“Prayer for What is Lost,” a poem by Stuart Kestenbaum, was featured in this morning’s The Writer’s Almanac. On many levels I think it speaks to and about our writing group of bereaved mothers. (Read Prayer for What is Lost.)

We have just experienced a book launch party for Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers. None of us could have imagined all the emotions and memories we would experience when so many people came together to hear about the book that we have thought about and contributed to for ten years. (Not to mention connections, at least 360 degrees of them, but that’s another post.)

We are moving forward
or in some direction up,
down, east, west, to the side,
down the canyon walls,
watching the light fall
on the cliffs,

the poem says. We are moving and we are indeed farther along at this point in our grief of losing children. But farther along hasn’t followed a straight line, and it is a little like light playing on the cliffs when clouds block out part of the sunlight. It is dappled.

The light “heats the air that lifts the birds that float and hover over what is made from now.” Exactly. “What is made from now.” That is where we are. Farther along. Not perfect, not whole, not even good some days, but in and under and above and beside the light, the hope, the air that floats and hovers, that’s where we are.

We were overwhelmed at the number of people, people from so many parts of our lives and many we had never met, who came to the book launch party Friday night. It is our hope that writing and sharing that writing will do for all of you something of what it has done for us. And we thank you so much for coming, for listening, for telling us your stories as we signed your books too.

~Kay Windsor