Grief – Los Angeles Love Story (Song of the South)

As mentioned, my daily reflections come from my journal, which with the death of my wife October 23, 2015, has turned toward a focus on grief.  What I share now is different than what some of you are used to, but I hope especially for those of you facing grief, loss, & trauma, it is helpful.

This poem so expresses my relationship with my wife, who I lost recently.  It was written when I was working in Chapel Hill as a chaplain, while she was still pastoring an hour and a half away.  We would see each other only on weekends, when I commuted back to Fayetteville where she was a pastor.

For me the poignancy of the poem is strengthened by the fact that what changed this scenario was her stroke connected with her Arnold Chiari malformation, the connection that later took her life.



Los Angeles Love Story

I remember the first time

I heard the crunch of your feet

stepping on autumn leaves

that crumbled beneath you at the click of your crutches.

I could always hear you coming behind me,

your laughter like a robin’s cry

cheerful and life-giving.

That was the moment

and still is

when the sun shines

on my soul

and every silvery cloud

slides away

like the Metro heading off full-tilt.


I remember too our late night talks

the fire-pit we built

the wind in our hair.

Rain-drenched walks

to do our work together

in downtown Inglewood

where love blossomed

sweet as Hyancith in spring time.


I remember too the night I knew

you were mine

and I was yours.

The feel of your fingers

entangling mine.

Hearing “If this isn’t love why” with you

and thinking, it surely is.


I remember the taste of your lips

on our first kiss.

Seeing you standing

radiant and amazing

atop a California mountain

that became and remains

the top of my world.


I remember too

being filled with curiosity

and wonder that first night.

And every night –

or morning – like them, since.


I remember each moment

and know

together we have woven a life,

we have knit a new beginning together

with cords that cannot be broken.


I know too even as I sit here,

cool with the autumn air of Orange county

chilling my skin

that is still warm

from a hard day’s work

and you sit

surrounded by the screech and honk

of Fayetteville streets,

and the surrounding voices

of the people you serve in your parish,

this is just the beginning for us.


One thought on “Grief – Los Angeles Love Story (Song of the South)

  1. Margot Withrow says:

    This words are the best words I feel I have ever read about such a deep and abounding love. Thanks for sharing.

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