The thought of being thankful

fills my heart with dread.

They’ll all be feigning gladness,

not a word about her said.

These heavy shrouds of blackness

enveloping my soul,

pervasive, throat-catching,

writhe in me, and coil.

I must, I must acknowledge,

just express her name,

so all sitting at the table,

know I’m thankful that she came.

Though she’s gone from us forever

and we mourn to see her face,

not one minute of her living,

would her death ever replace.

So I stop the cheerful gathering,

though my voice quivers, quakes,

make a toast to all her living.

That small tribute’s all it takes.

Genesse Bourdeau Gentry

from Stars in the Deepest Night –

After the Death of a Child

Genesse Gentry 2009

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Genesse Gentry

Genesse Gentry is the author of two books of poetry, Stars in the Deepest Night - After the Death of a Child and Catching the Light – Coming Back to Life after the Death of a Child. She lives in northern California with her husband Bill. They are the parents of daughters Megan and Lori, who died in a car accident in 1991 at the age of 21. Following Lori’s death, Genesse and Bill joined the Marin County, California Chapter of The Compassionate Friends (TCF). Genesse has continued being involved in that organization ever since. She has been meeting group facilitator for both the Marin County and San Francisco meetings as well as chapter leader. She is currently on the steering committee of TCF Marin, as well as Regional Coordinator for Northern California. She presents writing workshops at national conferences of The Compassionate Friends as well as for northern California chapters. Genesse appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “Compassionate Friends: Finding Hope Through Service.” To hear Genesse being interviewed on this show, click on the following link:

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