An interesting thought…. I have read many books and stories of people who have had near death experiences and describe what they saw and heard on the other side. Many believe they came back to tell their stories to give others hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely an incredible write dear Candice.. it is a while since I came visiting.. I know.. But this is so profound.. Unless you have felt the real sting of grief, you can not begin to know..
    And even though I know life continues ‘beyond’ it does nothing to comfort the gap it leaves in your heart..
    Sending you love dear one.. I hope all is well in your world.
    Love Sue ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was for your mother? It’s beautiful. I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately. I really related to this one. Our relationship wasn’t perfect; but I miss it. A hell of a lot. xoxo


  9. very beautiful!! not sure, but it seemed like this was for a parent of yours… a missing parent? I felt the sadness underneath. very moving!! I want to add the fullness and joy of a faithful heart, leaves us never worrying about what we can’t see or will be waiting for us on the other side. If you truly believe as I do, He went first to prepare a place for me, and you, and I know it’s going to be Ab Fab!!! I can’t wait. Truly, I look forward to going Home!!! not scared, or worried in the least… 🙂 have a blessed day Candice.


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