Words and Wounds

Words and Wounds

Words are my constant companions
My friends and confidants
There are days I loathe the words
Brave, courageous, determined
Not all days
Just the really difficult days
Stoic is a stand out on the loathe list
A tiny pebble
Hiding in my shoe
Rolling and rubbing
Until eventually
The skin blisters and breaks
Then there’s the word
I want to write this blight in large black letters
On a huge white sheet of paper
Cut out each letter
Tear the letters into tiny pieces
Put them into a rusty old jam tin
And set fire to them
When the black ash of closure has cooled
I want to take the tin to the top of a mountain
Shake out the ash
Allowing the winds to swirl and dissipate
This monstrous mantra forevermore
Because with death
There is no closure
We can relearn our lives
In the wake of absence
Savour our memories
Even learn to laugh again
But the illusion of closure
Is a pain inducing panacea
An exhausting trek along a road to nowhere
Forty years ago today
My son was born
Thirteen years ago he died
Most days I live in peace
With his absent presence
But today the pain is as raw
As the day we discovered his body
I know from experience
Tomorrow will be a better day
Today will be a mixture of longing and laughter
Crumpling and climbing up again
As the kaleidoscope of memory rotates
There will be no closure
And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Tricia 18/9/2012

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 18, 2012, in Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Extraordinary piece. Thankyou!

  2. I think of him often but especially leading up to significant days like today. My kids love listening to me recall our adventures together.
    Your gift with words is astounding.

    • My dear Sarah,
      To hear from you today of all days is a precious gift. You are woven into the tapestry of his life.
      I’ve been trying to remember the name of the little French restaurant just near Ringwood the four of us went to for one of his birthdays. You were both very young, but enjoyed the evening as much as Rod and I. There was a French theme for a time, what with the food and Emmanuel. I think that’s the name of the movie he so thoughtfully shared with you and Amanda.
      Much love to you and the family. I hope life is treating you kindly.

  3. Such emotion. Such pain. I loved the ending, so defiant. Great write.

  4. Tricia,,

    I pressed the ‘like’ button and wish I hadn’t. This poem can it be ‘liked’, it can only be felt and I feel it.

    I feel the grief in your words and although the word ‘courage’ may grate on you at times this also is what I feel in this.

    And I understand what you say about closure and how it doesn’t happen but you wouldnt want it any other way.

    I am with you today and only wish I was nearer to give you some physical contact.

    With much love to to and many hugs of comfort

    Christine xx

  5. My goodness, Tricia. I am in awe of the way your words come together so artfully describing what I know is really indescribable! A birthday has to be the most emotionally complex of all other days in the year. I can believe the memories all flood together, the happy, the painful, when he was a little boy and the young man you miss so much.

    And closure is kind of an obscene sentiment. It is in the same category as when I hear someone say it’s time to “move on” from grief. What I hear you saying is that you have no interest in closing the door of your heart against the pain, if it also means you close your heart to the memories. That’s an amazing perspective.

    The line, “We can relearn our lives In the wake of absence” really resonates.

    Tricia, this is powerful stuff, my friend. I send you all the strength and encouragement I can possibly relay to you. oxo Debra

  6. I just lost my 23 year old brother on August 3. I don’t even know how to put into words the grief I am feeling. I am in the military so I can’t just take time off of work to grieve. I have to go about my day like everything is fine so that I can get my work done. When I’m out I wanna be home and when I’m home I wanna be out. I feel like I’m losing my mind sometimes. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life aside from losing my mother seven years ago to cancer. My brother was a soldier in the Army. He is my hero, my best friend, my angel and my baby brother. I know he’s in Heaven waiting for me and the rest of our family but it seems like I’ll never be able to smile sincerely again until I join him in Heaven. Please Lord bring me peace.

    • I’m so sorry to read of your brother’s death. I only just found your comment because it had been put in my spam folder for some reason.
      I don’t share your religious beliefs but I respect them and believe grief is universal no matter what we believe. My thoughts are with you as you begin this most painful of journeys.
      Take care

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