When it breaks


When it breaks,
may it break well for you.

When grief stills your tongue,
may it be consoled by a Hostess Ho Ho,
a pale ale, a dry red or dark roast.

By anything that comforts,
may your silent tongue be comforted.

When it breaks,
may it break well for you.

May your surviving cat bring you a mouse,
the hens who did not die give you eggs,
the remaining friend enfold you.

May the gifts of those
still present patch the fissures
in your quaking heart.

By anything that encourages and nourishes,
may your spirit be fortified and fed.

When it breaks,
may it break well for you.

May you again hear birdsong,
see squirrels courting,
know the sap of your
perennial blood rising,

feel life reconstituting
around you, within you.

Despite it all, spring is here.
All is not lost.

Remember me in your prayers,
as I remember you,
saying always,
saying ever:

When it breaks,
may it break well for you.




  1. Thank you for your beautiful, heartfelt words, Cate. They touched me to my core. I have lost five people in the last three months, one of them my mother. What you have expressed here helps. You are in my prayers. ❤


    1. Thank you so much. I will keep you in my prayers, too. I’ve had a succession of losses in the past three months, too — both animal and human — so I have some sense of that accumulation of sorrows. Your mother is a big one.


  2. slukwago · · Reply

    Thank you for sharing your grief and processing and then best wishes with us all, Rafiki. A part of life, yet not easy, this break. Death. Dying.


    1. Thanks for reading, my friend.


  3. Hugs of gratitude for your synchronicistic timing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just what my heart needs today, Cate – thank you. By late afternoon will again be camped where I was last May when I learned my son was approaching death. Expecting tears of recall plus breaking into smiles of relief it’s no longer hard for him – OK for my grief to break apart now!


    1. I’m glad it was well-timed for you, Jazz. Thinking of you on this momentous anniversary, and hoping you find solace in familiar and unfamiliar forms.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for this, Cate. Your timing was good. My dad passed away last week and I am struggling a bit. This helped. Always the best to you. -Russ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wishing you every comfort and consolation as you navigate this big loss, Russ.


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