This is not untrodden ground. Many have

been here before. I

have been here before.

And yet I’m unprepared, because what everyone says is true–

it’s different for everyone.


Happiness makes me sad. Seeing it.

Feeling it. I listened to my family sing

Christmas carols on Thanksgiving,

watched them ham it up.

I went into another room and cried.

If he were there, he wouldn’t have been singing with them.

He’d have been standing off

to the side, watching.


When he sang, it was with his ukulele, and solo.

And beautiful.


I hear him singing, all the time.

There is no such thing as silence in my mind.

If words aren’t filling it, music is.

My brain sings,

not always in his voice, but often.

Clear. So clearly.

I hear every crack in his song.


I have learned how to push down

the memories that flare

up unbidden and precious.

“Don’t. Not now.” I can do it

and I do. I have to or go mad with sorrow.

Remembering hurts, and so does refusing to.

I don’t want to forget. Anything.

But most memories will turn into

ones I want rather than ones that were.

It’s how I’ll be able to remember without crying

the time he cut out coupons, thinking he could use them to buy toys;

how he walked his baby sister to her classroom, kissed her good-bye. Every. Day.

that he befriended every misfit in his world;

all the times I held him, making sure he kept breathing through the night;

His chaos. I don’t want to forget that either.

but I will. I will.


I had a son, and now he’s gone

no matter what anyone says of heaven or the other side of stone walls.

I open my arms and shout his name,

trying so hard to feel that presence still imbuing this house.

He’s everywhere I look. Every corner, every wall full of the life he lived here,

but I don’t. I try. Maybe he does too.

Or maybe it’s just too soon, and it just hurts too much.



Filed under poetry

14 responses to “Blanking

  1. <3. I felt every word of that.


  2. Terri-Lynne DeFino

    ❤ I wrote this a few days ago, and made it private. I decided to UNprivate it today.


  3. dianamunozstewart

    I’m so very sorry. Your pain pierces me. I wish I could hold you, make it better somehow. And what a wonderful boy. Thank you for sharing him with me today. I see him in your words. I felt him there.


    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      I don’t like making you hurt. You feel the world so intensely, my friend. I am convinced there are people like you in this world to make up for all of those who feel little or nothing at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so sublime, Terri. You’ve granted Christopher immortality with your words and memories. Many hugs to you. You know my thoughts, prayers, and spirit are with you always.


  5. Your words are beautiful and my words fail me. Keep writing and remembering ❤


  6. Elizabeth

    Beautiful. I know the holiday season must make the pain that much more sharp. I hope for peaceful moments amid the sorrowful ones.


    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      There are many peaceful, happy moments. Despite this sorrow, I still have a whole lot of good in my life. Thanks, sweet Bea.


  7. You touch my heart, Terri. Thank you for sharing your love and sorrow and beautiful boy with us. ❤


  8. (((((((((many hugs, Terri)))))))))))))


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