Empty Cup

I wrote this last year, a week after my father died.

Empty Cup

I set down my cup, pour
tea and think this day, too,
may never end.

With what do we quantify love? How does grief measure us? Nine days ago I wrote “My father is dying and I’m sipping a beer.” More words followed, but I did not write them, choosing instead to let them gather where they would – among the darkening fringe at light’s edge, in that space between the shakuhachi’s notes, in the fragrance of spices toasting in the skillet. In unwept tears. Everywhere. Nowhere.

Seven days ago I wrote “My father is dead.” Again, I chose to let the unwritten words gather and linger, allowing them to spread in their own time, attaching themselves to one another, long chains of emptiness dragging through the days.

If experience reflects truth, sorrow’s scroll will unravel slowly for me, and will never stop. I feel it beginning to quiver, but only the tiniest edge emerges. I am nothing, I say. I am voice, I am loss, I am name. I am memory. I am son.

I have fifty-nine years
and no wisdom to show for it.
Never enough. Too much.

* * *


My father died one year ago today.  We miss you, Dad.




39 thoughts on “Empty Cup

  1. My condolences to you. I’ve lost both of my parents and sometimes the weight of that thought is too heavy, and I don’t write down my feelings, and I just go on. And like you said, “I let the unwritten words gather and linger” until something I see sparks a memory of my past. Or a conversation with my sister, about something I remember, and she didn’t experience it the same way. Our memories are precious, but I learned we don’t always remember things exactly as they happened. But instead we record our feelings. The way someone made us feel is more important than an actual event. I don’t think we ever forget that. May you process your loss, in your own time, and perhaps with someone who also knew your Dad, and you can put those feelings into words. God bless.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wisdom in your reflection: “this day, too, may never end.” The day being so much more than hours ticking past on a clock. A day of death integrated by the one grieving surfaces unpredictably. I find grief readily available if I go inward, seeking it; when I don’t do that frequently enough (whatever that formula might be!) grief surfaces with a rush, demanding attention. I embody four of these eternal days (so far). Thank you for words that acknowledge grief as on-going presence. This one’s a keeper.

    Liked by 4 people

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