This poem reflects part of my inner journey after my Dad passed away suddenly in 2005. And whilst I do not feel the same way now, I wanted to capture those moments, the utter despair, and then, the beginning of hope....
There is a time for grief, for my head to hang, to walk with only bones covered by skin to hold me up, my insides are dissolved, only silent whispers in my head to chastise, lest I wake a memory too painful to bear,
A time for remembering, when I can be alone to sob so violently into the cavernous void I’ve come to know, accepting the searing of pain through my stomach as punishment for my misdemeanour,
To ignore life, to retreat, to bury the shame of grief, to try to hide my fear, I did not love them enough for them to stay – or worse, they did not love me enough to remain,
They have gone, and I cannot reach them, they are out of my grasp, they slip through my fingers, the grief drips like molten lava from every pore, thick, heavy, it burns, but I persist, as I deserve the pain,
The grief is hard, and I swallow it whole, it cuts like a rock gashing my throat from the inside, words I can now never say are silenced in my mouth and escape through the wound, wasted, never to be heard,
I look at people who laugh and think, don’t you know what’s happened, how can you glitter and smile and dance, when my world is shattered and broken and has no strength,
I long for them, just one more glance, a touch, the sound of them, soothing with reason to explain why they’ve chosen to go, a chance to say farewell, for one last look into their gentle eyes,
And time goes on, I rise, I breathe, I learn to smile - different now, forever changed, the grief does not go, it changes shape, colour, thought and scent, but it still walks beside me – day by day,
And yet, as grief walks with me I walk with it, I ask and learn, more about me than it, trying on forgiveness, tailoring loneliness, moulding acceptance, contemplating the adversary of death,
The days become less shrill, early bird song recalls beauty and not nails on a chalkboard, someone does something nice for me and I can cry in appreciation of a beautiful deed, separate from grief,
Some rise as you fall, so they are tall enough to hoist you out of the god forsaken place that you have put yourself in, those people are angels, forever friends, they hold part of my heart,
And so I begin to understand, my heart heals just enough for me to trust that not everyone will be taken away, some will stay - the scars only visible and weeping to those I choose to share my inner journey with,
I have reclaimed my place in the world, I know my worth – but – my worth is less, being less than I was, now having been separated from you, my scales are short, the needle broken, but still…
When we speak I hear you clearly now, in my head, with the absence of suffering, or alcohol, or self-hurt, not the absence of grief – for that can never be, but the absence of suffering – maybe,
I endeavour to share my journey now, trying in a small way to rise, so that I can grow tall enough to hoist someone out from their own godforsaken place, through grief we come to know each other, and ourselves,
I recognise the familiar glimmer of pain behind the eyes of someone, and that glimmer of hope - and know I have the privilege of love, and they have the same. And we all, still, have the privilege of loving others.
© Copyright 2023 Tania Fox
All rights reserved.
It always helps me to express my thoughts and feelings by writing. But until now I've not been brave enough to share anything. Now I'm publishing my 'bits of old toot' in the hope that at least one person can find something in it for them, and if so, then it is worth sharing.