By Rabbi Maurice Davis-Baltimore, MD
I do not ask that you forget your dear departed.
I want you to remember.
I only ask
That you remember more than the moment of death,
more than the funeral, more than the house of mourning.
Remember the whole life,
not the final page of it.
I do not ask that you forget your dear departed.
I want you to remember.
I only ask
That you remember more than the moment of death,
more than the funeral, more than the house of mourning.
Remember the whole life,
not the final page of it.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Strange Life by John O’Donohue When you lose someone you love, Your life becomes strange, The ground beneath you becomes fragile, Your thoughts make your eyes unsure; And some dead echo drags your voice down Where words have no confidence Your heart has grown heavy with loss; And though this loss has wounded others too, No one knows what has been taken from you When the silence of absence deepens. Flickers of guilt kindle regret For all that was left unsaid or undone. There are days when you wake up happy; Again inside the fullness of life, Until the moment breaks And you are thrown back Onto the black tide of loss. Days when you have your heart back, You are able to function well Until in the middle of work or encounter, Suddenly with no warning, You are ambushed by grief. It becomes hard to trust yourself. All you can depend on now is that Sorrow will remain faithful to itself. More than you, it knows its way And will find the right time To pull and pull the rope of grief Until that coiled hill of tears Has reduced to its last drop. Gradually, you will learn acquaintance With the invisible form of your departed; And when the work of grief is done, The wound of loss will heal And you will have learned To wean your eyes From that gap in the air And be able to enter the hearth In your soul where your loved one Has awaited your return All the time.
In Blackwater Woods
In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver Look the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment, the long tapers of cattails are bursting and floating away over the blue shoulders of the ponds, and every pond, no matter what it's name is, is nameless now. Every year everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this: fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
All Is Well
All Is Well by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918) Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped into the next room, I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still, Call me by my old familiar name, Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, Just around the corner. All is well.
Dearest Daddy By: Patrice D. Wilkerson You are truly the best father anyone can have We are going to miss your hugs, kisses, and your laugh Our minds keep telling us you are in a better place But our hearts long to see your beautiful face You are genuinely one of a kind You are the sweetest, funniest, and most caring person anyone could ever find Everyone knows we all share something very special We have this bond that is truly unbreakable You were so proud of all of our achievements You were always there for the good and the bad moments Don’t worry, we’ll tell D.J. how wonderful a man you were We will all cherish your memories forever God wanted you; He saw fit to set you free We miss you and we love you, our dearest daddy This poem previously appeared in my book entitled, “Through It All, I’m Going to Make It,” copyright 2010, ISBN 978-1-934936-51-1.
To My Beloved Papa
To My Beloved Papa By: Patrice D. Wilkerson Dear Papa, my grandfather, my inspiration This is my letter to you, showing my appreciation I will remember all the laughs, hugs, and even your kiss Without any doubt you will be missed It’s going to be hard with you not around But it’s good to know you’re in heaven watching down I want you to know you were a great granddad You were there for me through the good times and bad Words cannot express how much I will miss you It’s going to be tough but we will pull through You will be remembered and NEVER forgotten Making sure your grandchildren were spoiled rotten We will never be apart; this is straight from my heart You’re in heaven now carrying out your part This poem previously appeared in my book entitled, “Through It All, I’m Going to Make It,” copyright 2010, ISBN 978-1-934936-51-1.
In Moments Like This
In Moments Like This Author, Unknown In moments like this, I realize once more how much you meant to me. Time has brought some healing, and abated the pain that I felt when you died. Now, with the passing of the months and the years, I realize in new and unexpected ways how deeply you are still a part of me. All that we shared together—the laughter, the misunderstandings, the reconciliations, the joy and the challenges and the pain. All these and more have shaped me profoundly in ways I can only dimply comprehend. You live on in me. Not all my memories are pleasant or easy to embrace. There are also so many things, more than a few, that I regret: words I spoke or failed to speak, actions taken or avoided, silences endured, pain inflicted. I ask myself why I could not have been more loving, more understanding and patient. And I ask for your forgiveness. There is so much I still want to share with you. And from time to time, I live through something that would have been more beautiful or bearable—had you been with me. Yes, as I grow older, I gain more understanding, and I know now that my pain and loneliness is the inescapable consequence for having love you. May I find the strength to accept sorrow, And bear it with grace. "Majority" by Dana Gioia, from Pity the Beautiful. © Graywolf Press, 2012
Now you'd be three, I said to myself, seeing a child born the same summer as you. Now you'd be six, or seven, or ten. I watched you grow in foreign bodies. Leaping into a pool, all laughter, or frowning over a keyboard, but mostly just standing, taller each time. How splendid your most mundane action seemed in these joyful proxies. I often held back tears. Now you are twenty-one. Finally, it makes sense that you have moved away into your own afterlife. "Majority" by Dana Gioia, from Pity the Beautiful. © Graywolf Press, 2012
Why not ask me?
Why Not Ask Me? --by Genessee Bourdeau Gentry I hear it again and again, One friend asked another how I’ve been. How hard, really, would it be to pick up the phone and just ask me?
By Chris Roe (Compilation)
By Chris Roe These poems are a selection from “ In Search of Silence” a collection of 45 poems by Chris Roe. The poems take you on a Personal Journey in search of Spiritual Peace. Poems of Love, Hope and Peace. This collection of work is available online at www.silentflightpublications.co.uk If Time Were Mine Your love is the space In which I exist. Your truth and inspiration Drives light Into the darkest corners Of my life. If time were mine to give, I would give it all to you. Sacred Truth In your smile I am born again, In your eyes All hopes and dreams return, In your love There is infinite peace. Such magic Comes but once, Such truth Is surely sacred. Complete In your presence, The circle is complete, The searching at an end. No demands, No duty, No dark corners of isolation. Only the soft light of creation, Moving gently Through the crystal silence, Of the morning dew. Spirit Keeper of the morning light, Guardian of the flame, White knight of my soul. Given at the beginning, As a last defence, At the centre of life. Never beaten or destroyed, Never taken or confined, Never traded or lost. And shared only For love. In Search Of Silence Beyond the storm, Where blue sky Still cradles The morning sun. In the clearing, Where shafts of light Hold back the shadows Of the ancient wood. Beyond conflict and pain And the inhumanity of man. Beyond duty And this journey That has seemed so long. Beyond the history That has brought me To this sacred place, This spiritual sanctuary. This peace, This silence, This love. Sanctuary Shafts of light Through cathedral windows. Dappled shade Upon the leaves Beneath my feet. Bird song In the branches above. In the distance Hind and fawn Cross the forest track. The sweet fragrance of autumn Fills the misty air. A gentle breeze Moving colours To the forest floor. So precious Such beauty, So hard to find Such peaceful sanctuary.
