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.

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

When Do You Feel Most Brave

And if I don't? 
bravery has been replaced
by survival
is it brave
to hold myself together
to walk this road
from life to death
to hold the hand
of one who is leaving
to look her in the eye
and know the end
it's all about time
letting go
while holding on
wanting to scream
but saying I love you
is it brave
to stay
when I want to run
to keep loving
when the embrace is cold
to stay
when I can no longer connect
I don't seem to have space

Poetry
Wild Heart
Grief, Death and Dying

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