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By: Janice Andersen Donovan

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Today I visited your grave, this first anniversary of your death.
Remember when we went to the cemetery to choose a space,
a task we had ignored until we could no longer? We found this place near a grove of evergreens, peaceful, away from noise except for the sweet sounds of songbirds and the hum of bees.

Remember what we saw under the maple tree, a confirmation or message we thought, that told us we had chosen the right place?
Yes, the two mushrooms, one taller than the other, that were quietly growing in the shade. Surely a sign from the heavens. We were comforted.

Now the stone is in place, with the lettering you chose, my name under yours with only the last date missing for now.
Our daughters provided that, a task I could not face alone.
The maple tree was providing you shade on this hot summer day, and again, two mushrooms were growing underneath, one taller than the other.

Now I no longer think of you in every waking moment, sometimes several days will pass until the familiar ache reappears.
Am I being disloyal to our love, our shared life together, our memories?
Some say this is part of the healing process, what do they know.
I feel guilty. I know, I know, you told me to live life fully. I’m trying.

When I see you again we have so much catching up to do, although you probably know all that has happened since.
Our four grandchildren are growing and developing, each in their own way.
My hair is all gray now and my step is slower, but my spirit is still strong.
This healing process takes courage, I’m told. I’m trying, I’m trying.

Jan DonovanJanice Andersen Donovan is a writer who uses poetry as a form of self-expression to express her innermost thoughts and feelings. She has written poems since childhood, creating them “when they appear.” She enjoys reading the works of other poets, especially the poems of Mary Oliver and Billy Collins. Janice is a retired librarian who lives with her husband near the Connecticut shoreline.

©Janice Andersen Donovan 2015

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