Poetry can bring solace when someone we love has died, whether calling upon religious faith, reminding us of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, or simply providing a soothing pattern of rhythm and sound. Poetry can also serve as a loving tribute to keep the memory of the one we lost alive.
In the present instance, however, poetry has failed me. Miserably.
My little brother George died unexpectedly of graft versus host on November 30, 2017. After the initial raw anguish, I wanted to write a tribute to him, a poem that would capture his essence for our family to hold and cherish for ourselves and then share with others.
I knew it would be hard, very hard, but I thought I could do it. I’m a writer, after all. Words are my stock in trade.
I couldn’t do it. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it. The right words just wouldn’t come.
I had to write “Grief Song” instead. The first two lines of the poem were prompted by the younger of George’s two grandsons. Cleaning up Glitter has published “Grief Song” in their inaugural issue: “Grief Song.”