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Sacred Absence

A Pilgrimage of Love, Loss & Grieving Well

“Perhaps for now it can be enough to simply marvel at the mystery of how a heart so broken can go on beating…” 

  -Jan Richardson, Blessing for the Brokenhearted


They say that every seven years each cell in our body is eventually replaced; from daily skin cells to the enduring ones of organs. I think about that and wonder. Is that how long it will be before all the baseball memorabilia, Carhart T-shirts, and the large cache of batteries you always kept will be gone from my life?

How much of my memory of you will dissolve? How much of the brilliant love? They say it all stays locked in your heart. But I’m not sure. I wonder, as time pilfers, if parts are sheds like lonely snake skins.

It’s been a year since I stood at the front door, half-dressed and dazed by the flashing red lights. I watched you slide out of sight and wondered. Will this be a long hospital stay? A painful surgery? Or, is this the end?

It was the unimaginable end, and though I love you still, the muscle tone of that love keeps weakening. You are not here to kiss hard, to grasp firm your hand, to hold tight on lazy, amorous afternoons.

So, when I dust and vacuum, or bag up your clothes, I wonder if all your DNA will one day be emptied from this house we bought in the rain. How much does that matter anchor love and memory? How much of your frequency does it hold?

C.K. Steffen

September 22, 2017

A Trip up the Coast of California in 1990


© Cindy K Steffen  2023

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