Haiku. When you want to say a lot, briefly. You need to search for words so you measure and limit your syllables. I am lost in the middle of a long weekend and have posted this on my Facebook page:

Today’s Sad Haiku

H and R Block form

Pressed the red x near her name

Taxes. Irrelevant.


Earlier today I filled in a tax form from H and R Block. I had used an accountant previously, but last year I opted not to sit in someone’s office and explain that one of my children had died. It seemed easier to quietly tap in the numbers. This is the year, though, to file as a year without Susanna. All of 2015, gone. I opened the form with the prior information retrieved. My dependents should have stayed the same. I hate and resent that little red “x” and the fact that I had to press it for such a horrific reason.


My life lately is about how to live these kind of moments and choose what to do with them. I do not know what to do with them other than to speak and write about them. The expression, “Separate the wheat from the chaff…” comes to mind. I always feel like I am at a turning point of some kind but I do not readily know the wheat from the chaff. I do not know what to do with my thoughts and feelings. I will do my best.


On Friday, I was on my lunch break at work and purchased some Thin Mints from a co-worker. I chatted politely as she located what I ordered, about Girl Scouts and her granddaughter. As a passing thought, I decided that Susanna would have probably loved to be a Girl Scout. I can see her in the uniform and badges. She would love to pass out the cookies, and get a first aid badge so she could help people in need. She would be the type to deliver Meals on Wheels to the sick and elderly. I wish she were here to be that type of angel. This transpires in my mind, I go back to my job and do not realize until much later in the day that I am far beyond sad about this. I am bereft of a future I thought would be there, as well as so many moments of each day which I know should be different. I frequently have a contentious relationship with waking up in the morning.


How do I cope? I am saved every day, by love. People love me and I love them. Lately, in the evenings, my family of three which is really four, reads together. My son is supposed to log a certain amount of independent reading time for school and we decided to all turn off our screens and read for as long as we can manage. We are sometimes cut short and distracted because we crack each other up.


My son leaves one of his books on a shelf with Susanna’s photos and toys. We have them all over, like her angels from the Christmas tree. He turns a light on, so she can read with us. We sit, side by side, books in our hands. We are together on the same sectional sofa we slept on for those early days and weeks. We were all too scared to go upstairs. This is my family. This is where I belong. I have the privilege of being the mother of this boy who is so kind as to watch out for his sister though he can no longer see her. I have the privilege of being in love with Susanna’s Dad. My heart is soaked with pain and feels heavy as granite, but I am here and I want to live.


Why are taxes irrelevant? My daughter is not a social security number or a deduction. She cannot be deleted. She is indelible, as we all are. Part of all that is. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “Unable are the Loved to die, for Love is Immortality.” There is more to life than life.

By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.

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