Eighteen months after my husband Rhon died, the first poem came to me, totally unexpectedly. I captured it with joy. I had not written any poetry for twenty-eight years. Many poems were to follow. They became, still are, an important tool in my grieving, helping me to work out and express how I feel. After all, he was, and is, not here to talk to. I live with “the constant presence of his absence”.

As I began occasionally sharing them with friends, I realised that they could be useful to other people too. I have a need to be useful, not always easy when roles have been lost through retirement and widowhood. One way could be through my poetry, something positive coming out of my sadness.

I hope these poems will help people. (Maybe even encourage others to have a go at writing about their feelings. . . .)

People in a similar position, through death, separation/divorce or the mental deterioration of their partner, may draw comfort from knowing they are not alone, and from seeing that some of what they may be feeling and experiencing can be, has been, put into words.

These poems may also become a resource for people who are supporting the grieving, giving them an insight into how it can be.

More generally, I hope they will contribute to a greater understanding of living with grief, and create more openness about sharing.

Finally, friends enjoying long-term relationships have told me these poems have reminded them to appreciate more what they have, not just to take it for granted.

Above all, I see my poems as a celebration of life and love, for anyone.

Thank you, Rhon.