Grieve Project

Selected Works

The following is a hand-picked collection of works from all of our volumes of Grieve.

Finding Grief
I’ve spent fifteen years trying to numb the hurt and push down the pain. I’ve tried to drown the darkness in wine and whiskey. Stuffed in food to squash and silence the sorrow. Run marathons hoping to outrun the demons. For fifteen years I have failed.
Waiting Beside You
All I can do is sit by your bed and watch you die. I don’t yet know that what I am feeding you will become your last meal on this earth.
My Mourning
They say my mourning has gone on long enough. Those people who never came and sat beside your bed while your life slowly slipped away. Those people who use their words as though there was some poetry in your death.
What Would You Say?
Driving to the beach the other day, you were in the car beside me and it made me happy. I was talking to you and you were smiling. I made up things that you would say and we laughed together. Without even turning to look at you, I could see you.
A Story About Love
She’s fighting with herself as she leaves his room, trying not to fall apart before she reaches the nurse’s station; all along the corridor gathering herself up, as if the foyer was a hurdle she had to leap—every day asking herself the same question: how can she possibly leave him here?
If
A woman I barely know says she understands what I’m going through; she can imagine the horror of losing a daughter. ‘I couldn’t go on with life if I lost mine,’ she says. I wish that ‘if’ was mine. The woman’s ‘if’ means she cannot understand.
Are You There?
If I should pick and unpick my way across torn dreams spun tight over long years, if I collect the fragments and bones and artefacts and examine them diligently for signs and omens, is it enough? Shall I find you again?
The Shape of Life
I am always, it seems, the corner in a solid circle; square peg, round hole. Soft powdery warmth, the fold and roll of velvet skin, the dome of a feathered fragile head; muslin wraps a bundle of cherished creation. I ache for the unattainable; a slow hot drip.
An Explanation
You were too shy. You were reluctant to face the jagged branches, the sharp-winged birds. ‘A little mouse,’ your father said as we stood before the screen. It held six photographs of you. Six stills.
For a Moment
I had already seen many distant deaths, the inexplicable: tiny babies and small children and the inevitable: the aged and world weary but this boy, dying of a brain tumor at eighteen, was a year younger than me.
Request to the Heart Surgeon
You will be handling my lover’s heart go carefully and slowly make sure you have slept well the night before and that your hands are steady
Going Home
It was an early morning Heathrow arrival, the surrounding grounds adorned with a pall of snow. Christmas lights blinked weakly from the terminal buildings. We’d staggered with cabin luggage and wheeled him through to the shocked faces of our friends waiting by the arrivals gate. My husband had come home to die.

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