‘Grief Is An Ambush Predator’ by Mike Finn

It’s a sunny Easter Sunday. I’m having a leisurely breakfast after a good night’s sleep, listening to a well-written but not yet stressful thriller, happy to be being entertained. Until there is a conversation about making arrangements for the funeral of the main character’s parents.

I’d seen them die violently in the Prologue and taken it as nothing more than an intriguing teaser to get me interested in the plot. No flicker of emotion on my part.

Then, in an undramatic but realistic scene, the funeral arrangements are being discussed over toast and coffee in the morning and I am no longer being entertained. I’m back where I don’t want to be, thinking about things I don’t want to think about, flooded with emotions that have no immediate rational cause.

It didn’t last long. Not even long enough for my coffee to cool. It was just a nudge from Grief, letting me know it’s still there, watching me, waiting for its next opportunity to hold me in its grip.

The poem above is my small attempt at a kind of protection spell. If you can name a thing, you can have power over it. Grief knows my name. Now I’ve returned the favour.

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