D is for Death’s Doorway: #atozchallenge, Day 4

Doorway of Beckoning

Death has a threshold

Death has a doorway

Doorway between here and there

Doorway between then and now

Now he’s crossed the threshold

Now I stand alone and apart

Apart from the life I dreamed of

Apart from twenty years more

More life and love and laughter

More touching and much more time

Time ran out for us far too soon

Time is endless and yet finite

Finite as the spaces between heartbeats

Finite as the first and final breaths

Breaths that slowed then stopped

Breaths I now take on my own

Own the rest of my life

Own the place on the threshold

Threshold he carried me over long ago

Threshold now between wife and widow

Widow a word I never wanted as mine

Widow a word to strange to define

Define a journey we used to share

Define the steps I will take from here

Here was a marriage seasoned well

Here was my heart my love my soul

Soul battered and bleeding with loss

Soul that must find a way to heal

Heal the hollow echoes of his lost voice

Heal the emptiness that wears his shape

Shape of my life now indistinct

Shape of edges amorphous and blurred

Blurred as the horizon seen through tears

Blurred as this suddenly alien reality

Reality stings with the depths of loss

Reality awaits for I am still alive

Alive and breathing heart beating strong

Alive and unable to simply remain

Remain on the threshold where he stood

Remain where he left me when he moved on

On with life and the stuff of living

On into the future a widow I now go

Go to where our children wait

Go forward on a different path

Path winding away toward something new

Path still unknown but beckoning

Beckoning me on to life my life

Beckoning me to what will now be



When I began the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, I hoped to keep up to date, posting each day’s poem and the musings that follow on the appropriate day.

However, this week, life’s doorway has led me on several journeys that have resulted in my scrambling to get this poem up a full day late – and I haven’t been on time once.

Starting on a Sunday was tricky. Sunday is the day my writing group meets, and April is the first CampNaNo WriMo month of the year, so it was rather a big day. More, a former member who relocated was visiting, so our night started a little early.

Monday brought an online class.

Tuesday, my daughter’s friend came – we met her mom halfway, so there was a couple of hours’ travel time in addition to the visit.

Early Wednesday, my son and I went grocery shopping – and our regular store was having their floors stripped. We ended up going to the next store, about ten miles from home. We’re not familiar with that one, so things took longer.

Wednesday night, we had a get-together to spend a bit more time with the visiting group member, and, after, a friend and I decided to check out the local health foods co-op. I had no energy for posting by the time I was home, and the purchases put away.

Today has been spent largely in novel writing, cleaning and organizing, and cooking…

What does all this have to do with today’s poem?

Well, life is for the living, and it tends to happen, whether we’re ready for it or not. Jim died, but I’m still alive, and, while the sorrow is still sharp and painful, life does keep on, and fills my days with…well, living, in all its lovely chaos. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that – but I have a finite time left to live myself, and staying trapped on the threshold between life and death seems like it would be wasting this one wild and precious life I’ve been given.

And so I go forward, posting a bit late, not yet getting into the swing of visiting (though I have a plan!)…and living.

Please come back tomorrow, when I will be Exploring Emotional Terrain.

More daring, delightful D posts can be found here.

On a different threshold, at the other end of a marriage, August 23, 1997.



    • I really don’t know another way to do it…and since I have kids who need the only parent they still have – it’s particularly important.

  1. A truly beautiful poem, and I don’t care if it’s one day late. I’m one day late as well . . . but your writing over the past few months has helped me cherish each moment with my DH and plan more time together. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and inspiring me with your courage. Beth

  2. Death is the harsh reality of living. Like you say life goes on even when we expect it to stand still a bit so that we can catch our breath after losing a spouse or a loved one. It’s a good thing you’ve got your children to keep you company and a smile on your face.

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