Please See Me Through My Tears
Please See Me Through My Tears From Parting Is Not Goodbye, by Kelly Osmont You asked, “How are you doing?” As I told you, tears came to my eyes…and you looked away and quickly began to talk again. All the attention you had give me drained away. “How am I doing?” I do better when people listen, though I may shed a tear or two. This pain is indescribable. If you’ve never known it, you cannot fully understand. Yet I need you. When you look away. When I’m ignored. I am alone with it. Your attention means more than you can ever knw. Really, tears are not a bad sign, you know! They’re nature’s way of helping me to heal… They relieve some of the stress of sadness. I know you fear that asking how I’m doing brings me sadness…but you are wrong. The memory of my child’s death will always be with me, Only a thought away. My tears make my pain more visible to you, but you did not give me the pain… It was already there. When I cry, could it be that you feel helpless, not knowing what to do? You are not helpless, And you don’t need to do a thing but be there. When I feel your permission to allow my tears to flow, You’ve helped me. You need not speak. Your silence as I cry is all I need. Be patient…do not fear. Listening with your heart to “how I am doing” relieves the pain, For when the tears can freely come and go, I feel lighter. Talking to you releases what I’ve been wanting to say aloud. Clearing space for a touch of joy in my life. I’ll cry for a minute or two …and then I’ll wipe my eyes, and sometimes you’ll even find I’m laughing later. When I hold back tears, my throat grows tight, my chest aches, my stomach knots… because I’m trying to protect you from my tears. Then we both hurt…me, because my pain is held inside, a shield against our closeness …and you, because suddenly we’re distant. So please take my hand and see me through my tears… then we will always be close.
If You Forget Me
Visiting my Friend after the Death of her Son by Pablo Neruda I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me. Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little. If suddenly you forget me do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you. If you think it long and mad, the wind of banners that passes through my life, and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land. But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine.
Visiting my Friend after the Death of her Son
Visiting my Friend after the Death of her Son by Ellen Bass Thirteen years ago she'd brought him home, this child who'd never had a home. Nights, she tied her wrist to his with a satin ribbon so he could sleep, as if she could repair the dark when he woke alone, his blood mother gone for a trick, a fix, the burn of urine days-old, the bars of his crib pulling in and out of focus. Was it an accident? suicide? She can't help asking over and over, as if she didn't know it's useless, she has to grind the questions, she's begun to turn the mill. It's going to be a long haul, I say, as if I know anything, as if, even at times like this, words are better than nothing. As if I were still her lover, I press her to me too long, too hard, as if her flesh would remember mine, as if she cared, as if she had not begun the journey that would take her away, make her into an animal we have no name for, as if when she swallowed a spoonful of the soup set before her and said this is good she would remember to take another spoonful. Her hair was combed, her t-shirt stained. She sat on the couch working over the story, the fight with his girlfriend, the young policemen at the door, stiff in their pressed blue cloth, telling her, as if she'd believe them, as if they hadn't gotten it wrong.
On the Death of the Beloved
On the Death of the Beloved by John O'Donahue from book TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US Though we need to weep your loss, You dwell in that safe place in our hearts Where no storm or night or pain can reach you. Your love was like the dawn Brightening over our lives, Awakening beneath the dark A further adventure of color. The sound of your voice Found for us A new music That brightened everything. Whatever you enfolded in your gaze Quickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowers On the alter of the heart. Your mind always sparkled With wonder at things. Though your days here were brief, Your spirit was alive, awake, complete. We look toward each other no longer From the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, As close to us as we are to ourselves. Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, We know our soul's gaze is upon your face, Smiling back at us from within everything To which we bring our best refinement. Let us not look for you only in memory, Where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, Beside us when beauty brightens, When kindness glows And music echoes eternal tones. When orchids brighten the earth, Darkest winter has turned to spring; May this dare grief flower with hope In every heart that loves you. May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love Until we see your beautiful face again In that land where there is no more separation, Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, And where we will never lose you again.
Loss by Beth Lorber, Mother I am here among friends, smiling at their humor And making plans for tomorrow. But there is another person, lying curled in the corner, Crying out in unbelievable pain. That, too, is me. I am doing my household chores, And the routine is familiar and satisfying, A gesture toward a need for living. But there is another person, lying in bed, Willing her mind a blank, not wanting to think or be. That, too, is me. I look at a lovely Spring day, A view of a world of growth and change, A world only God could make. But that other person stares through tears With unseeing eyes, knowing there is no God. That, too, is me. I am surrounded by my family, A gathering of love and joy and tenderness, Of cherished moments and warm hugs. But another person is there, whose arms and heart Ache for one she can never hold and comfort. That, too, is me. Very slowly ... I am learning there is room For joy and fun and cherished moments with friends, In this hurry-up world, with no place for patience For grieving--there may always be two of me. And I am doing the best I can for both. That, too, is me.
Roses by Joanna Wullschleger If Roses grow in Heaven, Lord Please pick a bunch for me, Place them in my daughter’s arms And tell her they’re from me, Tell her I love and miss her, And when she turns to smile, Place a kiss upon her cheek And hold her for awhile. Because remembering her is easy, I do it every day, But there’s an ache within my heart That will never go away b: Monty and Bonnie Montgomery in honor of their daughter Georgia Lee Montgomery Boutell. 1950-1994
Grief Today I woke up next to Grief today, his bony arm stretched round my waist like he owned me. My pillow was drenched. My eyes puffy and tired. I lie there with my back to him, wondering, "Where is my Beloved?" but the only sound was a howling wind coming from his cavern of bones. It happens some days-- that goodness and light disappear into the darkness, upstaged by a skeleton of sorrow The air that was clear and easy to breathe becomes dark with soot and full of debris. This is the Deep Mystery: this coming and going of Light and Dark. The seeds know it. The moon knows it. The earth herself knows it. Every shadow is caused by a brilliant light--somewhere. Taken from Museletter by Jan Phillips 5/26/2011
Bereaved Parent by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The holiest of all holidays are those Kept by ourselves in silence and apart, The secret anniversaries of the heart.
