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There Sits the Empty Chair


Words, wordplay, reading, and writing have been favorites of Liz's since early childhood. She enjoys exploring science and science fiction.


The Empty Chair

There it sits, staring at me daily.

A sore that won't heal; a tearful reminder.

There it sits, watching TV,

eavesdropping on conversations.

There it sits, where I...

Cannot comfortably sit.

There it sits,

A placeholder for you.

There it sits, defying me to

Move it elsewhere; but I can't.

There it sits, too heavy

On my heart to see it go.

There it sits,

Futilely awaiting your return.

There it sits,

Empty of all but memories.

There it sits, with

Only the cats as occupants.

There it sits.

© 2018 Liz Elias


Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 26, 2019:

Hello Audrey; Thank you so much for your kind words. You are correct; I have received a multitudinous outpouring of love and support from my friends here at HP.

As of this writing, (July 2019) it will be a year next month. It has gotten a tad easier to cope with the day by day, and I did finally manage to remove that chair and his desk from the middle of the living room.

My kitties, indeed, help keep me sane!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on July 25, 2019:


you are surrounded by love reaching out to you in this array of comments. Your heartfelt poem holds a sad emptiness that only your soul mate can fill. I'm glad you have your kittys to keep you occupied and entertained.

I'm so very sorry for the loss of your sweetheart.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 26, 2018:

Thank you very much, manatita44. Your kind words are much appreciated. I'm pleased you liked the poem.

manatita44 from london on September 26, 2018:

Poignant poem, but you add beauty and impact to it. Please accept my condolences.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 12, 2018:

Indeed, it is, Laura. Thank you for your kind words.

Laura Smith from Pittsburgh, PA on September 12, 2018:

An empty chair that you have to stare at is one of the worst reminders of a loss. This definitely captures that feeling.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 08, 2018:

Thank you, Larry; this is an elegy for my husband; my soulmate, recently departed this earth, so your first reaction is the right one for this poem.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on September 08, 2018:

Can mean so many things. To me it makes me think of those I've lost to death. To others it might signify those lost in love.

Beautifully said.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 06, 2018:

Thank you so much, Ann. I'm glad you liked this poem. I wrote it without even much thought; it just sort of sprang from the keys!

You are right, of course; I know it will slowly get easier to bear...very slowly; I suffer hard from these kinds of losses. I was in a 3 year funk after I lost my mom, and it took me a full dozen years to even be half comfortable unloading some of her posessions. :(

Ann Carr from SW England on September 06, 2018:

A poignant, well-crafted, piece. I know what you mean when there is a chair or an object that you just can't bring yourself to even touch, let alone move, because it has been a loved one's place or possession.

The fact that you express the pain is something which helps to ease it with time, very slowly I know, but surely. I don't think it ever goes but it does become more bearable I think.

You have your friends at HP around you, it seems, so you can feel the love and friendship from this community. Paula is right about the memories which can bring back the good times.

With hugs,


Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 04, 2018:

@Bill, Thank you so very much; your friendship is valued, and I appreciate your kind words.

@Shauna, Thank you. You're right; none of us are ever truly and actually 'prepared' for this. I think I was in denial about how bad off he really was. He was so brave, and fought so hard, and didn't want me to worry. But I did.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 04, 2018:

Liz, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this side of life. I guess no one's ever prepared. I'm glad you decided to share your pain with us by way of this poem. Keep sharing. It may help to ease the pain. Look at all the arms and hearts that are reaching out to you. You don't have to go through this alone.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2018:

I don't like to see friends suffering, and you are a friend. If it is an outpouring of love you seek, it is an outpouring of love you shall receive.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 03, 2018:

@Paula, Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words and thoughts. I'm amazed at how many friends I have here, in spite of not truly "knowing" any of them. Yes, memories are all I have, now; I will cling stubbornly to those!

