The Ritual of Leaving.
The usual goodbye routine,
I pack, guilt riven
her brave face as the carer serves her breakfast.
An hour later, the food un-eaten on the tray.
Seeing her there, helpless,
no longer able to fulfil our special ritual,
she at the window
waving till out of sight…
only enhances the pain.
Leaning over to kiss pure white hair
on the head of a valiant soul
who has weathered ninety one winters.
is of the eviscerating kind.
That precious frame, slight now.
Feeling her warm scalp under my lips
as I hold her hand…
Times stands still.
So what is life and death?
What is hello and goodbye?
Only a greeting or farewell
from one place to another.
We understand that
and so we treasure it
but still we struggle…
There is no place that love does not inhabit
there is no state that comfort cannot be found.
Even in the exchanges of the most futile kind,
love is there and will fill the gaps.
When the heart is over-burdened and heavy
with unspoken emotion,
In all things, and in the eyes
love will find a way.
Nevertheless, I drive away
Hi Alison.this is beautiful emotional poetry,which helped me a lot, having lost my wife of 68 years two weeks ago.I was privileged to spend the last ten days of her life at her bedside 24 hours a day .I understand how you must feel, I am absolutely shattered though I had been expecting it.I am still lost.Thank you.I am only glad to hold my dear wife’s hand when she took her last breath.Take care Alison Thinking of you. Peter xx
Oh Peter! Your loss is beyond compare. You had what most of us wish we had, an enduring love that lasted a lifetime.
What a blessing but what a devastating situation to cope with.
I hope you have lots of support and although I know it is not everyone’s belief, I truly believe you shall be together in a better place.
Till then, stay strong knowing you never failed her, no not till the close of day.
Sending you much love and heartfelt condolences
Thank you Alison
for your very thoughtful comment.Yes, life is pretty grim at present,but I am lucky in as much that I have the support of a loving family.Like you I firmly believe that this is not the end, and that Edna and i will be together again somewhere in the future.Where,and when, Who knows?But that is my believe that we will be holding hands again..Hence my choice of the leaving song at the crematorium next Tuesday:”We’ll meet again,”. Thank you once more Alison,
with tears in my eyes,Love Peter. xxx
What a moving farewell song. Yes, I do believe with all my heart, you will meet again.
The physical body in only an envelope for the spirit while in this place. True freedom and togertherness awaits.
Will be thinking of you on Tuesday.
Thank you Alison,
Such a sad situation so brilliantly conveyed without even a hint of self pity. I’m sure, like Pommer, a lot of people in this situation will find great comfort in your poem .
Much appreciated Tony. 🙂
We all have our difficulties. So, there is much to be shared in both humour and empathy. That is what makes this online community (to me at least) so precious and valuable.
Sharing is soul enriching and what makes the world spin.
Sad and beautiful all rolled into one, Alison. It so reminds me of when I leave my mother in her care home. I visit weekly. so am fully involved in her care. It’s got harder of late and she’s started screaming at me to take her home. So emotionally draining. Special poetry as ever. Take care. Mick.
Mick, I cannot even begin to know the terrible pain of your mother screaming to get home. I guess you have to have some insight into the pain and misplaced guilt involved. We cannot ‘make it better’ nor turn back time….but we are all children inside who need reassurance. Sadly I know several on here had less than a positive relationship with their mothers, 🙁 That cannot be denied, nor should it. I feel for them deeply. Some people are plain nasty and should maybe never have been mothers. I only wish I lived nearer my own so I could… Read more »
A poem which is moving without being gushingly sentimental. Just the right amount of understatement, and a quietly effective ending.
Thank you so much for reading it so deeply.
I feel sometimes that the more overwhelming the emotions…the more we have to apply the floodgates to contain them.
Exactly right, another of those situations where “less is more”. But that restraint leads to powerful poetry.
A beautiful write that proves love is immortal. You honour her with an unforgettable pen that writes wonderful poetry that brings light to a situation that we will all face. I only hope I have someone there in my hour of need.
Aww bless you Cooky. I feel the same. I don’t think today’s generation have the same level of caring. Not that they don’t care…more they have been living in a world that has given them a sense of entitlement.
That has not been a blessing, more a curse, but I will say no more. 😉
Thanks for reading.