Hollow – Trifecta Week 93

Below is my offering for Trifecta’s week 93 challenge word, which is ‘grace’. As you will see from the Trifecta blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘grace’ is:

a: a charming or attractive trait or characteristic

b: a pleasing appearance or effect <all the grace of youth – John Buchan>

c: ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

Here’s my offering below. I will confess, this is a bit of an outpouring from the heart for me. Much of my writing in the past few weeks has been a bit of a life-saver.

Please check here for the other entries, and vote if you can.


– Hollow –

On Saturday, it’s my birthday.

Two months since you died.

In an alternative reality, I accept my loss with grace, with dignity, with a gentle sigh.

Of course, that’s not me.

Two months since you died – unexpectedly, cruelly, devastatingly. I have careened from place to place; a pinball jettisoning between home and work and train and tube and car and supermarket and bed and sofa and – just staring.

I cry. I use my sleeve to dismiss the salt and mucus. I want material, buttons and zips to tear at the delicate skin around my eyes, to rub my nose red raw. I want to hurt, physically, because emotional pain has taken on the endless, unforgiving quality of permanence. I want momentary, sharp discomfort, and most of all visible evidence that I can point to and say – look!

Look at what is tearing me apart inside. Look what happens when my dad – my dad – dies decades too soon.

I watched the last almost-missed sigh as it escaped from you.

I felt your pulse disappear under my sweat-slicked fingertips.

I saw you leave. I saw you not coming back.



50 thoughts on “Hollow – Trifecta Week 93

  1. I understand the pain you refer to Freya even though my dad died at an old age, and even in the end I wished for him to die to end his pain and discomfort that pain you as the survivor experiences is real upon imagining. You express your pain so vividly. It is something personal, something you must live through and sometimes I would think what would dad think of this now.

    1. Yes, I do wonder what my dad would think of how I and the rest of us are dealing with his passing. I wanted his release, but at the same time, I didn’t want to let go. Horrible, horrible, horrible.
      I don’t think the fact that your dad was older really makes it easier.
      Thank you.

  2. Oh, those last four lines are wonderful especially the last. Interestingly I thought it was a lover who had died, but the fact that it was her father really made that last line sing.

  3. Achingly poignant & soul searing.-.very well written Freya and I sincerely hope it is only fiction and not reality that you described here-at least not your’s.

    1. Thank you. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry you lost your dad at so young an age. Mind you, I am facing 43 and I feel utterly un-adult about it all. I know it will get better, but I can’t quite get my head around that conecpt yet.

  4. I remember this pain of yours the first Christmas …the first one without my dad.its like everything becomes a first yet without the joy. Mine too was far too early but there never is enough. Your writing shared the lowest point, take time now o share the high points. I did this as a Father’s Day post on my own blog. I hope to read the high points from you 🙂 I know you will do full justice .

    1. Thank you. You describe it perfectly. Yes, we have done some high-points sharing already. He had wanted us to have a joyful celebration of his life at the funeral and afterwards, no black allowed, so that’s what we did. Thank goodness he had somewhat randomly discussed this not that long ago, since he was struck down unexpectedly and had no chance to let his wishes be known afterwards. I know it will come, I know the first ‘firsts’ will be painful. His birthday was also in September, so that will be another one to manage. I will share the highs, when they come around.
      Thank you, once again, and I am sorry for your own loss.

  5. As I was reading this, not knowing to whom you were referring, I instantly thought of my dad. (He also died unexpectedly–and cruelly–four years ago.) I could so relate to everything here–the anger, the sadness, going through the motions of life when all you want to do is curl up in the fetal position and shut out the world.

    And then, when I realized you were talking about your dad, I cried. You have captured so perfectly the grief of losing someone–especially a parent–without warning and too soon.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece. I think your father would be very proud of your work. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

    1. I am sorry for your own loss. Nothing prepares you for it, does it?

      Thank you for your lovely comments and, whilst I am sorry that my piece made you cry, I am pleased that what I wrote managed to portray how I feel, and that it connected with you. I hope my dad would be proud.

  6. Wow. Very moving.
    I can relate to those feelings. The milestones passing while you feel like they shouldn’t. Life goes on, but it’s just not the same when someone so close to you is physically missing.
    The last four lines feel like they push the buttons on emotions of anyone who has ever lost someone. You capture the feeling well.
    -Alicia Audrey

  7. You described the feeling perfectly. I am truly sorry for your loss. It is much more difficult when it comes out of nowhere. I am almost two years into the death of my infant granddaughter so believe me when I say the feeling will pass, almost unnoticed, and the pain will slowly fade. Allow yourself to grieve at your own pace.

  8. I’m very sorry for your loss.
    You have captured the grief that should show up on a physical plane, a testament to how battered and bruised you feel inside.

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