Lichen On His Stone

I hadn’t been to visit Eric’s grave for a long time. Six months? More? I’m quite sure there was no lichen on the rose granite headstone the last time I was there.

Now there is. I thought, this looks like an old grave. I thought, this is beautiful. Eric loved mosses and lichens, the small plants and organisms that add richness to the world’s green.

How long does it take for lichen to take root on granite? Or how long does it take before I’d notice that lichen has crept into the carving of Eric. And January. The Hebrew letters too.

The stone has been there since April 2007. Many lichens grow less than a millimeter a year, so these could have been growing on Eric’s stone all along.

I’d like to live in a room painted the pale sage of the lichen on Eric’s stone. It’s almost the color of Squam Lake water over white sand. Eric would love that lapping at his grave.


About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
This entry was posted in Family, Grief, Life Changes, Moving On, Outdoors, Time and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lichen On His Stone

  1. Steve Scudder says:

    Lovely, as always, Grace. I appreciate the reminder that “Eric loved mosses and lichens, the small plants and organisms that add richness to the world’s green” because it reminds me how much richness Eric added to the world.

  2. Melissa B says:

    Your words are beautiful, loving and I am grateful for your sharing of such meaningful significance, the changes of time, and it’s healing. It doesn’t lessen your loss, but gently adjust your point of view. Peace, meilssa burton

  3. Grace Mattern says:

    Thanks, Melissa. I hope you and your family are well.

  4. stories4grownups says:

    Hi Grace. It’s good to hear and listen to your voice again. Lovely writing.

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