The Lanyard by Billy Collins The other day I was ricocheting slowly off the blue walls of this room, moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano, from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor, when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard. No cookie nibbled by a French novelist could send one into the past more suddenly - a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake learning how to braid long thin plastic strips into a lanyard, a gift for my mother. I had never seen anyone use a lanyard or wear one, if that's what you did with them, but that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand again and again until I had made a boxy red and white lanyard for my mother. She gave me life and milk from her breasts, and I gave her a lanyard. She nursed me in many a sick room, lifted spoons of medicine to my lips, laid cold face-cloths on my forehead, and then led me out into the airy light and taught me to walk and swim, and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard. Here are thousands of meals, she said, and here is clothing and a good education. And here is your lanyard, I replied, which I made with a little help from a counselor. Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, strong legs, bones and teeth, and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered, and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp. And here, I wish to say to her now, is a smaller gift - not the worn truth that you can never repay your mother, but the rueful admission that when she took the two-tone lanyard from my hand, I was as sure as a boy could be that this useless, worthless thing I wove out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
The Empty Chair
The Empty Chair by, Mary Fridel-Hunt Mary wrote this poem seven months after her beloved husband, Bill, died at the age of 79 from Alzheimer Disease It’s a 24 year habit. So every morning when I awaken, I look across the bed To see if you are there. And if you aren’t, I look out at your chair knowing you will be there, that you have gotten up before me and are quietly sitting in your chair meditating, being still, reading your Bible… waiting for me to awaken. Oh, you would have made the coffee silently so as not to disturb my sleep. (I never knew how you did that so quietly) But you wanted hot coffee ready when I woke up. That brought you joy. Loving me brought you such joy. But that chair is empty now. Every morning when I awaken it is always empty. And every morning when I awaken I am shocked…and tears fall and another day stands in front of me like a Mt. Everest I must climb alone. How do I believe my own eyes? Of course, I can, and so I say to myself that it must be Sunday and you have driven to the gas station to get my Sunday paper. You knew I loved my Sunday paper and having it on my chair when I awoke made you smile…and me laugh. And then, wide awake, the dread hits… just the way it did the day after you died. It hits hard and deep, again and again. You will never sit in that chair again. Never silently make coffee for us. Never sneak out to get me a Sunday paper. This can’t be true, my love. You just can’t be gone. (But that chair is empty.) It has been empty for almost ten months now. And I, too, am empty A hole exists inside of me. No one can see it but it is always there. No matter where I am, no matter what I am doing, no matter who I am with. Oh, they think it is mostly gone now. Little do they know (unless they are one of us). But I know and you know it will never go away. Tomorrow I will awaken and once again habit, hope— will drive me to look at that chair. And though I know tonight that it will once again be empty, I will see you there smiling at me, blue eyes twinkling with joy because I am awake and we can have a simple cup of coffee together, plan our day, talk about our dreams, hug each other tightly, and know that we will somehow always be together… even though that chair …your chair, is empty. And each morning I will feel tears on my cheeks, feel that awful dread, that tells me again and again that you are gone. And those tears will flow (I know they will) until my chair, too, is empty.
Memories of Patience
Memories of Patience, by Stacey Alderman, Patience’s Mom Those private places remain the same as if you’ve never left. Frozen in time, an eternal play place, a silent stage for the bereft. Artwork on the refrigerator, your shoes still scattered on the floor, Leave an opening for your return should you appear back at my door. The pictures that capture treasured memories hang like a shrine upon the wall. Your scribbled marks, I’m proud of now, that decorate the hall. On the door frame marks the feet you grew only reaching to year four. A scrap of paper, dirty clothes and an empty pizza box I hoard. I talk to you, but now no answers fall upon my ear. I miss the stories, songs and laughter from when life was full of cheer. Your puppy Emma is the only one who sleeps lonely upon your bed. And sometimes me when I want to be where last you laid your head. Im memory of Patience Grace Alderman June 7, 2006 - January 5, 2011
Wounded Holidays by Alan Harris Young, they left our homes in a moment, long or quick, they were gone. Dewdrops turned into teardrops, the shining sea too small to hold our grief. "Give us our children back," we pled as we noticed their plateless places at the table. Regret made a river through our days, tempering laughter, pervading sudden silences. Bodies they had through us, with us bodies housing minds and souls no longer. The holiday season's return makes throb now the wounds we felt at their parting, wounds which may heal in time, we hope, into strength but not yet, in this season of snowflakes that sting and cookies that somehow taste of vinegar. "If only," goes our carol. If only they could return to us but no. If only we could speak with them but no. If only we could love them so intensely that they could feel our presence right now but yes, yes to this one, a thousand yesses-- they can. How can they not feel our love, being core in core with us, heart in heart? We give love this season to them and to each other as plundered parents and wounded healers. With love flowing, something in our lives a magnificent, mysterious Something guides us like a star.
The Year Before Last
The Year Before Last by Unknown The holiday season is approaching, and with it comes the New Year. Although for me time passes slowly, New Year's Day will ring in quickly. I dread this New Year's Day because they will look at me in a terribly strange way when I get misty-eyed, and talk about something you had done. After you first left me, they reasoned when I cried, "He's only been gone a few months." And I would catch that look of understanding in their eyes, and found some comfort that they knew. But on last New Year's Day, my first thought upon awakening was, Oh God, my son died last year, not just a few months ago, not even this year, but last year. He will never live in this year. They didn't understand, they didn't reason, that last year, for me, the loss was still new. They thought, "It happened last year, so long ago, why does she still cry?" I could see it in their eyes. This New Year's Day, will it be different? Will my first thought upon awakening be, Oh God, my son died the year before last, not a few months ago, not this year or even last year, but the year before last? He will never live in this year. Will they even listen, should I not look them in the eyes, for fear that I shall see, "Why is she still crying? It happened so long ago. It was the year before last." Those words that we use to describe the passage of time, a few months, this year, last year, the year before last. They don't know that time stands still for me. Will they understand that's why I cry? Don't they know my son just died ... the year before last?
