Since Then: Poems and Short Prose

Sheila Bender

A mother grapples with the long-ago loss of her son through poignant poems and letters addressed to him.

From Since Then: Poems and Short Prose

Burst of Hope

That when his snowboard’s edge caught
on the day’s icy slope and threw him
airborne toward the inevitable tree, my son
saw his soul spark over white clouds,
his sweet spirit rising beyond the land.


“For anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, or is anticipating such a loss (which means everyone!), this book serves as a “guardian” for our grief. Bender has our back as navigate this rocky and unmapped terrain.”

Brenda Miller

Author of A Braided Heart: Essays on Writing and Form

About the Author

Sheila Bender

Sheila Bender co-founded in 2002 with her husband Jurt VanderSluis as a website dedicated to facilitating writing from personal experience. For five-plus years, Sheila produced the KPTZ FM radio program “In Conversation: Discussions on the Writing Life.” She lives in Port Townsend, Washington, where she nurtures a big vegetable garden and dreams and writes overlooking Discovery Bay.