None for zia

The week before Christmas
Almost all presents bought
But still she lay awake.

She racked her brain and tapped her lips
With uneasiness she could not shake.
There must be someone, something
She might have missed.

The night before Christmas
Words floating in her head with
Twinkling lights
Christmas cheer
Champagne and cider enough to share.

The hours before Christmas
Finally she cried.

The most wonderful time of the year

Families everywhere rejoice.

The presents under our tree
are more than my two hands can hold.
One for B
One for B
One for me
One for..
None for Zia.


No matter how many years pass or how many days like these come and go, there is still an absolute incompleteness in my heart, soul, bones. It aches, taut with distress.

I haven’t bought her a present
Lit a candle
Told her I love her today.
I am a bad mother.

That first year, it hurt to breathe. I wrote on the sand, drawing butterflies and her name over and over again.


The waves washed it away, taking her from me like death once did.

She died.

My husband said he is grateful to God for blessing him with his son, but He took our daughter. It is a complicated, morbid time of year.

We ache, cry, bleed, carry on.

My son wants the brown bear in every picture. It feels like she’s my sister, he says. The brown bear we love so much. The one that should have been hers. Merry Christmas Zia Bear.

I would be able to talk to her now. She would be old enough. We’d talk about presents and I’d tickle her and tell her she was perfect. She’d smile and place a hand on my cheek and tell me she loves me.


To you, I won’t say Happy Holidays. I’ll say live. It's all we can do now. Live, rambling on about the ache in our hearts and souls. Ramble on the untold story. The incomplete tale.

Hers, mine, ours.

How has your grief changed from one holiday season to the next?