For Grief by John O'Donohue When you lose someone you love, Your life becomes strange, The ground beneath you gets fragile, Your thoughts make your eyes unsure; And some dead echo drags your voice down Where words have no confidence. Your heart has grown heavy with loss; And though this loss wounded other too, No one knows what has been taken from you When the silence of absence deepens. Flickers of guilt kindle regret For all that was left unsaid or undone. There are days when you wake up happy; Again inside the fullness of life, Until the moment breaks And you are thrown back Onto the black tide of loss. Days when you have your heart back, You are able to function well Until in the middle of work or encounter, Suddenly with no warning, You are ambushed by grief. It becomes hard to trust yourself. All you can depend on now is that Sorrow will remain faithful to itself. More than you, it know its way And will find the right time To pull and pull the rope of grief Until that coiled hill of tears Has reduced to its last drop. Gradually, you will learn acquaintance With the invisible form of your departed; And when the work of grief is done, The wound of loss will heal And you will have learned To wean your eyes From that gap in the air And be able to enter the hearth In your soul where your loved one Has awaited your return all the time.
On the Well of Grief
On the Well of Grief by, David Whyte Those who will not slip Will not slip Beneath the still surface On the well of grief Turning down Turning down To its' black water To the place we cannot breathe Will never know Never know The source from which we drink The secret water Cold and clear Nor find Nor find In the darkness glimmering The small round coins Thrown by those who wished For something else
I Love Life Still
I Love Life Still by Jesse Daniels, Erik Hanifan's Mom I stand before the gates of hell does it exist I know too well familiar are the licks of fire consuming my soul on the burning pyre come challenge me do what you will Im not afraid I love life still
Greasing the Cookie Sheet
Greasing the Cookie Sheet by Suzanne Camejo, Gabriella's and Chantica's Mom Greasing the cookie sheet, First time in 18 months. Each stain rife with memories Where the butter or the chocolate Baked on brown , now etched into the aluminum; Like the most valuable print I could possess, Never to be scrubbed away. No saint or virgin weeping but My own Pollock and de Kooning Priceless now. My reluctant martyr, fascinated by Frida as a bleeding doe pierced by arrows; Little did we imagine ... As she rubbed the butter in; I recall her long, slender fingers that Grew from baby soft to graceful, Stirring the batter with glee, Licking the wire beaters each time. Quiet in thought, Always observing, watching, Listening. Every single movement I made, what I said; A lesson; each action an Influence for life. All my unique mind’s gifts, Even my quirks, Transferred patiently, Downloaded Day by day, year by year She selected only the best of me, Editing out the Vices and vituperation; A purer me to carry on, A legacy all ours! Talk about pride! I bust open with It . Now , instead, I hold a baking sheet, Blotches of burnt sienna, Umber baked on In smooches like her Lips, pooched and full, Every stain a kiss! Her chocolate chip cookies long gone Eaten with zeal and pride And the tin tucked away in the cupboard, Un-wiped , perhaps just rinsed. Ah ! the treasures she left Despite my scolding, “Gabriella! Remember to scrub the pan after you use it!” Are here for me . Bending over Studying the metal Like a map to where She might be, Like a journal written By her hand, left behind "To lead you to me, Mom," to help Me find the way, the code, A path That has been blurred By tears Overgrown ; Weed choked with Sorrow; Temporarily Obscured by grief and The thick mist of Eternity.
I Carry Your Heart With Me
I Carry Your Heart With Me E. E. Cummings i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling) I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Laughter through tears
Laughter through tears, His heaven on earth, Words never to be spoken, Upon eternal life. From across the lake, Hopeful as the sun reveals itself, Through decadent red skies, Elegant clouds form a majestic passageway; Strong winds call him home. On the wings of love, Embraced by blessings, Earned from a lifetime of compassion, With an escort of angels, His spirit gently glides to heaven. By Jill Hart
David's Poem written by David's sister, Pam Tanner David was a mighty ship that weathered many gales, and leaves a blessing to the world in every place he sails. He buoyed the dreary and sheltered the sad, to help drive the dark clouds away, He gave a helping smile to those who’ve fallen by the way. David was a blessed ship that was full of peace and love, and carries sunshine everywhere, I feel his warmth from above, His hull so strong, yet so sweet he’s helped to smooth the pathway out, for us all to follow in his feet.
Poem given to Susan Whitmore, Erika's mom, on Mother's Day 2008 by her niece, Paisha Fellows.
Happy Mother's Day Aunt Susan. I know this is always an especially hard day for you so I wanted to say I love you and so does Erika. You were and still are an amazing mother to her and she would be so proud of how far the foundation has come and how many people, more people then you probably know of, that you have helped. Here's a poem that I wrote a little while ago and I hope relates to how this day makes you feel because I know this happens to me and how hard it is to have to go threw the pain all over again. Life is sad once in a while Making it hard to laugh and smile Everyday things suddenly remind you Of memories of old, you thought you put behind you A picture here a story there A glimpse of eyes a flash of hair Loved ones past take new form Thinking you see them, false alarm You know they’re gone but still can’t help That memory lapse during which you yelp But once again you realize the terrible truth They’re gone, not here, not nail nor tooth
I Know You By Heart
I Know You By Heart -- Diane Scanlon, Eve Nelson Midnights in Winter The glowing fire Lights up your face in orange and gold. I see your sweet smile Shine through the darkness Its line is etched in my memory. So I'd know you by heart. Mornings in April Sharing our secrets We'd walk until the morning was gone. We were like children Laughing for hours The joy you gave me lives on and on. Cause I know you by heart. I still hear your voice On warm Summer nights Whispering like the wind. You left in Autumn The leaves were turning I walked down roads of orange and gold. I saw your sweet smile I heard your laughter You're still here beside me every day. Cause I know you by heart. Cause I know you by heart.
