Dear Coffee Mug

By Jacque Amweg, Grief Support Specialist

Dear coffee mug,

I decided to pour coffee into you today. You have been empty for months now as I seemed to be waiting for him to take you off the shelf. An old favorite, chipped, stained and chosen, you have been left behind too. Somehow, today it seems right to hook my fingers into your handle and remember our shared history together. I’ve looked across the table at you for years as we sat outside for early morning coffee. You’ve been carried from breakfast to the desk, to various projects and back again. You’ve been in my line of sight during serious conversations, big news and hilarious story-telling. I suppose I took you for granted, thinking that I would always see you across from me or beside me, just as I thought I would always see those warm eyes looking over your steaming contents. From the time he brought you home from our annual vacation spot, because of your perfect weight, size and logo, you were the favorite.

To tell the truth, I could have reached for anything today and it would carry me away to some precious time in our lives together. There is memory in all of these belongings. They are things but there are treasured moments reflected in some of them. His key chain hangs inside the back door with each key carefully labeled in his handwriting. The alarm clock is still set for his quirky extra 10 minutes of doze time. His chair is next to mine, now in asymmetrical emptiness in a room where we spent so much time together. I often turn to the chair to comment on the news or a funny show, and I see that it is still empty. How could I have forgotten for that moment?

 

Dear rescue dog,Kansas City Hospice Grief Support

I didn’t want you. I was angry when he brought you home with all the needed accessories without speaking to me first. I would have said no. You need special care and we’ve had numerous vet trips. We could never leave the house without considering your needs first, no matter how long we’d be gone. Now I talk to you every day as if you understand every word. I think you do. I told you about my anger toward him, and how it has turned to acceptance and love of you. You look so expressive and steadfast when you respond to my monologue with a paw on my leg or just staying by my side. Now I see what he saw in you.

 

 

Kansas City Hospice Grief SupportDear ragged sweatshirt,

I used to cringe at the sight of you, another old comfy favorite. You started out crisp and bright blue but after many weekends of work and play you have faded and worn. How many pictures have I now seen with you and him? Hundreds, I think. I remember clinging to you for some time after he died. His smell was still present and I could not wash you. I slept with you or covered up with you as I reclined in my chair. It was bittersweet, smelling his scent yet feeling the emptiness. It was some comfort to feel the softness during those aching, longing weeks and months. You are still folded carefully in the drawer and I would never have believed that you would become such a treasured connection to him.

 

Dear growing garden,Kansas City Hospice Grief Support

You grow in spite of my past ignorance, or was it indifference? I’m not the one with the green thumb. You give me hope. I used to pull a weed here and there and pray for rain. You are resilient and colorful. I pick your surprise flowers and arrange them on the table in the sunny kitchen. I don’t know what to expect next from you, but you are made of hope and future. I want to fashion my way forward with you as my inspiration. I can expect weeds and crawling vines in my personal growing. But there will also be beautiful blossoming color opening to the world. One day I’ll notice a green bud and the next, opening, expanding beauty.  Dear growing garden, thank you for your endurance. I borrow strength from that.

 

Feel like writing a letter to something in your home? Comment below!

 

The grief support specialists at Kansas City Hospice and Solace House can help you cope with issues of grief and loss. It’s part of our mission to provide compassionate care to our community.

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3 Comments

  1. Francis on August 16, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Dear box of photos,
    You’ve been sitting under my desk for so long that sometimes I hardly notice you. Then I accidentally kick you and I remember I’m supposed to sort you out and send your contents out to new homes among extended family. Or, should I copy everything and put it on disks? Let me lift the lid and remind myself what needs to be done. Nope. Too soon! Back you go. See you in a few months!

  2. Danielle Vazquez on January 19, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    In 2011, about a million people died in hospice — about 42 percent of all those who died, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Alexandria, Va. — and its use is growing. Thank you for all you do. https://guidinghandhomehospice.com

  3. Marie Marley on April 12, 2021 at 6:05 am

    Dear Cell Phone,

    I still remember the day I brought you home. You, in your sleek white box bearing that silver logo. I was excited to experiment with you and explore your every feature. I was especially glad when I discovered how to pair ring tones to my frequent callers.

    You lived in the center of the coffee table, next to the sofa where I often stretched out to watch TV. I whimsically assigned “The Love Theme from the Godfather” to him. I heard you singing out that little tune all throughout the day. We used you so often to communicate – sometimes for an hour; sometimes, five minutes; sometimes it seemed to eternity.

    You still occupy your place of honor on the table. I still stretch out to rest on the adjacent sofa. And I reach over to pick you up many times a day. I have to tell him something funny I saw on TV. Or I have to tell him I just learned an author he admired has passed away. I need to let him know before he hears it from others. I have to soften the blow. Then I pull my hand back.

    Other times I wait and listen for you to sing out his tone. So he can tell me what amusing thing he just heard on TV. Or on the radio. But it’s to no avail. The Godfather has gone silent and will never sing again through you, my dear cell phone.

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