“how did your mom die?”

she would love as if it were as common as breathing- so far and so deep, too far and too deeply-

the leaves falling with winters falling snow stole her with the last gusts of novembers brisk winds

she was singing so loudly in a world that did not even deserve to hear the slightest humming

she died of a smile, of a smirk

of far too often, far too profoundly

of yet again, a world which deserved nothing;

she as the woman will give, gave everything,

she died of dancing to the wrong music.

she died of the spaces between awake and asleep catching up to her,

of all of the good and bad moments,

of peace and labor,

not of any other soul, not of her own

but of the soul of a planet which will now turn as she gazes upon it,

though it is entirely unworthy of her gaze.

there are still words to be said and

last breaths unknown.

there are moments and days that will overtime force to fade into the closed shut box that is dusty and is only labeled

“good memories”

but i will fight it, i will fight it so hard.

the woman who gave life to me cannot rest for eternity without her name being spoken,

and she will not rest ever without her words being said yet again,

her smile being brought up in conversation

her entirety of self pushing its way from the back of all minds, my mind, into the front.

she will ask if i have eaten enough for dinner and i will say

yes mom, of course, thank you-

and the smallest moments will matter the most;

the smallest moments will matter the most.


all of the things you left behind

a half finished tube of toothpaste, baked chicken in the oven, the ice cream i bought you in the freezer

the boots you loved, the mail, the laundry in the washer,

the tv remote on the couch, your favorite jacket on the couch, the dog and cat on the couch,

the keys to the house, the keys to the car, all of the birthday cards

the half full trash, full recycling

your favorite songs on the radio, the dishes in the dishwasher,




when you died

the world did not pause, it did not skip a beat:

time is a continuum and does not fail when our hearts do

and so you left behind these pieces of you that are not picked up

you left the tv on and your finger prints are still on the kitchen sink.

where you are

i dont know where you are-

if it is as though you are on the other side of the median driving the other way- if it is as though you are only two steps behind my every move- if it is as though you are on the other side of the mirror that i look into when i wake up-

i dont know where you are.

i hope the coffee is warm, and i hope there is extra cream and sugar so that you have it just as you loved it on sunday mornings;

i hope that it is always autumn- that it is always the early evening- that there is nothing to be done other than to watch the sky

i hope that where you are, you can see me, though it is selfish and though you told me to not be selfish; i hope that where you are you can remember the moments of our lives together though our love was just twenty years long.

mom, i hope that the sun is always shining but that it is never too hot; that there are days too when you always are able to wear your favorite coat

that you can cook dinner for everyone that you are seeing yet again with new eyes; that you do not have to clean up the dishes.

i hope that wherever you are, you know that your favorite rings will always, always rest around my neck: on the day of my graduation, on my eventual wedding day, when i have my first child; and at the moment that i take my last breath. i hope that wherever you are, you too have your favorite rings and you too can hold them when you are anxious, if you ever, ever are.

i hope that i have a daughter so that she can wear your name; i hope that i have a son so that he can hear all of the stories from my father about falling in love with you; i hope that when i have a child, i am even half the mother that you were to me.

i don’t know where you are but i hope that there are days when you can relax by the river with your toes in the mud, because you never minded imperfection, in fact you loved it. you loved moments that other people would have despised; you loved the cold frigid days, the scolding hot days, the taste of cigarettes;

i hope they have your favorite brand in heaven, if that is where you are.


bullshit sympathy 

No, I don’t particularly want your casseroles

Nor do I feel changed by your sympathy cards-

And “if there’s anything I can do…” doesn’t make me want to share my grief with you- you know there is nothing

Nothing at all that you can do.

The kids that picked on me in high school message me to tell me how strong I am,

And while I want to tell them to fuck off-

I say thank you, because it is less about my grief than it is about their egos.

I don’t really need your sympathy because you’ll still expect the same out of me

Even with a rock in my stomach-

Your casseroles will simply go to waste because you know that I can not eat

And the flowers, though beautiful, will not bring back the beauty of my mother.