Love Lives On
Love Lives On A fire no longer glows bright, A bird that suddenly takes flight. An ocean switches from calm to wild, A torrent of wind you once thought was mild. A sturdy tree torn down in a storm, Love suddenly changes form. Once beautiful, and there Now gone forever, who knows where. When they leave, so does the love, That you never before really thought of. But when it’s gone, you finally appreciate, The gift you had, but now it’s too late. There’s no more time, to say how you feel, You never said you loved them, never made it real. Now they are where you can’t reach, And yourself you must beseech. To forgive yourself is a difficult task, For ourselves we blame, ourselves we ask. How we could let things get this way, How we could forget the most important thing to say, How we could take for granted the most important thing, Compared to it, all else is a trifling. But I guess some way they must know, Even though they’re gone, we love them so. Forever they have a place in our hearts, Forever without them it will be broken in parts. They may be gone, but still be here Holding us, every time we shed a tear. Loving us forever more, Nothing else must we implore.
Storms of Life
Storms of Life When the storms of life are raging, And the clouds are all around, And you think you're all alone, Just take a look around. When there is no one there to talk to And you're feeling sad and blue And you think no one will listen, I'll be the light in the storm for you. Even though we've never met, Or seen each other's smiles, Our friendship is from the heart, not sight, And it can span the miles. We all are one winged angel, Alone it is impossible to fly, But if we embrace each other, We can span the sky. The next time you're feeling lonely, And the storms are beating you down, Just come online and find me, And I will take away your frown.
The Day the Earth Stopped Spinning
The Day the Earth Stopped Spinning When I lost my child, the earth ceased to spin. The moon will not rise, the tide won’t come in. The sun insists on having its way, Blasting its rays and rising each day. Another day comes, my child is not here; Another day comes, I live my worst fear. Each morning I wake with the same painful thought; Why am I here when my sweet child is not? All moments that pass, I question this fate; While other lives carry on, I sit and I wait. I wait for an answer, for some reason why… Praying for it to be me that could die. Through my sorrow and grief, I have made a life choice; To keep my son’s memory alive and give him a voice. I share stories of my son, and the man he would be; A boy who lived life and was a hero to me. Who would grow up and make the world a better place. Who would save the seas and the oceans from the human race When I lost my child, the earth ceased to spin. But the moon still must rise and the tide must come in. And since the sun insists on having its way, I will live in my child’s memory each and every day. ~Kim Turner in memory of Matthew Beard 1/20/85 – 12/29/06
My First Christmas In Heaven
When I lost my child, the earth ceased to spin. The moon will not rise, the tide won’t come in. The sun insists on having its way, Blasting its rays and rising each day. Another day comes, my child is not here; Another day comes, I live my worst fear. Each morning I wake with the same painful thought; Why am I here when my sweet child is not? All moments that pass, I question this fate; While other lives carry on, I sit and I wait. I wait for an answer, for some reason why… Praying for it to be me that could die. Through my sorrow and grief, I have made a life choice; To keep my son’s memory alive and give him a voice. I share stories of my son, and the man he would be; A boy who lived life and was a hero to me. Who would grow up and make the world a better place. Who would save the seas and the oceans from the human race When I lost my child, the earth ceased to spin. But the moon still must rise and the tide must come in. And since the sun insists on having its way, I will live in my child’s memory each and every day. ~Kim Turner in memory of Matthew Beard 1/20/85 – 12/29/06
I'm Always Here
"I'm Always Here" --Author, Unknown I have not turned my back on you, So there is no need to cry. I'm watching you from Heaven, Just beyond the morning sky. I've seen you almost fall apart, When you could barely stand. I asked the Lord to comfort you, And watched him take your hand. He told me you are in more pain, Than I could ever be. He wiped his eyes and swallowed hard, Then gave your hand to me. Although you may not feel my touch, Or see me by your side. I've whispered that I love you, While I wiped each tear you cried. So please try not to ache for me, We'll meet again one day. Beyond the dark and stormy sky, A rainbow lights the way.
My Mom Lies
Ask my Mom how she is . . . My Mom, she tells lies She never did before. From now until she dies, she'll tell a whole lot more. Ask my Mom how she is, And because she can't explain, She will tell a little lie-- She can't describe the pain. Ask my Mom how she is, She'll say "I am all right." If that's the truth, then tell me Why does she cry every night. Ask my Mom how she is, She seems to cope so well. She didn't have a choice, you see, Nor had the strength to yell. Ask my Mom how she is, "I'm fine; I'm well; I'm coping." For God’s sake Mom, tell the truth, Just say your heart is broken. She'll love me all her life-- I loved her all of mine. But if you ask her how she is, She'll lie and say she's fine. Here I am in Heaven, I cannot hug from here. If she lies to you, don't listen; Hug her, and hold her near. On the day we meet again, We'll smile, and I'll be bold, I’ll say, "You're lucky to get in here, Mom, With all the lies you’ve told!"
I Wrote Your Name.
My Mom Lies Ask my Mom how she is . . . My Mom, she tells lies She never did before. From now until she dies, she'll tell a whole lot more. Ask my Mom how she is, And because she can't explain, She will tell a little lie-- She can't describe the pain. Ask my Mom how she is, She'll say "I am all right." If that's the truth, then tell me Why does she cry every night. Ask my Mom how she is, She seems to cope so well. She didn't have a choice, you see, Nor had the strength to yell. Ask my Mom how she is, "I'm fine; I'm well; I'm coping." For God’s sake Mom, tell the truth, Just say your heart is broken. She'll love me all her life-- I loved her all of mine. But if you ask her how she is, She'll lie and say she's fine. Here I am in Heaven, I cannot hug from here. If she lies to you, don't listen; Hug her, and hold her near. On the day we meet again, We'll smile, and I'll be bold, I’ll say, "You're lucky to get in here, Mom, With all the lies you’ve told!"
There will come a day
By David Ray There will come a day When you would have lived your life All the way through. Mine long gone. And peace will descend then. Such a great peace, like a breath Moving those pines, moving Even the stone. And then, then I can let go.
Macrina Weiderkehr’s reflection
Macrina Weiderkehr’s reflection Blest Are the Sorrowing: They Shall Be Consoled And what does it mean to mourn? I asked. And a wise elder stepped forward and said: To mourn is to be given a second heart. It is to care so deeply that you show your ache in person. To mourn is to be unashamed of tears. It is to be healed And broken And built-up All in the same moment. Blessed are you who care for others With a heart that feels With a heart that hurts With a heart that loves And blessed are you who continue to care for others With a heart that serves And a heart that sees the need. To mourn is to forget yourself for a moment And get lost in someone else’s pain And then, To find yourself In the very act of getting lost. To mourn is to be an expert in the miracle of being careful with and honoring your pain and grief. To mourn is to sing with the dying And to be healed By the song ……and the death.
