I wrote this poem for Alice Wisler’s online writing workshop, “Writing the Heartache”. We were to take something that was our child’s and write a poem about it. I chose a hand print of my precious daughter, Nina’. She was two years old. Nina died at the hands of a drunk driver when she was 15 1/2 years old.


Little handprints
in a frame,
Flashback of memories
days long gone,
yet still so fresh in my mind
as if only yesterday.

Tiny hand of my baby girl,
Fingers curled around my own,
Only a reflex to some,
But not in my mind,
For me only the purest
of loving connections.

Outstretched toddler hand
reaching out for mine.
trusting mother’s protective grasp,
maneuvering the busy streets,
we skipped together,

Slender-fingered teenage beauty,
polished nails, smooth scented hands.
Seeking independence,
Hands pushing me away,
Sensing somehow her reluctance,
Not really ready, not quite yet…

Hands of her adult years,
I thought would have held mine
as I navigated through the ageing years.
Hands to comfort, but never to be,
I am left only with my memories,
and tiny handprints,
in a frame…

Written by Cathy Seehuetter (Lesson 2)

Cathy Seehuetter

Cathy Seehuetter

Cathy Seehuetter began her journey with grief when her 15-year-old daughter, Nina, was killed in a drunk-driver accident in 1995. Since Nina’s death, she has been active with The Compassionate Friends and is presently serving her second term on the National Board of Directors. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul, as well as grief magazines, We Need Not Walk Alone and Living with Loss. She is also a contributor to the popular forum, “The Bulletin Board” in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She has given workshops at The Compassionate Friends national conferences on “Journaling and Writing as a Healing Tool.” Cathy lives in Minnesota with her husband and has three surviving children and four grandchildren. Cathy was a guest on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart, discussing Sudden Death/Vehicular with Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley. To hear this show, go to the following link: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/44315/sudden-death-vehicular

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