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THE SPACE BETWEEN by BethAnne Kapansky Wright

I wrote this poem back in 2014 when a friend asked me to write a poem for Mother's Day to honor all the mothers who had lost a child. 

At the time, I did the best I could to empathize and try and sit in that space and imagine the grief, confusion, and extreme sense of love and loss a mother might feel. Then in 2016, I lost my brother, and I was so entrenched in not only my own grief, but the collective grief of my parent's, that I knew much more acutely how that experience may feel. 

I tried to share these words last year, but I couldn't bring myself to do so. They hit too close, too real, too raw, too soon. In the words, I had captured all too well the emotional experiences of pain and ache and rage and sad and the chaos that occurs when love gets turned inside out into grief. 

But this year, with a little more time gone by, I share them to honor those who have known loss, who have bravely found a way to keep on going after life has gone still- may you continue to find the light to keep moving forward. I share them to acknowledge that Mother's Day, for many reasons, is not an easy day for some- may you find comfort and solace on this day. And I especially share them for my mother and all the mother's our there who have lost a child- I am putting my hand over my heart and sending love to you as I write these words- may you keep finding healing in your grief and the love you need to see you through. 

The Space Between
 by BethAnne Kapansky Wright

She knows what it is to feel
pink, the kind that softly covers
everything with love when she
stares into the pool of her
child's eyes.

She knows what it is to feel
black, the kind that leaves your
grief-struck belly void. Hollow
with ache that will never be filled.

What she doesn't know is
how to feel the space between.

How to hold her coal slashed grief
and rose of love in the same space,
forcing them into coexistence,
as she tries to wrap her arms
around life's reality that one minute
her child was there, and then they
were not.

She knows what it is to feel
red. She finds the same fiery fervor
that had her vowing to protect
at any cost when she looked
at her sweet one the very first time,
has now turned to fury at the sky above
as she asks the question to which
there is no answer:

She knows what it is to feel
blue, the kind that covers her
with sorrowful waves as her dark
ocean becomes her drowning
abyss. She can't stop the sinking.

What she doesn't know is
how to feel the space between.

How to hold the crimson stain
of rage and undertow of tired
sapphire tears in the same space,
forcing them into coexistence,
as she tries to wrap her arms
around a terrible timeline that
makes no sense.

She knows what it is to feel
ash. Pewter rivulets of mascara
run down her sunken cheeks,
because she sees an unexpected
reminder. An hour later, lashes now
bare, she realizes she has lost yet
another day to the deep.

She knows what it is to feel
yellow. The hope that springs
from the persistent dandelion
growing through the cracks,
reminding her life continues
and will always find a way,
no matter how cemented we
feel our hearts have become.

What she doesn't know is
how to feel the space between.

How to hold the listless truth of gray
and resilience of marigold's grace
in the same space, forcing them
into coexistence, as she tries
to wrap her arms around what
it looks like to keep going.

She knows what it is to feel
dark. Like midnight in winter
where the sky is pitched onyx,
a raven-whispered bearer of
starless news.

She knows what it is to feel
bright. The luminescent kind
that sweeps away the black,
if only for a moment. An
infinitesimal second of hope
reminding her light is still

What she doesn't know is
how to feel the space between.

How to hold the dark night of soul
against the bright light of her heart,
forcing them into coexistence, as
she tries to wrap her arms around how
any one person can hold such pain.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross once said
of grief:
"People are like stained-glass
windows. They sparkle and shine
when the sun is out, but when the
darkness sets in, their true beauty
is revealed only if there is a light
from within."

She knows what it is to feel
that window. Her clashing hues
weave in and out of stain-glass days.
She feels her sweet one everywhere
she goes.

She begins to realize the love
she has is always there-
carried inside.
Her enduring love becomes
light's harbinger of grace in her
stain-glass heart.

She learns what it is to feel gold.
The eternal kind that reminds us
Love is greater than death and
lives on long after our stain-glass

The kind that is ever present
when one has loved to the deep
and back. Shining beauty through
the windows of our stain-glass souls.

Teaching us how to fill
the space between.

BethAnne Kapansky Wright: I am a Clinical Psychologist who enjoys writing, illustrating and creating. I specialize in dealing with women's issues, life transitions, trauma, grief work, and finding healing in our relationships, especially our relationship with our self. I am a big believer in authenticity, intuition, the power of love, finding laughter and joy, and learning to be more fully human. My essays and poetry have been published in a variety of publications, and I am the author of the poetry books Cranberry Dusk, Freebird Fridays (November 2016, Golden Dragonfly Press) and Lamentations of the Sea: 111 passages on grief, love, loss and letting go. I currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska with my soul mate and our fur kids and my beloved mountains and trails. I can be found on Facebook or on my blog: Sunshine in Winter, here. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~  


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