Mother and Father-Out-Law

I’m a word nerd. I love the sound of words and how the varying combinations of consonants and vowels have unique and specific meaning. But sometimes English fails me. I’m left scrounging for a concept or word that doesn’t exist. For example, there’s no word to describe sunlight sparkling on the ocean. There’s no word … Continue reading Mother and Father-Out-Law

A Letter To My Exhausting Children

Dear children, You are exhausting and relentless and I’m eternally grateful for this. Every morning, at least one of you thumps down the hall into my bedroom. You climb in quietly beside me before twisting like a pretzel on spit, your elbows and knees prodding me erratically. Or, you stand next to the bed and … Continue reading A Letter To My Exhausting Children

The Value of Strength

~Kim Libertini Before loss, I was familiar with the word strength. After loss, strength took on a new connotation with immeasurable value.    In the acute stage of loss, strength was... getting out of bed. showering. getting to work. eating. Between years one and two, strength was ... making a meal for myself, knowing I … Continue reading The Value of Strength

Daughter in Mom’s Clothing

In the days, weeks, and months after my mother passed away, I wore her clothes constantly. Usually, it was an oversize brown cardigan with large plastic buttons and even larger button holes. The shoulders are broad and the bottom hem has stretched so that it hangs longer in the front than back. From an outsider’s … Continue reading Daughter in Mom’s Clothing

Seasonal Shifts and Grief Transformations

Photo by Emerson Lima on Unsplash ~Kim Libertini My glances into the car mirror peered into what seemed like an abyss.  The view, marked by a dark, cold, and hollow emptiness, was winter. Colors restricted to grayscale, made the experience feel dismal and reflected a never-ending season length.  Just as unbearable set in, on today’s drive a transitional … Continue reading Seasonal Shifts and Grief Transformations

Searching After Loss

Vietnamese and Amerasian babies aboard an Operation Babylift plane to Oakland, April 1975. Source: covvha.net ~Kim Libertini Adopted by two American parents, my identity was shaped by the family that raised me. The physical trait differences between my adopted parents and me were glaring but growing up, it didn’t phase me. I remember my parents … Continue reading Searching After Loss

Showers of Tears

Photo by Florian Pérennès on Unsplash ~Kim Libertini I turned the handle,waited and then reached to feel the water temperature. I stepped in. The task itself felt arduous. Before... it was simple and routine. Who would have thought the simple act of showering in the acute stage of loss would be this taxing. As fast as the warm … Continue reading Showers of Tears

Dormant Like a Tree

Schools across Atlanta closed yesterday in anticipation of “snowpocalypse.” The morning was 40 degrees with a little rain; the afternoon sunny and bright. Our sled stayed in the basement. Not a single flake fell. So my boys and I whittled away the day with friends, books, and time in the park. That’s winter in Georgia … Continue reading Dormant Like a Tree

My Place

When the world is spinning too fast and I can’t seem to catch my breath, I come here.  It is my place. I’ve found sanity, solace and sensibility here. I have bawled, released shrieks of excitement, cries of pain and grappled with life’s unfairness here. This is the place where I let it all go. … Continue reading My Place

Tradition Burns Bright

The day felt like any other in some ways. It arrived with little fanfare and slipped by with the usual fits and starts. It was my mom’s birthday. A day I’ve marked for much of my life, and this one would have been her 70th. She’s not around to celebrate, as many of you know. … Continue reading Tradition Burns Bright