Grief, Death and Dying

What follows is a combination of poetry written after my son's death by suicide and writing during the journey of my mom's death from kidney disease.

Surrender to Grief

What happens when a life is filled with death
when the blanket of grief lays over our days
when the sun no longer shines
and the waters flow continuously

What happens when we surrender
sleep when sleep wants to come
quit trying to force it into a container
move when we want to move
stop the incessant need to produce

cease the endless struggle
slip slowly into slumber
sit silently in surrender
sing songs of celebration

Poetry
Grief, Death and Dying

Grief

Grief
the quiet
where there used to be conversation
the emptiness
where there used to be connection, communion
the shadows
of what used to be
it's all the quiet, empty shadows
that haunt me
that leave me wanting
sinking my shoulders
drawing forth tears
for what used to be

Poetry
Grief, Death and Dying

A Night on Fire

Fire

Some nights run on forever, fire pulsing. The mind tries to swallow us whole. Last night was one of those nights. Below are the bits of poetry running me round and round. Note, I am not a danger to myself. Suicide is not an option. I saw and felt it with my son. I won't repeat the pattern. So, I journey through the pain of loss and love and trying to find my place in the world.

Alone again
like always
forever
never quite connecting
can't get comfortable
feel like the misfit
the square that doesn't fit
with the circles
or is it the other way around

Poetry
Wisdom
Wild Heart
Grief, Death and Dying

Being Tender With Myself

Taking my time
Allowing the tears
Not pushing too hard
Simple walks outside
no big agenda
simply being present
Watching out the window
still or windy
birds flying by
clouds floating 
or filling the sky
taking it all in
Taking forward steps
but small gentle ones
no guilt included
Surrendering to what I need
right here, right now
a handful of chocolate chips
a glass of wine
asking to be held
letting the tears slip out
snuggled in a big blanket

Poetry
Wild Heart
Grief, Death and Dying

Showing Up

I feel suspended in time. I am dealing with my Mom’s estate and I continue to take stock of her life. She told me in the year before her death she was a social misfit; she had no social grace. Funny thing is that is what I noticed my whole life. My mom was loud and boisterous. She laughed, loud, at jokes. She went about her life doing what she did, insisting others help her on her time, being the center of her own life. As a child, I found it embarrassing. 

For the Woman I Never Knew

You wore colors, 
oh so many colors
You wove a connecting thread
through scattered bits of family
binding us all into one
You gave of your time, talent and dollars
to help those less fortunate
and support your community
You were strong and independent
and maybe a bit stubborn
and once you made a choice
you saw it through no matter the cost
You quietly built a life
anyone could be proud of
and in the end, you left 
a legacy of love and wisdom
For me, you were just mom

Poetry
Grief, Death and Dying

What Have I Rebuilt?

I sit in vigil
as my Mom 
lies in the next room
waiting for death
to carry her away
from her failing body
Two and a half years ago
I sat with family
as we set my son's remains
deep into the earth
it has been a period
of deep grieving
and swift change
within our family
What have I rebuilt?
After my son's death
I took a deep dive
into the depths of my soul
looking for clues
feeling the misery
of failed parenting
lack in building a man
who could survive

Poetry
Wild Heart
Grief, Death and Dying

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