Nostalgia, by M.G


I’m here sitting in something similar to Marvin’s room, pondering everything that has happened. Listening to everything around me and not what’s in front of me. “What is nostalgia?” I ask. It’s everything I did wrong. No one in this world can look forward while living in the past.  

As I stay pensive about the past, feelings come up. Rushes of adrenaline, smells instantly recognizable, sights I am barely able to reconstruct in my mind. And the sounds, just the subtle noises that ring in my head over and over. I can’t focus on anything except what I did wrong. Staying in the state of mind that seems impossible to escape. When you live in the world we do today, everything you do and hear is being watched. Whether it’s by someone on the other side of a screen somewhere or someone looking over your shoulder. Everything is projected to anyone, and at times you lose sight of who to listen too. I made a rash decision and stopped listening to the only reliable source. When I look back, when everything was flowing smooth, it was like the best kind of high. Some kind of drug that kept me drifting towards something great. But now that I’ve been cut off from this drug, i’m drifting away from the high. The time spent is all gone now, the memories have been cashed out by one impulsive decision. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. But now, it’s all regret, deep, dark, dormant regret.

Times have changed, it’s in the  past, and the only thing you can look toward  is the oncoming present. Not the future because everything can change in an instant and that will change your future. “Don’t dwell in the past, do not look to the future, live in the now.” These are the wise words of Buddha. It makes sense now more than ever. Dwelling on the past only keeps the feelings looming. It’s time to rise up and move forward in life. Even though it feels as though you’re sinking into a point of no return, moving up in the world is the only option. The past is the past, and it will forever stay that way. But you can right  your wrongs when the next opportunity comes. It looks as though the time is up and it’s time to step up. It’s time to leave this nostalgic space and move forward and prepare for whatever else may come.


Depression Poem by D.M.

All my thoughts got jumbled in my head, when I found out my dad was dead.

I sat in my room for hours and just cried, I couldn’t fight it no matter how hard I tried.

The worst part was the memories, every time I thought of him it would emphasize my miseries.

It creeps up on me when I least expect it, there’s nothing I can do but try and reject it.

That’s how I got to thinking that life is fucked up, even if you’re good, your life gets screwed up.

Im jumping over imaginary hurdles, no matter how fast I go I feel like I’m going slower than a turtle.

I know things will get better although I’d wish he’d come back, but he’s gone for good and he left my heart black.

My sky will be blue again I have hope, for now just get through it and try to cope.

I love him and I always will, and I know the solution isn’t in this pill.

Poetry by H.G.


They say things are better left unsaid

But I’d disagree

The words left unsaid remain screaming inside my head

The feelings of pain and frustration still burn within me

Your betrayal was the least of my pain

It was your act of innocence that pushed me over the edge

I now realize that I was naive

Naive to think that I could put my faith in you

You continue to act like we’ve simply drifted apart

But I know that you feel the change in my heart

I don’t look at you because I don’t know how to feel

I don’t speak because I have nothing to say

I opened myself up to you

And you confirmed all of my worst fears

I have no more tears

And my feelings are gone

There’s nothing left

Just the empty cavity in my chest

Grief Will Get Easier to Carry by S.Z.

On February 8 of this year, just as I was finishing up a yoga class, my husband burst into the studio with three words, “Sarah. Your dad.” Thus began a furious drive to the emergency room at a hospital in Westminster, where I arrived a half hour after he was gone, greeted by my mom and brother, and the three of us “clung to each other, crying for dad, the man we loved” as Helen Macdonald described a similar scene in her book H is for Hawk, a memoir about the sudden loss of her own father.

Since that evening, grief has been my new constant companion. It has affected my cognitive ability, as Joan Didion describes in The Year of Magical Thinking. There have been days where thinking anything of substance has been impossible. It has left me swimming in memories in photographs–my own version of Didion’s “vortex effect.” I spent the first few weeks after his death going through literally every single photo of my father that I could find and wove them–all 1000 of them–into a photo slide show for family and friends. In this way, I think I was doing what Elizabeth Alexander described as her purpose for writing about her husband in The Light of the World: “And so I write to fix him in place, to pass time in his company, to make sure I remember, even though I know I will never forget.” Looking at the photos kept Dad close, made memories salient, allowed me to hold on to him though he was just so suddenly gone.

I sought to make sense of the hole. In my world, my dad had always been terra firma as Elizabeth Alexander describes the role parents play–”terra firma, to stand, to be planted in the earth” like a 100-year-old oak tree that stands through storms that knock down most other trees. Though Dad’s presence had changed in recent years due to his Parkinson’s-related condition, the fact that he was there was resolute. Though a lot of things in my life have shifted in my nearly 43 years, the existence of my father was constant, assured, reliable. I am Sarah and my father is Ted Zerwin. This was a truth never to be questioned. Terra firma.

Until it wasn’t anymore.

The loss was “obliterative,” as Didion describes, “dislocating to both body and mind.” She explains that “grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.” And that has been true for me. Following the shock of the loss, and long after the funeral is over, Didion describes an “unending absence that follows, a void.” That’s where I am right now, trying to understand it, trying to wrap my head around what it means that my father is gone. How do I move forward carrying such loss?

Macdonald explains what she learned in the wake of her father’s death: “You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps.” Yes–holes, absences, losses. These are part of human life. We love and then there is loss. How do we grow around and between the gaps? Love. More of it. Kindness. Patience with ourselves and others. Gratitude. For Macdonald, this lesson came in training Mabel, the hawk she adopted following her father’s death. Only through love, patience, kindness, and gratitude was she able to forge an authentic connection with the hawk. This helped her to grow around and between the gaps of her loss.

Alexander said of her husband’s death: “I could not have kept [his] death from happening, and from happening to us. It happened; it is part of who we are; it is our beauty and our terror. We must be gleaners from what life has set before us.” We love and then there is loss. And what I glean from my loss are the lessons my father taught me: love boldly, give unsparingly, seek to make a difference in the lives of others. And though the grief will never leave, people tell me it will get easier to carry.