Gone

She’s gone, around a corner I cannot follow.
To a place free of pain and fear, she’s gone home.
We are left here. The space she filled is empty.
We don’t miss her hurt or her suffering.
We miss her. Her smile. Her laugh. Her.

She is gone, around a corner I cannot follow.
The sun shines there, but here is shadow.
We are left here. Grasping our memories.
We don’t miss the worry or the fear.
We miss her wit. Her touch. We miss her.

She’s gone around a corner I cannot follow.
To a place with no time and not a care.
We are left here. With the space she filled.
With her she took a piece of our hearts,
We miss her. We love her. We just do.

My mom is gone to heaven. No more pain or suffering. But outside of the big thoughts my Mom is gone and that knowledge hurts my heart so much. No more chances to do more things together. Even to sit and look at pictures or color flowers.

What we don’t say

It isn’t easy to not know what to say
When questions are not in formula
Answers don’t easily come out.

How are you?
Isn’t answered by busy.
Staying busy as opposed to?
Busy is what you are doing.
How are you asked
How is your being?

Are you okay?
Okay so often has a silent preface
Can you hear it?
I am (not) okay.
But we happily skip past
Okay is easy, neutral, bye

When the answer has the ‘not’
or the “I am having a hard time”
Can you be present and wordless?
Can you be a listener and still?
Can you help me hold and acknowledge
This pain, grief and hurt?

You don’t have to be comfortable.
you shouldn’t be, I”m not.
This hurts. It sucks. It’s raw. Ugly.
It’s confused and it’s unsure
My ‘being strong’ is a facade,
It is a shield for your comfort.

It feels so lonely, and unfaithful
To want so badly what can’t be given
Won’t be given. Either way.
Falling apart isn’t an option
Strength required and needed.
Salty tears burn quietly
Polite acknowledgement of
your distance grants a pass.

I won’t stop asking after your heart.
I won’t stop brushing past the busy and okay
I know how that (not) feels and
I honour it with my concern.
“Thoughts and prayers” are good
But are no replacement for
being present, being there.

It’s not easy, never said it was.
If it’s hard for you to be here,
imagine if you will
How I’d love to be anywhere but.
And can’t. Won’t. Because
Someone needs me more.

I wish I was strong enough
to shake you free from your
safety and your platitudes
But I don’t have the energy or the will
When I am slow to come back,
understand the miles I’m walking alone
I don’t blame you, but I miss the idea that you’d
be there as I’d try to be for you.

How long can you stay in a stage of grief? How much preparation can you imagine and still not be ready? Grief isn’t a line, or a road, It’s a twisted scribble full of traps and triggers. It may get straighter, or so they say. All I know is that as hard as it is for you to be there for me, it’s harder to be alone in the middle of it.

The Ones who Don’t Cry

Strong. Reliable. Present.
The ones you lean on.
They struggle in quiet.
Their tears run unseen.
Anguish saved for private.

Listening. Watching. There.
Hearing your hurt.
Holding your hand.
Their own pain silent.
They are just there.

Invisible. Isolated. In pain.
Their burdens they bear alone.
Keeping their pain apart.
Quitely reaching into
empty space alone.

Okay. Busy. Fine.
Each one a careful lie.
The truth: (not) okay
Busy but struggling.
Fine = won’t bother you.

Exhausted. Drained. Done.
Too tired to explain.
Worn out from masking.
Creaks showing through
Pain leaks out unexpected.

You flinch. You deflect. Diminish.
You don’t know what to do.
You don’t know what to say.
You disappear, silent.
Loneliness a chill shadow behind.

But…but…what can I do you plead?
Asking for the easy task
The hard work is to be done.
Be present. Be there. Listen.
You don’t have to do, just be.

It’s incredibly hard to be present and not do anything but be there. And yet that’s a critical task. And it’s a task so many cannot or will not embrace. It is one that can heal hearts, bring comfort and will be treasured. You don’t know what to say? Then feel okay being still and present. You don’t know what to do? Just be there. Being in pain, feeling hurt, scared, alone or sad isn’t wrong. Or bad.
It’s nothing to be fixed. It’s something to work and walk through. The strongest people cry alone, work through their grief doing their best not to be a burden. Don’t leave them do so this alone.