Tuesday, February 16, 2016

#SOL16: Anticipatory Grief

Petals and Glass Shard (M.A. Reilly, Dublin, 2009)


A former student of Rob's texts me and writes, "I am heartbroken."

I read it and think, yes it is that simple and that complex.



Anticipatory grief. How could I know that these burning holes in my stomach and heart had a name. Anticipatory grief.

"The name given to the tumultuous set of feelings and reactions that occur in some people who are expecting death in a loved one. These emotions can be just as intense as the conventional sort of grief felt after a death" (from here). 

I simply cannot imagine what it will be like to not be able to touch Rob, hear him laugh, nudge him when I see Devon doing something that I know only he'd appreciate,  listen as he shifts from husband to teacher and explains Heisenberg, Cage, or a particular scene from Joyce's Ulysses, or sleep alongside him, entwined.


We are body and mind and I am



  1. I can't claim that I can fully assimilate what you are experiencing, Mary Ann. How could I but only imagine? Even then, it's far beyond my grasp; just as you, I cannot. Surely, differently.

    Your words nudge me to reach for Michael more, to pay attention more. Do know, that I am here to support in any way that I can. Sending love...

  2. Thank you for sharing your writing with us. Embracing you in love.


    1. I am writing because I must. It is good to know the words resonate .

  3. Very touched by your writing and, as always, by your art. So authentic, out beyond words, past knowing. With Love, Joseph