Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Grace in the Morning (Laura)

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine and his wife suffered the incredible loss of their seventeen-month-old daughter to unexpected illness. I have never lost a child, and I can't begin to speak for the pain and heartache my friend and his family are going through and will continue to go through. I wish I could take their pain away.

In these past days, as I've thought of my friend's grief, a poem came to mind. It was one I woke to the morning after my grandmother passed away just about six years ago. Though very different losses, at the time, it gave me comfort.

Here is the poem:

          Grace comes in the morning, a loving presence there.
          She'll touch my hand and stroke my head and gently comb my hair.
          She picks me up and wraps me tight and sees me out the door
          and watches me to make sure I don't get hurt any more.

          When Grace comes in the afternoon, she'll bandage every bruise.
          I notice that she does this for the other children too.
          She feeds the lot then takes us home like we're a family.
          She bakes us pies and keeps us at her table till we leave.

          When Grace comes in the evening, she finds us each a bed--
          or floor, or couch, or whatever she can gather up instead.
          A cup of water smells like cloves, the sheets like potpourri.
          She leaves the kitchen light on and in peace the house can sleep.

          I'm not sure what she always was or why she ever came
          then left a place that works so hard to put her to a name.
          Defining her by body, by species, or by race
          could not have done her justice so she holds a different space.

          And in those moments when I look inside instead of out--
          like when I wake or when I sleep or when I laugh or doubt--
          I see her there, and I know that Grace will never leave.
          And if I cannot find her, I will pray to Anthony.*

          For Grace still comes by morning to wake me in my bed.
          That's when I know, because of her, I've one more day ahead.

          I love you, Grace.

I like to believe we are all connected, and sometimes I feel that very strongly. I saw people come together for my friend, and I hope he still feels that support for days and years to come. I like to believe people like my grandma and the members of my friend's family who have already passed are now taking care of his little girl, just as she watches over her parents and sister and brother. She brought joy and love, as they did for her, and there is no greater, more lasting gift. I hope they continue to feel her light in their hearts.

Please keep my friend in your prayers that he and his family may find peace.

What has brought you some healing in times of loss?


*My grandma's favorite saint. The Catholic Church considers Anthony the patron saint of lost things.

Angel wings and halo: http://wildones.wikia.com/wiki/File:Angel_wings_and_halo.jpg


  1. What a beautiful poem, Laura! I love the image of grace as a motherly figure. I'm so sorry for your friend's loss, we'll keep them in our prayers! I often turn to music when I'm grieving - for some reason playing piano really helps me channel my emotions.

    1. Thank you so much, Laurie. Piano sounds like a really nice way to channel emotions. I always wished I could play.

  2. What a lovely poem, Laura. . .praying for your friend, and for you as you remember your grandma, too.


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