SPECIAL ANGEL IN HEAVEN
SPECIAL ANGEL IN HEAVEN There is a special Angel in Heaven that is a part of me. It is not where I wanted him but where God wanted him to be. he was here but just a moment like a night time shooting star. And though he is in Heaven he isn't very far. So I send this special message to the Heavens up above. Please take care of my Angel and send him all my love. For This Child I Prayed.......1 Samuel 1:27
GOOD NIGHT SWEET KNIGHT
I thought I'd share a song I wrote for my son... David was a Gulf War vet who died as a result of Gulf War Illness which he suffered with for 13 years...he was 36. GOOD NIGHT SWEET KNIGHT My grief is a constant companion Too familiar the sting of my tears But I know that our Lord has released you From all of your suffering and fears. I pray that my sorrow will somehow Give way to my memories so sweet And until we are someday united There's a piece of my heart that you keep. Now that you have complete healing You know how you touched all our lives You're a part of so many who love you And a brave shining knight in my eyes. So I'm wishing you sweet dreams my darling Sweet rest from your terrible fight Remember that I'll always love you My baby, my son, my sweet knight. Gail Leighton
Wrote for those at Virginia Tech
About Avery: Avery Beer is 9 years old, and her mommy, Kori Beer, died in 2005. Avery is an amazing girl who wrote this beautiful tribute to all of those at Virginia Tech. Here is what she wrote: This is a poem I wrote for those at Virginia Tech. If you knew any of them I'm sorry to hear. Oh and when I wrote it I was thinking of the family of these people so it's sort of said by the students. Mommy, Daddy I miss you so much I love you and I wish I were there Watching my siblings grow so soon Although I'm not right next to you I want you to know I'm there for you I tryed because those at Virginia Tech never got to say goodbye. So I'm taking my part in showing that I care. Love, Avery Beer
For Jill, Written by April Muir, Jill's Sister Of all the things that are left behind When a person leaves this world, The one to treasure above all else Is the gift of one brave girl. The battle ground to which she fought Became a spiritual garden, Of love and laughter, hope and faith For others to grow strong in. A gift you see is what she gave To every one she touched. A piece of her she handed out And each time gave so much. The world became a better place The day that she was born. The day she left the world agrees A million hearts were torn The joy she brought to those she knew Will ensure that we miss her. But I was blessed more then most That special gift was my SISTER. By: April Muir
I MISS YOU MORE
I MISS YOU MORE . . . by Kim Hodne I miss you more than you’ll ever know The world is not the same without you here Sadness washes over me without a moments notice Your presence can be so clear I wish I could me that Mom again The one who answered every call And laughed at all your stories Who lent the understanding ear I loved being there for you I looked forward to all that lay ahead I wanted the best for you I lost such a good friend I still long to see that bright smile That lit up those Irish eyes I want to feel the strong hug I want to hear your contagious laugh The wait seems so long indeed Until I can see you again I just want to be that Mom again The one who loved you more than you’ll ever know
A HOLIDAY MEMORIAL
AS WE LIGHT THESE FOUR CANDLES IN HONOR OF YOU, WE LIGHT ONE FOR OUR GRIEF, ONE FOR OUR COURAGE, ONE FOR OUR MEMORIES AND ONE FOR OUR LOVE. THIS CANDLE REPRESENTS OUR GRIEF. THE PAIN OF LOSING YOU IS INTENSE. IT REMINDS US OF THE DEPTH OF OUR LOVE FOR YOU. THIS CANDLE REPRESENTS OUR COURAGE – TO CONFRONT OUR SORROW – TO COMFORT EACH OTHER – TO CHANGE OUR LIVES. THIS LIGHT IS IN YOUR MEMORY – THE TIME WE LAUGHED, THE TIMES WE CRIED – THE TIMES WE WERE ANGRY WITH EACH OTHER – THE SILLY THINGS YOU DID, THE CARING AND JOY YOU GAVE US. THIS LIGHT IS THE LIGHT OF LOVE. AS WE ENTER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON DAY BY DAY WE CHERISH THE SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR HEARTS THAT WILL ALWAYS BE RESERVED FOR YOU. WE THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT YOUR LIVING BROUGHT TO EACH OF US. WE LOVE YOU
The pain of death
The pain of death The pain of death is not with those who have passed on. It lives in the hearts of those who remain behind. An unbearable ache that grows with each empty day. Days without our children; comforting them, holding them, drying their tears and sharing their laughter. Our children have passed into a place of calmness, comfort and peace. But for us who remain, we are embarking on a lonely journey, a sad and tearful voyage to which we see no end. Many will travel this mournful journey, yet along our path, we will find new friends, compassionate, loving and understanding. We will mutually share our pain and gain strength as we move through this journey, and learn to accept that life does move forward. I know we will always live with this pain, but will the hurt will lessen as we continue this journey? I like to think that I can go on because my child is always with me, always in my heart I am comforted by the pictures in my mind, that voice that only I hear If only I could reach out and hold my sweet child again This pain is not benevolent; it has ravaged my very being It has fractured my spirit and devastated my soul I pray for a gentle respite from this pain, For tender moments of grace and beauty When I can be joyfully immersed in precious memories of my child. . . And find solace. Denice D’Andrea July 2006
This thing, this blackness we call grief, menacing as the dark storm cloud that moves in silent threat, Never knowing at what moment It will strike and with what intensity. Grief is no respecter of status or person, age or circumstance. It consistently hovers, and we, the bereaved seek shelter from its agonizing attacks on our bruised and battered hearts. We seek a shelter that is not to be found Old friends forsake us, new acquaintances are wary, Happiness eludes us and peace is non-existent Normal is a foreign idea Our daily struggle is so intense that we are often a weak and weary adversary for this grief All encompassing and ever present, This grief drains our deepest emotions. Will we, can we ever pass through this pain, this sadness, this grief? What waits for us when at last we find that tiny opening that allows us to enter a new world where grief remains only as an infrequent intrusion? Surely someday, we will find that time when Memories, beautiful, warm and comforting will embrace us. . . Bittersweet, perhaps, but none the less These precious memories of our dear children will be the cornerstones upon which we will build a new normal in our forever changed lives. In memory of my daughter, Abby Ellen D’Andrea 6-13-1978 - 12-4-2004 Denice D’Andrea
