Monday, June 15, 2015

After The Screaming

                                        If you
get out

You cannot
dead child.

I cannot

I can

It seems important to understand that any encounter with a grieving person is unsatisfying. This is so because neither party can give the other what he or she wants. We do not have the power to give back what has been lost, and the grieving person cannot give us the smile and assurance that our help has made everything all right. The greater the loss, the longer this will be true. However, over time our assistance does help. It is analogous to applying salve to a wound. The salve will not magically heal, but over time the salve, plus the healing power of the body, will at some point heal the wound.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Flatness

A terrible place to be
Still wishing some days that it had been me instead of her
Wondering what value I have
Still my fault some days
Flat is safe

Like a bag of cement on my back
Being cheery for everyone requires flat some days
Makes me to different to ever really fit in
The longing is deep and sad to just belong and be OK

As I write this, the flatness is lifting
Sometimes the grief is this brief

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Poem # 24

 It is
to say
have benefitted
the grief
my child’s

It is

How is that possible?  Because in all that grieving is the rebuilding of a shattered life and mixed in is greater understanding, deeper feelings about everything, including joy.  I also understand my clients better because I have been there.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rainbow Child

The birth of a child after the death of a child.
 What a wonderful gift
What a terrifying gift.

How do I be with him?
How can I keep him safe?

Shall I hover?
Shall I hide him?

How do I not overwhelm him with my grief?
How do I not have him compete with a ghost?

It’s hard not to over-do or under-do everything.
I hardly know how to be with myself, let alone him

I don’t really have any answers to my questions.
Except what I have learned from her death.

Be there, be real and let him be a part of my life
So I stumble along and finally am able to let others help

I don’t have to do it alone

Thanks for helping me with my Rainbow Child

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17

Another year has come and gone
And you are still gone
Buried on this day
Under a tree, by a stream
Beautiful place to sit and wait
As the pain echoes with each beat of my heart

Later I will get up and walk away to rejoin my life
But for now I sit under the tree, by the stream with you
Every year is the same and you are still gone, it’s been so long
No more whys, no more guilt or blame
Just me and my grief for evermore
And you are still gone.

As another year has come and gone

Monday, April 13, 2015

Poem #2

Poem #2

Here I am again

This is April 13, 2015, thirty-seven years since I found my daughter's body.  People are really, really sure I should get over it by now.  Well I certainly have gotten on with my life.  I have had a very rich, deep and productive 36 years, but I am still not over “It”.

Yup, it is still a downer and I am sad on this day and April 17, the day I buried her.

I still wonder what she would be like had she lived, she would be 51 this year.  I wonder if I would have grandchildren or if she would have been a career woman.

The rest of my life will be devoted to creating Grief Centers for bereaved people so more can heal and have the rewarding life I have had.  I know that because I had a safe place to keen and wail is the core of my healing.

                                     Your death has
split me
wide open,
I am gutted
like a  steer
freshly slaughtered.

Your death
has spared me
in horror,
in terror.
in guilt.

What I didn’t expect,
had no way
of knowing,
was that the
depth I
plummeted to
also find
new depths of

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Poem #37


Dante’s Inferno,
come close
the pain
my child’s

No Hell
by man,
by God,
me more.

The restrictions against grieving are numerous and powerful, and start very early in the socialization of children.  I think that those taboos are there because the art of grieving changes a person, from one state of existence to another, like boiling water into steam.  But steam can be condensed back into water; the changing people isirreversible and permanent.  I am awed by the powerful taboos against grieving.  I know about this from my work with people and my own struggles to grieve openly. 
People have often expressed a deep, abiding fear that if they start grieving they will never stop—or worse, just be stuck in a funk. I have never worked with a person that didn’t continue with his or her life as usual while going through this healing process. I have deep respect for those who make that choice. I see how much strength and courage it takes to be that vulnerable and exposed.
What I would like to see happen with my book is the creation of safe places for people to grieve without being interrupted or scolded. The only partially safe place is a cemetery. It would be nice to bring back the notion of the ancient Wailing Wall. The only thing I have ever experienced that even comes close to what I would hope for is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in DC. Loved ones are permitted to bring little memorials and at least weep quietly. I would wish for every bereaved person a safe place for deep, healing grief and reflection, in the daunting work of rebuilding a life.
I hope my book will helped you make some sense of your journey, and let a little sunshine in through the clouds.