Dear daughter,

Six years ago today you were born. Six years old. That would be grade one. You’d be printing out your letters and sounding our your words, counting on your fingers and hoping for a treat in your lunch kit. You’d be tagging behind your big sister out on the playground and asking for a push. You’d be squabbling over toys and breaking off the ends of Nora’s pencils and teasing the cat. You’d be asking to walk the dog, you’d be falling on your skates, you’d be drawing stars beside your name: “Stella. Stella. Stella for star.” My dear little one. images-1

I like to think you were born the day you died. Born to something I don’t understand. I had the privilege of carrying you for a while.

We’re not very good at grief here, daughter. We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to admit we can miss someone for the rest of our lives. We don’t even like to think about death as something that is entirely natural. We are very fond of saying, “It will get better” and “Be strong” and “You’ll get through this”. And we often expect people to “get over it” after a few months and not mention it again.

But the Great Sorrow comes to us all. At first I wasn’t sure how I could even spend an hour in the face of him. I thought I would be undone. But surprisingly, over time, I have learned he is a companion I can live with. He is wise and true and he comes with love. And he’ll come again. So I might as well keep out his cup. Today he came for your birthday. My body felt him before my brain even registered the date. We went through the boxes of baby things I store in the attic of my heart. Some things I was able to give away. Some I still need to sort. “That’s alright” he says. “We have time.”

He’s gone now and I am left staring up at the big dark trees reaching their arms into the night. I can’t see the stars from here. But I know they’re in the sky.



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  1. Leah

    you are one of my favourite writers, Lucia. what you shared here convinces me of that even more. thank you for pouring out your encounter with the Great Sorrow here again. your story makes me think of a quote by another favourite writer of mine, Anne Lamott:
    “You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

    thank you for allowing your grief to dance with your words, and sharing them both.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      what a beautiful Lamott quote, Leah, thank you so much for your words and for your sharing. xo

  2. Diane Tucker

    May you feel the everlasting arms bearing you up and along, you dear woman.

  3. Christie

    Thank you.

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