How to Grieve the System

She holds him close
Tears streaming down her cheeks
Her warm lips press against his cold forehead
An ear nestled in the chest
Searching for rhythm
Anticipating the rise and fall

He is poison
It spreads
She contaminates herself by association

She dresses him in old attire
His room the way he left it
Memories reenacted through stories
Recited verbatim
Though old words carry new meaning

Yet she still accepts condolences
Cards and Casseroles
Because loss is difficult
And she is slow to recover

She has not yet learned

You cannot grieve what you refuse to let die