A Mournful Night

Since my mother died of cancer on December 15th, 1999, Christmas hasn’t been quite the same. Now, with my family scattered across the country, it’s usually just me, Bill, and Dad for the holiday. Below is a poem that talks about how a particular carol causes a lump in my throat, as I mourn my mother’s passing. Below the poem, you will find a link to a recording of me playing and singing that carol. This link will be available for at least a couple of days.

A Mournful Night

I wash dishes,mouth the words to “O Holy Night.”
As soap washes away skum
from plates, glasses, silverware,
centuries after that holy night,
tears washed away the pain of my mother’s passing,
but the carol still causes a lump in my throat.


Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir with another novel on the way. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com.

2 thoughts on “A Mournful Night”

  1. One of the worst things about Christmas is that people make such a huge deal of it. Any misfortune is magnified a million times when it happens during the holidays. Worst of all, insensative people insist that everybody be insanely happy. People would be happier if they weren't under such social pressures to be with family and friends while being cheerful no matter what happens.


  2. Hi Bruce, thanks for your comment. I agree that feeling obligated to be cheerful during the holiday season when you're grieving for a lost loved one can make things tough. It has gotten better over the years, but as I've said, our holiday celebrations aren't quite the same.


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