When the Pictures Run Out

“At first in your absence your presence feels close,

like a shadow always there and someone I know.

Your smile and laugh, I easily recall,

the memories are fresh, I remember them all.

At times I still felt like you’d knock on my door,

but really it’s because I was missing you more.

The feeling of your hugs started to fade,

so I began to gather all that you gave.

The comforting shadow became more like a ghost,

because the radar of missing you was at its most.

Like holding on with slippery hands,

moments were running through my fingers like sand.

At last your presence feels close in a different way,

like the stars so far but there to stay.

I’ll let your legacy guide my route,

when all of the pictures begin to run out.”

       Last March marked 9 years since my mom’s passing. I was reminiscing in my head regarding photos of her that I could share with my support group, Hope Collective, but none came to mind that I hadn’t already posted a handful of times.

The photos of her and I closer to the end of her life, had run out.

It feels really symbolic to the grief journey. At first there are many recent pictures to rummage through, maybe you just took one together the week before. After some time of looking through the same photos they start to feel old, like a chapter you’ve read over and over again but you still read it. Then with no specific time line, all of a sudden you realize that the pictures have run out and there will not be new ones. Ever. You only have old ones to hold, to recall on, to spark your memory.

At first the memories are fresh, so the person still feels close even though they are gone. Then as holidays, birthdays, and a few years pass, the memories repeat themselves which is still comforting. But the initial feeling of their presence being close, is fading. Then memories, sounds such as laughter, specifics such as favorites, and other things about them feel like a different life. Did it even happen? You try to hold on as long and as tight as possible to who they were, what they meant to you, and what they were like. HOLD. HOLD. HOLD.

It’s something you don’t really think about during the beginning of loss, pictures stopping, pictures running out. It’s something that hits you later, it’s a different season of grief because it’s a new realization. Maybe it’s the realization and the season of grief I am in.

How do you live, yet hang on to their story?

How do you move forward, without forgetting?

How do you handle sorrow and joy in the same heart?

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Comments (6)

  • Laura 1 year ago Reply


    Ceci 1 year ago Reply

    Thank you for reading!!

  • Barbara 1 year ago Reply

    What a lovely poem! And yes, the stars are constant and there to guide us even though they are far, far away.

    Ceci 1 year ago Reply

    Thank you for reading!! 💕

  • Kalli Davis 8 months ago Reply

    This is so good ❤️

    Ceci 8 months ago Reply

    Thank you for reading Kalli!

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