Resilience Wanes

Resilience Wanes
I live a halfhearted harmony
With my companion Chronic Illness
Occasionally there are flare ups
Challenging confrontations
Leaving an exhausting aftertaste
Binding me closer to my needy nemesis
There’s also fear
Not of Mortality
Mortality and I are firm friends
I look forward to the day we join hands
For that final stroll into the unknown sea
No it’s the predators
Vulnerability and
Helplessness I fear
When resilience wanes
I sense these beasts moving closer
Honing in on the scent of hovering hopelessness
As I shout derisively
Simulating courage
Struggling to keep the beasts at bay
The words of a friend
Sliced through my fear
Resilience is re-found
By being
Rather than doing”
She said
Tricia 8/2012

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 August 26, 2012, in Poems and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Oh Tricia, this is an absolute gem of a poem, both in the wonderful way it is written and its most powerful sentiments.

    I don’t think I have ever read anything since my diagnosis that I have relate to more.

    “Resilience Wanes” – is exactly where I have been (and still am) since my recent flare up together with its “exhausting aftertaste”.

    I feel so much for you and a strong connection even though we are merely “virtual” to each other.

    The words of your friend are wonderful and so true; however for me that small word “being” rather than the other small word “doing” is so difficult to achieve, and yet, as I read your poem I can easily “see” how this approach will work and it gives me light somewhere in the distance while I am still in “halfhearted harmony”.

    Love and many

    Christine xx

    • Dear Christine, it’s a difficult journey living with a chronic illness as you well know. We do the best we can but some days are much harder than others.

      I too feel a strong connection to you. I’m so pleased we’ve come to know each other via the blogosphere.

      My friend is a psychologist who specialises in helping those lving with chronic and terminal illness. She is a very special young woman.

      You can always email me if you feel like it. Sometimes it helps to share the pain and frustration.

      Much love

  2. I’m glad to see you are still resisting everything they throw at you. How are you getting along?

    • Hi Joe. I’m replying to comments out of order, typical me.
      One of my favourite songs is I’m Here. I rather like the Dame Shirley Bassey version. You can check it out on youtube if you’re interested.
      Bye for now

  3. I am always blown away by the way you can put words to such an overwhelming mixture of feelings and experiences. You speak of feeling a lack of resilience, and I trust that’s exactly how you feel, but somehow your ability to describe the “predators” vulnerability and helplessness brings that into question for me. It’s hard for me to put into words what I feel when I read your poetry. You are the expert on your own life, Tricia, I know that, but I cannot help but commend you for what I see as tremendous strength and resilience. Most people I know would have crumbled long ago under the weight of what you’ve carried. I guess I say keep “simulating courage” and I simply wish you strength going forward. I can hear the weariness…and that makes total sense to me. Even the strongest trees can snap in a storm. I once again send a big hug. Debra

    • Dear Debra,
      Again thank you for your heartfelt comment. My sister and I were talking yesterday and we decided that deep down our difficult childhood gave us both a lifelong determination and courage. Even in those moments when we want to give up, something keeps us going. As I wrote to Joe, I love the song I’m Here – some of the words are
      “Good times, bad times I’ve seen them all and my dear, I’m still here”, and for whatever reason I am still here.
      Take care in that terrible heat you’re experiencing at present.

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