Thursday, 31 December 2020

Ruth is rounding us up today at There Is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town. Stop by for all of the shiny new year poetry posts!

Happy New Year to all of my Poetry Friday friends.

There were many things to celebrate in 2020. For me, having our two 20-something kids living with us full time was the highlight of the year.

But we all experienced losses. Loss of jobs and income. Loss of food security. Loss of plans for travel, trips to museums. Loss of time with friends, family. (I haven’t seen my parents in over a year).

As the year changes, we will continue to grieve for loved ones we lost. Grief is a complicated emotion. More so when we are unable to walk together through the rituals, ceremonies, and comforts that usually accompany our sadness.

If you are grieving, let’s sit with that for a moment, together, with this beautiful poem by Langston Hughes.

by Langston Hughes

I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There’s nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began—
I loved my friend.

Thank you for all of your kind words about Rudy. If you would like to know more of his story, I am writing about how we adopted him as a serial of short chapters. You can find it on Instagram or Facebook.

12 responses to “Poetry Friday: Facing Loss”

  1. Ruth says:

    I’m so sorry, Laura. I hope you don’t mind that I added you to the roundup. I saw your post on Facebook while I was reading Rudy’s story. Back to finish it now. Happy New Year!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thank you so much, Ruth. I couldn’t find the schedule for this week. I will link to your blog. I appreciate it.

  2. Fran Haley says:

    Laura, you’re so right about carrying grief forward into the new year, and this heaviness: “We are unable to walk together through the rituals, ceremonies, and comforts that usually accompany our sadness.” There’s such a void – whether by safe distancing or death. Your loss of Rudy affects me deeply – I am glad you are writing about him. Prayers <3

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thank you for reading, Fran. It’s been hard but also helpful to write about our five years with Rudy. Sending love and happy new year to you!

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I don’t know if we do ever forget the grief, yet it changes in its preeminence in our lives. I hope your writing about your life and Rudy since he came to be yours helps lessen the pain; the good times remembered can help. Your sharing has been poignant and loving, for you I’m sure, but really for all us readers, too. Thanks for that, Laura.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      That’s a good way of putting it, Linda. Raw grief is such a challenge. It has helped to write about our time with Rudy and I appreciate that you’ve followed along and shared comments. Thank you.

  4. Our pets have a way of finding that special spot in our lives and hearts–Langston Hughes’ poem addresses loss so well, I’ve always loved this bittersweet, soft poem of his. Glad you are able to write about your relationship. I wrote a flurry of poems after my Dad passed four years ago, and continue to write a few each year. I hope things will pick up for all of us in 2021, thanks Laura.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I think it’s one of the most beautiful poems in the English language. I remember you posting some of the poems about your father. A poem is a good container for memories and emotions.

  5. Hughes’ poem is a healing balm for us all. Thanks for sharing his words and your loss – together we heal. All the best to you and yours in the new year, Laura. 🙂

  6. Linda Mitchell says:

    Laura, your words and Langston’s ring truer than I like. I have a mixed bag of grief and anxiety going on in my head….which of course means depression is somewhere in the mix. Writing is different these days and I’m just letting it be that way. Will you carry on with the February project? I really hope so. I have left facebook but, am still on my groups. I’d love to write through February with everyone again.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Linda. 2020 was hard on so many people’ mental health. Yes, I’ll be posting about the February Poetry Project when I host Poetry Friday on January 22! I’m looking forward to writing with everyone and I am VERY excited about this year’s theme.

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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