Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Poem-A-Day 11

Todays prompt: Write a deep thought or observational poem related to your theme.(Loss and Grief)

I chose a poem that I had already written and re-did for the prompt. The one written for this prompt follows, well, I will share at another time. A body can only take so much I know. Hugs,

I Didn’t Know

I didn’t know
that grief feels a lot like terror
that I would always be on alert
waiting for the next blow
which always comes
but never announces it’s imminence.

I didn’t know
that loss feels a lot like fear
that though unafraid, the sensations
of fear are constant
that adrenaline rushes would
come even in the dead of night.

I didn’t know
that there would be physical symptoms
accompanying my anguish
chest constricted forcing air out,
that I would work to get my next breath…
hyperventilation, headaches, digestive disorders
weight gain, ringing in the ears, mind racing
stone rigid muscles, heart palpations
forgetfulness, stuttering, slurring of words
tingling in arms and feet, dry eyes, sinus problems
horse, sore throat, weakened voice, yawning
gulping, involuntary sounds of grief
loss of memory, long term and short
insomnia or sleeping for days
deep dark depressions, suicidal thoughts.

I didn’t know
that sensations from loosing a loved one
is very similar to being drunk, or
having Alzheimer’s, or other dementias
that sometimes I would have to
remember how to walk or take a bath
sometimes I would forget my husband’s name
or what I like to eat
that I would search for my cigarettes
even though I haven’t smoked for 25 years

I didn’t know
that I would begin to question
what before was dogma
unquestionable things like
my very existence on earth
question my faith and search for answers
anywhere I could find them.

I didn’t know
that loosing a child is like helplessness
and hopelessness rolled into one
hitting walls, locked doors, iron curtains,
firewalls and the final entrance would simply
be a vacuum instead of answers

I didn’t know
that the death of my son would be
the death of me, my life, my hopes
that I would become a robot
to get through my days
that I would suffer, feel shame
guilt, anger, the fringes of insanity;
that I wouldn’t know what to do
with this all encompassing sadness.

I didn’t know
that when my son died I would
have daydreams and nightmares and every
single waking moment would be a moment
when my son was dead or when he died
..all over again.

I didn’t know
that grief feels like being in a painting
bright colors, strange elements, unknown symbols
that nothing would look real or seem important
surreal would be a word I would try to explain
because it is my life

I didn’t know
that death means an endless march
of the mind around one subject
that my whole world, every item
would revolve around one issue
that if it doesn’t relate to that subject
it will eventually.

I didn’t know
that loosing Brian would mean
that I would spend each day trying
to understand and recreate his existence
and then unbidden… his death.
I have become a writer, a painter
I want to sculpt his face, his hair, and his life
I want to create
him again.

I didn’t know
creativity would help me bridge the gap
would help me organize my shattered life
help me recover from life altering pain
that catharsis for me is pen in hand
notebook open and writing…anything
all of the words that exist for that day.
that I would write down one thought in a
thousand and want to get down the whole,
that words would be what I would seek
to explain me to them and to myself and
to look for the hope of unearthing an answer.

I didn’t know
until now.


Peggy said...

Your writing is stunning Judy. I hope all who read it here appreciate it because it is really something very special.

Ruth said...


You have absolutely beautiful writing! Your words are so strong and it makes me want to write :)

I still have the ladybugs beside my bed, and think of you and Bill everytime I look at them.. I think they make me stronger :)

I hope you are doing well.. miss you lots xoxo


SeaStar said...

We don't know all those awful things about grief until we know them. And wish we didn't. The thing that makes your journey heroic is that you don't sit in the dark with your gift of painful knowing, but climb back to the surface to share it with the rest of us. Thank you.

Mary said...

Intense, gut-wrenching, real. You have captured GRIEF in such an honest way in this poem. It is so important, I think, that you write.......

Judy said...

Ruth! How wonderful to "see" you. I hope that you will write. Start today. Get your thoughts down on paper (or start a blog :)and get to writing writerwoman! We think of you often and I hope all is well. We are still waiting for you to come see us.
Love and hugs
We also have the Canadian Flag pins you sent us and I do DO believe the ladybugs can make you stronger. tee-hee