the onset of grief

August 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Poem | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
70's Barbie

My dear departed mother, Barbie Hassing.

my brain is getting smaller

as the world cuts it to size

we’re dumbing down the hard bits

since we found that i’m unwise

the small pond of the big fish

now the marianas trench

i’m drowning in life’s ocean and

it’s something of a wrench

the man who once set vcrs

can barely lick a stamp

i thought i had a searchlight

it was a miner’s lamp



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  1. I remember what it felt like the day I woke to find my baby girl.

    She had been gone for at least an hour…she was just feet from where I laid sleeping as she took her last breath.

    I don’t know when your mom passed but I want to give you this bit of insight.

    Grieving is a long process; take the time to do it. I tried to ignore it as if I didn’t deserve to feel it; I found this to be a huge mistake later on.

    People don’t always understand and on occasion may even tell you to get over it and move on. Don’t be afraid to tell them to go screw themselves; not doing so is one of my biggest regrets.

    Take your time.

    Hugs to you.

    • Thank you so much for your beautiful comment, Linda.
      I never expected to elicit such a personal and heartfelt response. I feel very honoured.
      Mum has been gone for over four years, but I still miss her daily.
      I appreciate your advice and wish you every comfort in your grieving.
      Best regards,

      • Wise words from Sage by Nature. The light is only breaking through for me after the burial of a second son. Burying him along side his brother who died at nineteen years of age, beside my husband, was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. There were times I didn’t think I’d make it, truly didn’t think I’d come through. My physical strength is no where near what it was, but the very idea I am walking with my camera gain is a miracle. Hang in there Paul. Your salvation is your writing, your spirit your guide. XO

        • I’m so lucky to have a supporter like you, Catherine. You sure have been through the threshing machine. I once heard it said that there’s no word for a parent who has lost a child (e.g. as for a widow). The trauma is literally beyond words. Thank you for sharing your pain. You’ve reminded me that there’s always someone who’s suffered more than oneself. With kindest regards for your wise advice – which I will follow. P.

  2. I am lost at sea – can’t find my way. I lost the love of my life, my husband of 35 years Aug 1, 2008 — today is Jan 9, 2010 — and I am alone, almost I am raising my 14 year old granddaughter who found her grandfather dead.

    I feel I have no future, no purpose — except my granddaughter and I don’t think I’m fit for her. Am I better than her drug addict mother? Or her drunk father? I don’t know anymore.

    I was seeking councling after I lost my father in 2006 and my mother in 2002 and that was a total waste and joke. Medication? What to mask grief? Isn’t that what your suppose to feel when you lose the 3 most important people in your life.

    I don’t go anywhere, I don’t call anyone. I do and go only where my granddaughter needs me to go — watch her play water polo.

    But I am drowning and there are days I want to just let go, other days I fight it.

    I’m not sure way I’ve choosen your blog to comment. I don’t even know if you continue to maintain this blog.

    I should be at my niece’s wedding today, but I can’t. She is getting married in the same place as my daughter did — the same place as the picture I look at each day with my husband walking me down the ailse with his hand on mine.

    He always loved me. Told me just a week before he died he’d do it all over again.
    I’m 53 — I lived and I loved. I’ll never find another to love me so completely nor will I love so completely. So what is the use?

    Oh yes, my granddaughter. But am I doing her more harm than good? I do’t know anymore, I can’t think clearly. I sure as hell can’t make wise decisions.

    Maybe I am writing this because I need to see it in stark black and white and not just think it — I don’t know. I just don’t know anything anymore.

    Thank you for your forum……..

    I understand the overused saying “heartbroken” for my is shattered in many pieces, never to be whole again.

    • Dear Cheryl, in four years of blogging, I’ve never had such a comment on any of my blogs. Thank you so much for reaching across real and imagined waves.

      How sad your crippling loss! My wife and I worry often what that day will be like for us. And we feel terror.

      Consumed by grief, my dad purged mum’s possessions when she died. Her clothes were all gone in days.

      I salvaged some gems. Her childhood dolls. Her Singer sewing machine. Her knitting needles. Her sewing basket. Her golf club membership badge with her name on it. The rest was swept away by a tsunami of grief.

      Dad also wanted to sell the house and move somewhere new and small. I convinced him to wait. Five years later, he freely admits that following my advice was one of the smartest things he’s done.

      As to your granddaughter, the fact that you consider yourself unworthy demonstrates your love for her. Given her parents’ flaws, I think she may need you more than you know.

      I’ve heard of counsellors whose response to tears is to bang a box of tissues on the table, sit back, arms folded and wait. It can take several goes to find a psychologist who’s right for you. Perhaps try one or two more? You never know.

      I haven’t done much with this blog lately, but you’ve just given me the best possible reason to keep going.

      Your writing is beautiful. Poignant. Terribly sad. But very good. Perhaps you should do more. Thoughts transferred to paper often lose some of their sting.

      You could also write about what you love – your granddaughter – and why. Give it to her at 21. The ultimate written validation of her worth. It could help her through life in ways neither of us can imagine.

      Your words reminded me of a very dark place I once inhabited. Here it is in another poem:

      Thank you once again, Cheryl, for the honour of your comment. Please come back soon! Best regards, Paul.

  3. Some fabulous words from Sage By Nature, who I’ve recently met on Twitter. Well worth a read:

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