Your birth brought me star shine, the moon and the sun;

my wishes, dreams, gathered round my little one.

My life became sacred, full of promise and light

wrapped up in the child who brought love at first sight.

The years of your living filled with laughter and tears,

excitement, adventure, some boredom, some fears,

but ended too quickly, ahead of its time

the loss so horrendous, such heartbreak was mine.

But from the beginning, one thought rose so clear:

never would your death erase the years that you were here.

I would not be defeated or diminished by your death;

I would hang on, learn to conquer, if it took my every breath.

For if your death destroyed my life, made both our lives a waste,

It would deny your life’s meaning and all the love you gave.

I vowed that years of sadness would change, with work and grace,

to years of happiness, even joy, in which you’d have a place.

Memories of you, like shining stars in the patterns of my soul,

are beacons flashing light and love, and with them I am whole.

In your honor, I live my life, now living it for two;

Through all my life, you too will live – you lived, you live, you do.

— Genesse Bourdeau Gentry

Genesse Bourdeau Gentry is author of 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, available at

This poem has appeared in The Compassionate Friends’ quarterly magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone, as well as TCF chapter newsletters. Reach Genesse Gentry through her website,


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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