It has been said that the more deeply we loved, The more deeply we grieve My love cannot be measured In the ways I show my grief There is no “formula” for grieving No pattern to which I must adhere My grief is unique As was my child I ask this of you, my friends Do not be afraid of me, because I grieve openly Do not avoid me, because I often shed tears Do not shun me, because I choose not to speak And please, do not forget me, because I cannot forget my child Please be there for me to share the tearful times, The lonely times, the times of talking And the times of silence. My child lives on within me I want her memory to live on within you I lovingly speak her name often Can you do this, as well? Can you look at her pictures and see beauty As I do everyday? Can you do these things for me, my friend? For me and for my beloved child? Denice D’Andrea July 2006
I Wanted So Much for You
I Wanted So Much for You by Maria LaFond Visscher I wanted so much more for you, my sweet little baby. I wanted to change your diapers, not my life. I wanted to nurse you, not my grief. I wanted to dress you up, not bury you down. I wanted to hear the sounds of you crying for me at night, not my own sounds of crying for you, my innocent, misconceived baby. I wanted to see you grow, not the grass upon the grave. I wanted to see you asleep in the crib, not in the casket. I wanted to give you life, not death. I wanted to show you off, not alone go on. I wanted comb your fuzzy hair, not save a lock of it. I wanted to pick up after you, not put down my dreams for you. I wanted to hold you in my arms, not this doll. I wanted to walk you late at night, not my fears. I wanted so much for you, my newly born, newly gone—child. I wanted so much more I want so much
Today, I’ll speak with an angel
Today, I’ll speak with an angel Not just any angel, But a special one My child I will say many things And know my child hears My child will comfort me As I shed countless tears My questions need answers But when I ask “why”? “One day you will know” Is the gentle reply I ask “Please visit me” And the words softly came. . . “I always am with you” Just call out my name And then came the voice I was anxious to hear From my child, my dearest Whispered soft in my ear Please know at those times In your sorrowful cries It is me that will wipe All the tears from your eyes When the pain you are feeling Becomes too much to bear My arms are around you To give comfort and care My arms ache as yours To be held and to hold To sit next to you Sharing memories of old Then I’ll gaze in your eyes Overflowing with love. . And wait for the day When we’ll meet above Denice D’Andrea June 2006
MY PRECIOUS CHILD
MY PRECIOUS CHILD Talk to me, my precious child Speak to me in my heart, Let me hear your kind, sweet voice Full of love, though we’re apart Touch my hand, my precious child Even if just so brief Let me feel your gentleness To help me through my grief. The scent of you, may I enjoy Just one more time, I plead To lift my spirit and soothe my soul Right now, it’s what I need May I see your smile once more It brightens up my day With twinkling eyes and warmest grin You won’t seem far away Stay with me, my precious child In heart and soul and mind Though you have left this world for now Please don’t leave me behind In Memory of Abby’s birthday June 13, 1978 Denice D’Andrea
MY CHILD, MY FRIEND
There will come a time When life comes to an end But I lost you too soon My child, my friend My days are so empty My tears overflow Yes, my heart is broken Why must it be so? Though I must believe That you are at peace My grief and my sorrow Seem never to cease But someday I hope This grief will give way To beautiful memories Of happier days When courage and purpose Will take away sorrows These are my hopes For all my tomorrows And when that day comes That my time here must end I’ll meet you in heaven My child, my friend For Abby Denice D’Andrea May, 2006
My Love Set Free
My Love Set Free (TK Jordan - Author "Woman at the Well - Get Past the Pain!") I’ll never forget the day that God sent you into my life, The awesome way your smile seemed to make everything all right. I’ll never forget the love you shared, unselfish and true, I’ll never forget the special gift God bestowed on me in you. As you stood before the Father, as your precious time had come, With open arms he welcomed you, my child He said, "Well Done!" But what about my Parents, who stood by me all the way? I need to know, I’ve got to know Lord will they be O.K.? You mean the ones I chose for you, whose love for you has no end? Oh yes, my loving precious child, their broken heart I’ll mend. For they know me and they love me, though today their heart is torn, Your Parents faith will uphold them; they know I'll comfort them that mourn. Though at times our hearts are heavy, the truth we plainly see, My loving, dedicated, precious Child… This day God has SET YOU FREE!
My Son, My Rain
My Son, My Rain You arrived early and left that way, But taught me well in your short stay, Loving your family in an honest way, Fairness and sharing part of your day, A smile and hand to all coming your way, Only injustice would move you much to say, Your love for Megan - admired by all, Your riding skill made you extra tall, Proud of your trade and one of the best, You loved it most when put to a test, Loved by so many and loving them too, I thought there was much here for you to do, But your heart was troubled trying to love, In a life with too much push and shove, You got confused trying to fix your pain, So “In Harms Way” was the sad refrain, Through tear filled eyes, I cry out … How can this be? And in my mind….Your words come to me, “I screwed up Pop….Well…. I mean…..not really….. Yea but …..Yea I did…..Huh..? …. It doesn’t matter now” With a whisk of your hand to erase the pain, I have tried the same many times in vain, So proud I am …you are my Son, Your parting will forever… be my rain.
When I come round to call. . . .
When I come round to call. . . . I'll lend you for a little time A child of mine, God said, for you to love the while he lives, and mourn for when he's dead. It may be six or seven weeks, or thirty years, or three But will you, till I call him back, Take care of him for me? He'll bring his charm to gladden you and should his stay be brief, You'll have his lovely memories, as solace for your grief. I can not promise he will stay, since all from Earth return, but there are lessons taught down "there" I want this child to learn. I looked the world over in my search for people true, and from the throngs who crowd life's way, I have selected you. Now will you give him all your love, Not think the labor in vain, Nor hate Me when I call around to take him back again? Shelter him with tenderness, love him while we may, and for the happiness you have known forever shall he stay. But when I come "round to call for him much sooner than you had planned" I fancy that you will say, Dear Lord, forgive this grief, and help us understand.
