CLIO SMITH, Teach Me, Grandpa, Drawing & Illustration. Grade 11, Age 16. Folsom High School, Folsom, CA. New York Life Award

CLIO SMITH, Teach Me, Grandpa, Drawing & Illustration. Grade 11, Age 16. Folsom High School, Folsom, CA. New York Life Award

The New York Life Award was created in partnership with the New York Life Foundation to encourage bereaved teens to express their grief over the loss of a close loved one through art or writing. The Award is presented to six students in grades 7–12, along with a $1,000 scholarship.

Congratulations to the 2018 recipients!

Danelle Antelo, Perry Chen, Meghan Hayfield, Emily Holtzman, Clio Smith, Kendall Vorhis

For resources to help children dealing with grief, visit AChildInGrief.com.

The Mourning Of 

KENDALL VORHIS, Poetry. Grade 11, Age 17, Goose Creek High School, Goose Creek, SC. New York Life Award

The sun rose that morning, as it always did.
Autumn sunlight parted through the
living room blinds, casting vertical
shadows upon your sunken cheeks,
highlighting every wrinkle, every
blemish I so hastily tried to memorize
before they faded like your lasting
breath.

They told me you were at peace,
but your barren, half-lidded
eyes would not shut no matter
how many desperate attempts I
made to close them, for they did not want
to pretend to be asleep—but taunt me
as I pathetically clutched your
rigid hands to my hollow chest.

Your lax jaw hung open, mouth
paused in an eternal gasp for air that
would never be fulfilled.
If this was peace, unrest was a bitter
punishment for the damned.

Saturated and lively,
Autumn sunlight parted through the
living room blinds, and though you
did not rise to greet its mourning debut,
the sun rose.

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