A little girl describes events following the death of an aunt. She's procrastinating about cleaning her room when she overhears Dad on the phone: ""I'm so sorry to hear it."" Remembering just those words in connection with her mother moving away, she wonders ""how sorry I'm going to have to get."" Now, Grandpa's sister has died; Dad, the narrator, and her sister Helen go to Tennessee for the memorial service. It's a sad time--everybody cries--yet the pain is easier to bear because it's shared, and Dad knows that it's ""good to be held, and...good to be holding too."" With unusual sensitivity, poet Carson (Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet, 1989) captures the child's point of view, linking previous experiences (she once ""preached"" at services for a hamster) to the present with lyrical ease and characterizing this wholesome family with telling details (Dad is gentle but firm: the room must be tidied even after the bad news). Using close-ups as intimate as hugs, Cannon generalizes people's faces while delineating warmly empathetic smiles and solid, dependably comforting bodies. Without preaching or false sentiment, a realistic, consoling picture of good people grieving after the death of a loved one.