December 31, 2019

Will the beauty of snow always conjure up the death of my mother?

Marion McCready, 42

When the snow falls it reminds me of the long cold winter when my mother died. I wrote this poem thinking about the inextricable connection between seasons and the death of a loved one; how the time of year they passed in becomes an extension, a living symbol of our grief. In this way nature honours our loss by preserving the memory of it year in and year out. The cave of the igloo reminded me of the hospital room where my mother spent her final hours breathing in pure air from an oxygen tank surrounded by white pillows, white sheets, white walls. When I left the hospital that evening, even in the dark, the luminous ice and snow glittered at every turn as I carried with me the image of my mother exhaling her final cool, clear breath. Seeing my children huddle with such delight inside the igloo, mingled with the memory of my mother, renews and transforms my grief as something living and changing like the seasons and carried with me into the eternal present of every winter.

Igloo, Poetry