Categories: Ending Chapters, Grief



Years ago I awoke one morning to an email from my oldest niece, Emily, with the subject line Math Fairy I Need You.

Dear Math Fairy,

I am in desperate need of your help! I wrote a poem about math to help you understand my feelings towards it. Hope you enjoy it :-(.

Through our exchange, I learned Emily has a poetry notebook in which she processed and expressed life.

(You can read the poem about math and my poetic attempt to speak her heart language here.)

When her Grandma Smith died, she wrote the poem that was used at her memorial service. It was so fitting that we used it for Dad’s service as well.

This year Emily is a junior and several good friends are seniors. Ah, the messy middle, where joy and celebration are bedfellows to sadness and loss. Is it any surprise she’s written poems about the goodbyes? Though often poems in general are over my head, these land squarely in my heart because I, too, over the years have said unwanted goodbyes.

I believe Emily’s words will help you. She’s started a blog and shares her poetry. It is with permission and pride that I share two here:

by Emily Smith

today I began to say goodbye

to a friend who’s off to bigger

and brighter things soon


I’ll still be stuck in this sandbox next year

come and visit—you can

play among the endless sands, too


for while I know my time will come

it’s not today

and now hurts fresh

as I feel softly brushed away


less than a year you’ve beat me

in the race to see the world

send a postcard

send a package


I’ll be here, waiting by the window

most days

staring at the birds outside

flying free


so goodbye

dear friend

don’t forget to write


Just Remember
by Emily Smith

This poem is dedicated to two of my closest friends who graduated last week. Best of luck, chicas, and remember that you will be loved and missed. 

When you feel the world darken,

when it’s hard to hold the light,

just think upon this promise–

someone will always hold you tight.


You may be many miles away,

in a place far out of reach.

But remember that you’re treasured

with a love that’s hard to teach.


If they can’t hold you in their arms,

they’ll hold up a picture frame.

Someone will savor memories sweet,

they’ll hold close your face and name.


Don’t you ever fear forgotten, for

you simply can’t be lost.

After peoples’ bonds have grown

the pain becomes too great a cost.


I won’t pretty it up, my friend,

life is complex and full of twists.

But don’t deceive your honest heart:

you will be loved and missed.


Which line stands out to you? You can follow Emily’s blog Musings of a Logophile.

P.S. Stay tuned! Guess what time of year it is? Not only graduation season, it is also time for the annual Summer Reading Challenge! Later this week, the challenge will be shared! Be on the lookout for a few new options. Can’t wait!


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