Posts tagged ‘grief’

October 3, 2018

Read Between the Signs

I keep seeing signs of you,
or from you.  I’m not sure which.
Or what you may be
trying to tell me.  Or if
it’s even you.  Is it?

Seems like a bit much
to be coincidental. Feels too persistent
to ignore. Too constant
to forget.  In the background, but
always there. Much like you
were in real life.

I miss the days when we talked
so much that we didn’t need to
anymore.  We only had to think it
not say it, but we knew we’d
always say it anyway.

I still see your eyes smiling
as you listened and talked and listened.
“I can read you like a book!”, you’d brag.
And, you could.  As I could you.
Usually.  We kept a few secrets.

Now, my inherited skepticism
is louder than all the forty-twos in the world.
I’d love to believe… but, it’s not like me
to not know you.  I’m not good
at reading in-between these signs.

~ smj



Stars,  Grace Potter And The Nocturnals

March 12, 2018

No Poems Today… Just Ramblings.

I wanted to write a poem.  Get out some of these feelings that I know are building up inside of me.  That is what happens when I don’t write for a long time.  And, I should know, because I routinely go through long periods of time, where I let this happen.  I don’t write… I don’t process or deal with things.  And, here I am again.

I looked at some drafts of poems that I had started, and thought they might be a good place to start…  but, it’s been too long.  They no longer make sense to me.  So,  I decided I would write a brand new poem.  But, I just stared at the screen.  It’s been too long, and I don’t know where to start.  So much has been happening in my life.  Problems with my own health, yet again. But, those things don’t seem all that major anymore considering all that is happening around me to those I care about and love. Yet, nothing that I seem to be able to put into a poem.  Nothing that wants to see the light of day,  or that I can use to make something beautiful, or to just try to make any sense.  Not yet.

Which, really, is quite fitting now that I think about it.  Because not much is making sense.  How do you make sense of your 20 year old nephew’s death from an accidental drug over-dose?  You don’t.  How do you help those you love, your brother and your sister-in-law/best friend,  get over the loss of their youngest child, and their only son?  You don’t.  Some things you just can’t get over.  I know this.  So, I’ve been trying my best just to help them cope…  but, I am not even sure how to do that.

I have always been a good empathizer.  Is that a word?  My spell-checker says “no”, but,

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April 1, 2014

Shadow Talk

I’m not ready
to talk about you just yet
or the fact that your gone
but not really gone.

I can’t summon words,
dark or remorseful enough,
that express this, or allow
undeserved escape

from questions suppressed
in fear of answers that may be
too difficult to face.
Like fabled sea monsters
that might lurk below
in shadows, they grow.

~ smj

Collective Soul – In Between

March 28, 2014

Perpetual Teacher

Are you still teaching

guilty lessons from the grave?

Why can’t I just learn?

~ smj


“You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a good bye.

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February 8, 2014

Orphans and Mothers

“Mom?  Does this make you an orphan now?”

That was what my son asked me as we broke our embrace that night when I came home from the hospital.  He had already heard the news – his grandmother, my mother, had passed away.

Her passing was completely unexpected.  Quick.  She was gone before we even knew what was happening.  None of us got to say goodbye.  My son’s question caught me off guard, and I felt myself smile a sad smile in spite of the overwhelming pain that had sunk my heart deep into the pit of my stomach.

I looked down into my son’s big, blue eyes as they peered up into my own eyes, searching for – something.  I suddenly worried about what he might find. I didn’t want him to worry about me. That isn’t his job. I felt myself grow a little stronger, for him. As if i had to in order to be tugged back into his world.

My world had stopped up at the hospital. Again. It had come to a shocking halt, along with my mother. I felt numb. Everything was a blur. A bad dream you can’t escape from. Everything else just stops. Nothing else seems to matter.

But, now, my son’s worrisome gaze was forcing me to focus on him, and what he was thinking. How he was feeling. He mattered.

It wasn’t the first time he had played this role in my life.  When my father passed away year’s before, it was this same son, and the thought of how I needed to help him into this world, that kept me going. My father passed shortly before he was born. Everyone was so worried about me. They thought the stress of losing my father would just add too much stress to my pregnancy. But they didn’t know, was that it was just the opposite. Having a new life inside me to focus on that needed me was what kept me from spiraling into a funk.  And, now, he was forcing me to focus on him once again, and the question he had asked so tentatively –  was I an orphan now?

In a way, I felt like maybe I was….  but, no, that didn’t seem right.  Not really.  They don’t have a word for grown-ups who have lost both parents.  Do they?  I couldn’t think strait.  Hell, I could barely even wrap my head around the fact that both my parents were now gone.  I did feel alone.  Of course, I knew I wasn’t.  I had a husband who loved me, children I adore, and many other family members and good friends.  But, they are not my parents.  I mean, really, nobody loves you like your mother or father does.  Nobody.

It’s a strange feeling to suddenly not feel like you have that kind of love, and even support, in your life.  Your parents are your biggest fans.  Well, at least mine were.  Even if your relationship isn’t the best… they are still your mother… or father… and there may be a lot more good there than you really appreciated.   Maybe for some, that is not true.  I feel bad for them… but, for most of us – there is deep love there.  Myself included. Oh, I admit my relationship with my mother was strained at times – but, there was never any doubt that she loved me, and vice versa.   I am thankful for that. And, I don’t think anyone can fully understand just how deep feelings and connections with parents run, until that connection is actually severed.

I tried to concentrate, and stared back into my son’s sympathetic, inquisitive, eyes that had not left my face.  He was obviously feeling sorry for me. Apparently, he knew enough about orphans to know it wasn’t a good thing.  He also knew my father had passed away years ago – a few months before he was even born.  My father’s passing had been anything but unexpected, or quick.   My younger son never got the chance to meet him.  But, he had heard all about him.  I told him so many stories about his “Pa”,  that he felt like he knew him.  He grew up knowing how much I loved my father.  I tried to tell him funny stories, and talk about happy memories.  But, I’m sure it probably wasn’t hard to see that I also missed my father.  Now, my son was worried about me missing my mother too.

“No, honey.  This doesn’t make me an orphan”, I told him with a little smile, trying to ease his worried mind.

He only stared up at me sadly. He said nothing, but his eyes were searching my face, obviously still concerned, and also still questioning.  He wanted to understand the answer to his question.  Normally, I’m all about improving my children’s vocabulary, and as we would read a book, I never hesitated to stop to answer questions, or discuss the meanings of words.  But, I didn’t feel like explaining, this time.  Still, I felt he deserved an explanation.  Some things in life do not change, even when we feel like our whole life has just changed.  Being a mother is one of those things.

So, I explained that an orphan, refers to a child who does not have any parents.  And, that since I was all grown up, I was not an orphan.  I told my son that I was fortunate to have had a caring mother and father for my whole childhood, and well into my adult life.  Not long enough…  never long enough…  but, still, longer than many.  And, so, no, I did not consider myself an orphan.

My son still looked concerned, but seemed content with my explanation.  He added one more word to his ever-expanding vocabulary.

I added a few more reasons to the mental check-list I was working on, titled, “Reasons I Can’t Completely Loose It“.   I realized I had a few really good reasons, actually.  Both of my boys for starters.  They alone are good reason for most things I do.   Add to that the fact that it’s not their job to worry about me.  It is my job to try to make them feel better… and to help them understand things…  Not to mention to help develop their vocabulary.

In the end, my children help me more than they can ever know.

I hope my parents would say the same of me.  I wish I could help them more now.  I wish I hadn’t been such a pain in the ass when I was younger.  I hope my Mom knew I loved her so much, even when I didn’t act like it.

I miss them both so much.