Sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough as a widow because others create foundations, charities, races, and memorials to honor their lost spouses. But I have learned we all deal with grief in different ways, and none of them are wrong. When I catch myself feeling like this, I remind myself that I cope through writing. I have my MFA in Creative Writing, and I have been teaching poetry for over 20 years. I wrote an entire manuscript about losing my husband. I planted a memory garden for him where I can go to sit and think and talk to him whenever I want. I am raising two sons alone. I have realized that is more than enough. Each month I will feature a different poem from my book, The Queen of Joyful Things, as well as shop around for a publisher. Poetry is one of the many ways I move through my grief.



By Amanda Crane

Featured in Beyond Words Literary Magazine


I knew that you were gone,

but I floated in the in-between,

which is not past or future

not present or progressive

not earth or heaven

not alive or dead.

It’s the nine and three-quarters platform.

It’s a dark and quiet sliver of time.


When I started chest compressions,

when I started beating your heart,

I remembered you once told me

you could hold your breath for 3 minutes

if you really tried,

just like a Navy Seal.


And it took exactly 3 minutes,

which is 180 seconds,

which is 180,000 milliseconds

for the paramedics to burst through the door.


I slid into an infinitesimal wormhole

in the great void.

Suspended in that shard of time.


I was the figure in the soundless Scream painting.

A chunk of fruit floating in Jell-O.

A slow-motion VHS tape.

Click. Click. Click.


My adrenaline did not flatline

when you flatlined.

A stranger drove me,

my hands pressed hard on the dashboard.

I could not believe I was breathing.


I remember the soft swell

of your belly undulating

as they rushed you in

on the stretcher.


I’m so sorry, love.

I’m so sorry that

it wasn’t a heart attack,

which is pouring water on the wick.

It was a sudden cardiac arrest,

which is a permanent flip of the switch.

A short circuit. No way back.


I feel awash with guilt

for not taking better care

of your health

in the wake of my mother’s death.


Because when you are motherless,

you are dangerous.


And I was dangerous,

drowned in my own loss.


The whoosh of air

through the automatic doors,

me sliding down the cold wall,

the white heat

spreading through the interior of my body.


Then I opened my eyes

in your pool of water –


At first it was lovely and blurry,

and then it swallowed me whole.



Amanda thought March 4th, 2020, would be just another normal morning until her husband, Ed, went into cardiac arrest due to his heart condition, HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. There was a 1% chance of sudden death, but he passed that day. He was 40 years young, and they had been married for 14 years. One week later the world went into lockdown due to Covid, and Amanda and her two small sons, who were 9 and 11, would be left grieving during the strangest of times.

During this time, writing was the only way Amanda could cope. She wrote the manuscript The Queen of Joyful Things, which are poems about losing her husband. She is happy to be a part of the Hope for Widows community and hopes her story will help other young widows. You can visit her at: