“Still.” by Stephanie Paige Cole

If you saw my review of To Linger on Hot Coals, you’ll know I especially loved the poems by Stephanie Paige Cole.   If you like them also, then you’re in luck too, because Stephanie has published her own collection of art and writings.

Stephanie is an active advocate for bereaved parents in the babyloss community. She founded the Sweet Pea Project, which helps collect blankets for babies and their parents.

It’s a short and heartfelt read, which I recommend to any grieving parent.

Just a couple of highlights:

Some people can say they’ve looked death in the eye.  I’ve cradled death in my arms, in my body.  Given birth to it.  It’s not scary when it’s that close.  Not morbid or eerie or anything.  Just sad.  Sad and suffocating.

That night I sleep on his side of the bed.  It’s easier to get to, but that isn’t why I sleep there.  She died inside of me while I lay in bed sleeping.  I’ll never sleep on that side of the bed again.

(untitled II)

you grew in me
and I grew too
you were you
and I was me
but we were one
our lives flowing
weaving
entwined in each other
daughter
mother
connected with love
with tissue and blood
in body
and soul
and then
the end.

impossible
how can it be that one
so young
so full of life
waiting to burst into this world
slipped out so quietly
over before even one breath

you slipped away in the night
you didn’t even wake me
you left me there sleeping
left me there all alone
waiting
for what would never come

Skunk

my grief is a skunk.
not because it stinks, though it does
but because everyone tiptoes around it
concerned, even fearful
that if that get too close
to me and my grief
they will get sprayed with my stink,
my sadness
and they’ll never get it out of their clothes.

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