I am sorry that I am not grateful for your sympathy 

But my mother would not be gone had the world and her mind had been kinder to her

You’ll ask if she was sick and I do say yes but I also say

Not how you’re thinking though-

You ask if she got hurt and I say yes but I also say

Not how you’re thinking though.

I had to call my mothers therapist and hear the breath fall away from her mouth

I called my mothers father, her sister

And to state that my mother ended her own life

Well it just doesn’t seem real.

Your casserole will not bring her back. If you can do anything; be kinder to the world.

different ways to say how i feel about you

  1. i want to kiss you every single time we stop at a red light so please, lets drive through new york city
  2. i bought you your stupid cigarettes even though they smell like ass
  3. i borrowed your socks today and i hope thats okay and i hope that we are at a point in our relationship where i can do that without it being too weird
  4. i will always listen to the music you want to listen to
  5. sometimes i think about you at inconvenient times and i catch myself smiling and i really hope that nobody sees me
  6. before i met you i didn’t like black coffee but i pretended to for long enough to fit in with you and now i do
  7. sometimes i daydream about our future and i know im not really able to see into the future but it looks pretty good from over here
  8. i’ve always wanted to change the world or something but this relationship is probably equally as satisfying
  9. i like to listen to you talk about politics at least 80 percent of the time
  10. if you were cold, i probably would not give you my coat because you’d look goofy in it, but i’d do it if you wanted me to
  11. you are just as cute in your pajamas as you are in your suit
  12. i don’t really like sleeping next to people but you don’t snore too loud so its okay


my mom was beautiful in a conventional sense-

so often seen with chestnut brown curls gracing her shoulders,

and a smile that she did not love as much as the world did;

she was beautiful in a conventional sense,

which is to say that she turned heads when she walked,

and when she walked, she walked with purpose

as if someone were calling her name.

she was beautiful in a sense that she did not truly understand

how beautiful she was, but it is almost painful to realize that

everyone else saw what she could not see.

it was as though she were looking in a mirror that did not reflect back to her

and instead reflected what she saw herself as-

always craving change, always craving to move forward and to

become herself, although

likely she never knew what that meant.

she was beautiful in the sense that

when a tear may roll down her cheek,

it would break the hearts of those who saw her ache.

beautiful in the sense that it was always every single person

before her,

yes she did turn heads as she walked but she stole hearts too.

my mother is gone, but her beauty is not;

i see her dancing in the mornings as i shut my eyes before i wake up,

i see her when i look in the mirror

because i am only alive because she carried me through the world.

her beauty resides in the places she walked, and within those she loved

and within those who loved her.

her beauty begins to emanate when you least expect it,

remembering how she loved the taste of coffee on sunday mornings,

or when her favorite songs seem as though they are on repeat in my mind-

when i tie my shoes, and remember that this is one of the many things she taught me

when i hold those who i love close to me

because i did learn love through her and the way that she loved me.

my mother is beautiful, and my mother is gone-

and though we live in a world that created her,

we also live in a world in which nothing beautiful can last forever,

and how wounding and elegant that is.

A eulogy of sorts.

Each person will die but two times in this world-

Once when they close their eyes- and once when we last think of them-

But my mother will only die once because there are so many,

So many pieces to remember of her.

I could remember for a lifetime just of her smile-

The way she says my name- that she is the only person to call me Elizabeth not Beth.

No she will only die once-

The mail will no longer come

But the fire will never dim.

She wore mud boots as though they were high heels-

Loved gardening as if it were her job

And would fish until her fingers ached.

She hated the smell of coconut

Likely could have had a degree in giving the best hugs

One time bought me one hundred pairs of socks when I had forgotten to wear just one pair

Always had a house plentiful of maplesyrup, almonds, and chips with homemade salsa

Never failed to call me and tell me it would be all okay.

She wasn’t a princess but was a queen who loved to wear flannels instead of a crown.

Could have made me hungry when I wasn’t by just cooking for me

My mother will die only once. 

And I do not know what my future holds.

But when people who did not know my mother ask of her

I will say what she always said about me.

She was the most beautiful storm you could imagine.

Goodnight mom. Sleep tight. I will see you again some day and you will again borrow all of my clothes but this time I won’t mind a bit.