@Victoria, I just sort of felt it had to be shared; thanks for your praise of my words. I wasn't even really trying--it's one of those that just sort of came to me. I appreciate your support.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on September 02, 2018:

Oh, you wrote this so well to express loss. This can be felt with people, with pets. AFter they're gone, it's the objects left behind that are painful. Someone mentioned "poignant." This poem surely is. Well done. I'm so glad you shared this and didn't leave it in your journal. Bless you. Hugs.

Suzie from Carson City on September 02, 2018:

Dzy......Oh, my dear friend, please know I share your sadness and truly understand what you are feeling at this moment in time. Words can only be a sweet but temporary message of compassion and condolence. Reality is in knowing you are in our hearts and our thoughts and that we're here for you to lean on when you need us.

Hold your fond memories tightly, Liz....Peace, Paula

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 02, 2018:

@Doris, yes, all the things left behind; some more in plain sight than others, and those not so readily seen catch me by the heart and bring new tears when I come across them

@Verlie, Thank you again; I debated whether to even publish this, or just leave it in my private journal.

@Eric, Thank you. We have a holiday tradition of setting an extra place at table for those no longer with us, so I understand what you are saying.

@Carolyn, Indeed; those are the things that trip me up at least twice a day. The small things, as well as something taking up the footprint of a chair. I should take my own photo of the actual chair...perhaps with cats in it.

As for being strong, yes, but I'm also tired of having to be strong.

Carolyn Fields from South Dakota, USA on September 02, 2018:

It is the little things . . . the shoes left unworn by the side of the bed, the toothbrush, the chair. These are the things nobody warns you about. Seems everyone is so preoccupied with big things, like financial matters that they miss the day-to-day reminders. I feel your grief. Remember that you are strong, and that your loved one would want you to go on in peace.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 02, 2018:

All of my love is selfish. We have a dinner chair for both grandpas and both grandmas. A short prayer for all. Maybe that chair is now mine. But I do not sit in it.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on September 02, 2018:

I just want to add Liz, your poem is starkly poignant. It could only be written by someone truly grieving, and it touched my heart. I can relate to these moments of disbelief, losing a loved one so dear.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 02, 2018:

I am so sorry for your loss, Liz. So powerfully written. Just seeing your deceased love one's possessions left behind brings pain. Hugs to you.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 02, 2018:

Thank you so much, Peggy! I have gotten so many kind words from all my friends I've never met in person, both here and on Facebook. It really means a lot to me.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 02, 2018:

This really expresses the loss of a loved one in a powerful way. Hugs and my condolences to you.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 01, 2018:

Thank you so much, Verlie and Shannon. It'll be 2 weeks come Sunday 9-2, and I still feel like I'm in a bad dream. It's the first thing I've been able to write.

Shannon Henry from Texas on September 01, 2018:

This is so touching. Makes me want to reach through the screen and give you a hug.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on September 01, 2018:

I'm so sorry to read this Liz, such a shock. Sending you a big hug.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 01, 2018:

Bob, Marian, Eman, Rochelle, John, and Janis;

Thank you all so much for your kind words. I am just doing one day at a time for now.

"The reality that always seemed unreal..." well put, Rochelle; you've stated it perfectly.

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on September 01, 2018:

Ugh, the emptiness feels so heavy. Powerfully written, Liz. All I can wish you is eventual peace and memories of love to fill the voids. Blessings of comfort.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 01, 2018:

Liz, this is a very sad but well-written poem. Sorry for your loss but thank you for sharing.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on September 01, 2018:

Sorry for your loss, Liz.

The reality that always seemed unreal, teases us with cruel reminders. The process which seems unendurable has been survived by countless others, yet each is unique especially when it is personal. Hoping you are gifted with peace and renewal.

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on September 01, 2018:

On my heart to see it go... Beautiful words.

Marian T Perkins from United States on September 01, 2018:

I enjoy your image of a lonely chair wirhout you but still has a busy life

Bob Bamberg on September 01, 2018:

Powerful, Liz. Hugs to you.

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