I know what you think –

that it would be dark like ash

from a campground,

from a cigarette you shouldn’t be smoking.

But it’s not a house fire.

It’s matter that cannot be created nor destroyed.


It’s white with bone fragments.

It’s him, pure as he lived.

It’s the most beautiful thing

I’ve ever seen.


He now looks like the beaches

of Puerto Rico

where he took me for my 40th.

Or the Bahamas

where he took me for our honeymoon,

with tiny shell fragments,

which I collected for hours.


I compare the jar of shells

to the lacquered wooden box

with the intricate vine design.

I could not buy an urn.


And I say, yes –

This is exactly what should remain.


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: