It doesn’t come packaged in bundles of big and small.

It comes clattering down the pipes of my being,

shredding every solid emotion that I have

into a gazillion

irretrievable pieces.

This is grief.

The movement through the stages is stark,

outlined in gashes of red, black and white.

I can feel it in my bones:

that dull ache that comes with crying,

that moment of pause when the tears have dried on my cheek,

mixing with the wrinkled fabric of pain that is my skin.

My head is weighed down

by the sound of a thousand tiny hammers

chipping their way across the plateau of despair

stopping only briefly

to pick up reflective shards of fragile memories.

A part of my being freezes


in utter desolation

at this loss;

a loss for which no words are enough.

For how do I capture

the tragedy of eternity

in the limited space of a few key strokes?


Dedicated to the memory of my dear friend, Praneetha.


Rest in peace, dear soul. You are gone too soon from our lives.

41 thoughts on “Anatomy of grief #Poetry

  1. Oh, Shailaja, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. “clattering down the pipes of my being” and “chipping away across the plateau of despair” are such lonely and strong images.

  2. You can’t. There are emotions that are so overwhelming and they run so deep that it isn’t possible to find words that can do justice to them, and yet your tribute is heart-touching and your poetry beautiful. Thanks for your visit. I’ll be clicking the follow button after posting this comment.

  3. I am so very sorry for your loss, Shailaja. What a terrible thing to have happen – I hope that being able to express some of what you’re feeling in words has been of some help to you. Thinking of you and sending wishes for peace and comfort.

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