SLOW DANCE Have you ever watched kids On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last. Do you run through each day On the fly? When you ask How are you? Do you hear the reply? When the day is done Do you lie in your bed With the next hundred chores Running through your head? You'd better slow down Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last. Ever told your child, We'll do it tomorrow? And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die Cause you never had time To call and say,"Hi" You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last. When you run so fast to get somewhere You miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift.... Thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower Hear the music Before the song is over.
The Mask I have a face I put in place; It's what I wear when folks are there. For those only who want to see the way they think I ought to be. I live in times that have no light, just cloudy darkness, endless night. I no longer see the sun, I laugh but never feel the fun. When I arise to start a day, I stumble as I make my way. I don't know who's really me, I'm not the one I used to be. I have no heart to fill with joy, I lost it when I lost my boy. The future is so bleak to me, I choose to not let others see. So when people stop to ask, I hide behind my smiling mask.
When you lose a child, it is alright to . . .
When you lose a child, it is alright to . . . Scream in the shower; Yell in the car; Howl at the moon; Cry anywhere you like; Misplace your glasses; Lose the car; Forget your own name; Put milk in the cupboard; Put toilet paper in the refrigerator; Put ice cream in the oven; Beat up a pillow; Stomp on the ground; Throw stones in a lake; Change grocery stores if it hurts too much; Wear one black shoe and one navy; Have tearstains on your tie; Eat French fries for breakfast; toast for Lunch, and peanut butter for dinner (as long as you can eat); Write her a letter; Bake him his favorite cookies; Smell her clothes; Lie in her bed and cry; Celebrate his life on his birthday; Talk to your pets (they understand); Leave her room the way it is for as long as you like; Say his name just to hear the sound; Talk about her to others; Tell loved ones what you need; Say "no" when you feel like it; Cancel plans if you want; And Have a really bad day. And One Day, When You Are Ready, It's Alright to . . Laugh again; Dance and feel pretty; Look forward to tomorrow; Sing in the shower; Smile at a friend's new baby; Wear makeup once more; Go shopping; Celebrate the holidays; Go for a day, a week-even a month Without crying Forgive those who failed you; Learn something new; Look at her photos and remember With happiness, not pain; Go on with your life; and Cherish the memories. And One Day When It's Time, It's Alright to LOVE AGAIN
What It's Like to Die
What It's Like to Die Anonymous I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" "Gone where?" Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!" And that is dying.
A Thought On Death
A Thought On Death Anna Lætitia Barbauld (1743-1825) When life as opening buds is sweet, And golden hopes the fancy greet, And Youth prepares his joys to meet,-- Alas! how hard it is to die! When just is seized some valued prize, And duties press, and tender ties Forbid the soul from earth to rise,-- How awful then it is to die! When, one by one, those ties are torn, And friend from friend is snatched forlorn, And man is left alone to mourn,-- Ah then, how easy 'tis to die! When faith is firm, and conscience clear, And words of peace the spirit cheer, And visioned glories half appear,-- 'Tis joy, 'tis triumph then to die. When trembling limbs refuse their weight, And films, slow gathering, dim the sight, And clouds obscure the mental light,-- 'Tis nature's precious boon to die
If I Had Known
If I Had Known ~Mary Carolyn Davies If I had known what trouble you were bearing; What griefs were in the silence of your face; I would have been more gentle, and more caring, And tried to give you gladness for a space. I would have brought more warmth into the place, If I had known. If I had known what thoughts despairing drew you; Why do we never try to understand? I would have lent a little friendship to you, And slipped my hand within your hand, And made your stay more pleasant in the land, If I had known.
A Fresh New Start
A Fresh New Start By Erika Whitmore Godwin The once rising sun sets, The soft blue sky Grows black, Little children are tucked Away in their sacks, A mother's soft kiss on the forehead-- She wonders what's in store For their lives ahead: A fresh new life Into this world, With hopes and dreams In their minds a-swirl, A step into freedom Out of a cage, Like reading a book And turning the page, With soft pale skin And hair to match, So fine, thin paper would scratch. It's a fresh new mind Sharpened and keen, A new soul into this world, To love, give, hate, shine and take-- Everything a planet takes to make; To live and die in, A world of new beginnings-- Of new lives-- A fresh new start.
A Note to My Mom
My daughter, Erika, wrote this poem to me before she died. A Note to My Mom By Erika Whitmore Godwin One of the best things we can do in our lives is this: Begin again. Begin to see yourself as you were When you were the happiest and strongest. Begin to remember what worked for you And what worked against you. Try to capture the magic again. Begin to remember how natural it was When you were a child -- to live a lifetime each day. Begin to release the baggage carried with you for years, The problems that don’t matter anymore, The tears that cried themselves away, And the worries that will wash away On the shore of tomorrow’s new beginning. Tomorrow tells us it will be here Every new day of our lives, And, if we will be wise, We will turn away from the problems of the past, And give the future -- and ourselves -- a chance To become the best of friends. Sometimes all it takes Is a wish in the heart To let yourself Begin again.
The Dash I leave you with these final thoughts: I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend He referred to the dates on her tombstone From the beginning...to the end. He noted that first came her date of birth And spoke the following date with tears, But he said what mattered most of all Was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time That she spent alive on earth... And now only those who loved her Know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own; The cars....the house...the cash, What matters is how we live and love And how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard... Are there things you'd like to change? For you never know how much time is left, That can still be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough To consider what's true and real, And always try to understand The way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, And show appreciation more And love the people in our lives Like we've never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile.. Remembering that this special dash May last only a little while. So, when your eulogy's being read With your life's actions to rehash... Would you be proud of the things they say About how you spent your dash?
First Thanksgiving The thought of being thankful fills my heart with dread. They'll all be feigning gladness, not a word about her said. These heavy shrouds of blackness enveloping my soul, Pervasive, throat-catching, writhe in me, and coil. I must, I must acknowledge, just express her name, So all sitting at the table, know I'm thankful that she came. Though she's gone from us forever and we mourn to see her face, Not one minute of her living, would her death ever replace. So I stop the cheerful gathering, though my voice quivers, quakes, Make a toast to all her living. That small tribute's all it takes.