Death and Grief – Twin Taboos

End of the Line
‘I want to live to ninety’ he says
‘I’ll be happy with the end of the year’
says I laughing
to take the sting from my truth
then a splutter and rush of
‘you don’t mean that’
comes from around the table
I’m not surprised
by the reaction
it’s common place
this denial
of the acceptance
and readiness for death
but where does it come from
in times of tragedy
it’s all stoicism
we’ll bounce back
we’re tough
focus on the future
bury the dead
don’t talk about death
soldiering on
is valued
ongoing displays
of grief
seen as an illness
something to be cured
from the moment of conception
is our travelling companion
we can ignore him
deny him
but we cannot
avoid him
so I ask
what is wrong
with opening our minds
discussing death and grief
reaching a point of readiness  
for disembarkation at death
the final station
Tricia 2011


About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on December 6, 2011, in Poems. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. “seen as an illness
    something to be cured”

    A perfect description of the ‘Ew! Make it go away’ school of thought. Except I don’t think there’s much *thinking* going on in that school.

  2. Actually Jo there is a debate going on at the moment and it looks like grief is going to be classified as a mental illness by the psychiatric fraternity. Can you believe that!

  3. I didn’t know that, Tricia. I understand what you meant by your exclamation, but the sad thing is that, yes, I can believe it. And it sucks! There’s some seriously &%$£ed up people around, at it ain’t necessarily the ‘patients’. I hope those ‘white coats’ never get their inventive little minds focused on me.

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