I wrote the essay, "A Geography of Grief," many years ago, a few months after my first husband died from a brain tumor, and it is still one of my favorites of all the essays I have written. It was originally published in Hippocampus Magazine, was recently included in the Grief Becomes You anthology, and now is featured on the gratefulness.org site. You can find the essay here.
In early 2019, I saw a call for submissions for an anthology about grief. That, I thought, was right up my alley. I reached out to the editor, Maya Stein, and eventually submitted a couple pieces for consideration. After much hard work on Maya's part, Grief Becomes You is now a beautiful testament to grief and loss in book form. Through compiled poems, essays, and photographs, our many narratives and experiences of grief are explored. You can learn more about the Grief Becomes You project here and you can purchase a copy (both digital and print copies are available) here.
Happy to have a poem, Home, up on Literary Mama today. It's about the different ways we see the world and the experience of my daughter helping me scatter my husband's ashes on White Head Island in the Bay of Fundy two summers ago.
I'm thrilled to have another essay published by Brain, Child.
They published one of my very first essays, For Life, which had some uncanny timing: it was accepted for publication the day after Steve died. On that Sunday morning, literally less than 12 hours after he had passed away, I sat down at my desk to continue notifying the people in our life, only to find that acceptance waiting for me in my inbox.
In another round of surreal timing, Feeling the Weight of an Impossible Situation was published exactly two years and two days after the difficult day explored in the essay.
Sending love and light to all those carrying such heavy things as these.
And then, there's light like this:
lIt makes my heart immensely full that my most recent essay, A Geography of Grief, was published by Hippocampus today. I wrote this essay perched on the edge of the old bed, my computer on resting on a dresser, while the fog pushed its way through the window screen. I felt so compelled to write this piece at that exact moment in time, unlike any other essay I've ever written. Something about the juxtaposition of the difficulty of the time, the love I have for that island, and the sorrow and bliss that pervaded that afternoon.
It's remarkable to think that nearly 14 months has passed since I sat in my grandmother's house and typed through the beauty and the grief of that trip. A lot of time has passed, a lot of things have changed. Shortly after we returned, I went through all of his clothes and belongings, and the baby things are long gone: sold, donated, given away. Those size 13 work boots, however, are still exactly where they were 14 months ago, laces askew on the basement floor.
In time, I tell myself. In time.
Sarah Kilch Gaffney lives and writes on a little piece of land in Maine.