Voice in the Night

Voice in the Night

In the early hours
Just across the corridor
An elderly woman
Begins her death journey

“Let me go, let me go”
She cries

I’ve no idea with whom
She is pleading
It could be the nurses
Who are caring for her

It could be death
It could be life
Is her cry for death to let her be
Or for life to relinquish her

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 September 16, 2012, in Poems and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Hi Tricia,

    This is so moving and sad.

    It stopped me in my tracks to ponder on those few moments of her life and what she could or maybe could not see.

    We’re you in hospital at the time?

    Lots of love and hugs

    Christine xx

    • Hello Christine,
      Yes I was. She looked into my room and smiled at me from her stretcher as she was being wheeled into her room. She was elderly, ill, frail, but with a sparkle in her eyes. A couple of nights later, as I sat waiting for the dawn, she slowly died.

      We only shared a glance but I was touched by the sparkle in her eyes. This is my small acknowledgement of her life and death.

      Take care,

  2. Very moving, I’m glad to read your work again.

  3. There are few things as distressing as hearing another crying for relief from pain – whatever that pain might be – and knowing there is nothing can be done to stop that pain and confusion.

  4. I clicked “like” to this post, but it felt a little odd to do so! I tend to think in terms of sadness when considering someone in a struggle between life and death. But you leave the possibilities open to wonder what her cries might really mean. I can imagine it would be very unsettling to be hospitalized and listening to those cries, Tricia. As always, you take the emotions of the situation and so wonderfully put words to them so that we can also enter in! I do hope that you are doing better! D

    • Hi Debra,

      I see death as natural as birth. One of my aims in life is to bring discussion of the inevitability and naturalness of death out into the open as I feel strongly that this will benefit both the dying and bereaved. I also feel if we fear death less we can enjoy life more.

      Often death is less painful than birth, particularly with the quality of care in our hospitals. The nurses were very quick to ease this womans suffering. As I wrote to Hollyanne I experienced a sense of privilege to be a silent witness to something as special as the ending of a life. This woman and I shared a smile as she was wheeled into her room. She was frail and ill and yet her eyes still sparkled. I actually wrote the piece as an homage to her life.

      My own health is a seesaw at present but I have lots of loving support.

      Hope all is well with you,

      My health is still a seesaw but I have lots of loving support.

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