It was a blink of an eye
From your diagnosis to your death
Four days to be exact
Of lighting candles
And praying for a miracle
That I knew in my heart
Could not come

And then you were gone

We barely had time to register it
Before we made lists of all the things
That needed to be done

The calls to make
The funeral home arrangements
The obituary to write

Because it was during
The pandemic
I was across the country from any family
The service was online

Grieving alone is brutal.
Grieving online by zoom is worse than brutal.

So there was a slide-show to assemble
And comments to write
A zoom link to send out
There were details to discuss

And through the service
Everyone shared
Such lovely memories of Mom
Although we were across the country
We were together in spirit
And we laughed and cried
Telling stories and
Honoring her memory

Nearly a hundred people came
And my heart was full
A small group of us stayed on the link
For longer
To linger
And told more stories
And talked about how nice it was
That everyone had come

And when it was time
To finally sign off
I didn’t realize
What it would feel like
To log off the zoom call
And be completely
In my house
By myself
And in that moment of silence
Grief knocked on the door
And boldly entered in
Not waiting for an invitation
Which wouldn’t have been

I didn’t plan for after