Poetry of Loss

Marcia Miller’s life included grand joy but also painful loss. In 1975 she and my father William Mahin lost their child Colin Mahin to SIDS. This was a pain that my mother said she felt the rest of her entire life. Her ashes will be buried in the same cemetery that Colin is buried in.

As she worked through her grief, Marcia worked to improve awareness and understanding of SIDS. She traveled to different schools giving talks and educating attendees about the latest information about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

While going through my mother’s files after her death, I came across this poem that she wrote to a woman named Jan Kent. I think that it is the most beautiful piece of writing by my mother that I have ever read, and despite its sad subject matter, I believe it should be a part of her legacy. I hope that it will move you as it did me.


I remember when I told you
We have two Santa Claus stockings
But only one child.

I am alone.

Talk to me.


Stand there.

Grab my arm if I break.

Hold my hand.

Touch me. Touch me. Touch me.

With your voice.

With your eyes.

Let me feel anything else.

I am somebody’s Mama.
Somebody Here and Somebody There.
Help me. Hold me.

What do you look like?

We have never met before.

All we have in common is dead babies.

Winter, 1975
For Jan Kent from Marcia Miller