Dying Alone


She keeps telling herself
“This is not about you”
Herself answers
“Then why oh why does it feel like it is”
She’s drawn back to the cold dark car park
Hears again the words “I’m sorry to tell you
There is the body of a young man In the flat”
She can still hear the compassion
In the voice of the young policeman
Feel the arms of her now dead husband
As they folded into each other
Bereft
They’d lived in fear of this day for years
Their precious son
Who’d first spoken of his wish to die
At age 11
Was dead
He was 26 years old

Then she read the words
Of a fox newsreader in the US
Calling Robin Williams
A coward…
His ignorance left her speechless
All she could do was
Scream
In her empty room
Empty home
She thought of the family
She’d never know
How that word would slice and burn
When they were already
Broken by bereavement

In 10 days
It will be 15 years since her only child
Ended his life
Tears bleed down her cheeks
Tears for her son
Tears for her husband
Tears for herself
Tears for a family she’ll never meet
She knows Robin’s death
Is not her loss to mourn
And yet on some level
It’s everyone’s sorrow
When a fellow human is so ill
Ending their life
Is their only option
For her
The saddest thing of all
Is the dying alone

Tricia 13/08/2014

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 13, 2014, in Poems. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. The fox news reader sounds like an ignorant A-Hole. I am sorry that current events have brought such sad memories to the fore. Take care Tricia.

  2. Tricia my lovely friend, this is such a beautiful tribute to all those who are inflicted wirh an invisible illness that many will never want or care to understand. What ignorance there is in the world to make such a cutting, rude and obnoxious comment. It certainly says a great deal about that particular person in the one word they used. And I feel for you, and can understand how memories surged for you. I love you to bits; you will always have me by your side. ❤️ Xxx

  3. Oh, Tricia, this is my favourite of all the ones of yours that I’ve read. I can understand why Robin Williams’ death would trigger these memories …

  4. Tricia, what a beautiful poem –searing. This means more to me than anything else I’ve read about his death. (I can’ t watch fox anything. It’s just what I’d expect. But bless you for making use of that person’s ignorance to create this poem.) With love…

    • Dear, dear Barbara, your words are a gift. It was you who encouraged me to go fearward, to that place where pain and love join forces to create. With so much love and gratitude. xx

  5. Tricia, since yesterday you have been on my mind. I absolutely knew that the world’s focus on Robin Williams’ death was going to impact you. I am so deeply sad for all who have experienced the pain of a loved one leaving this world alone in such a way. I don’t have a lot of insight, but I do have empathy. And I hurt for you as I hurt for the Williams’ family. It should make us all in some way respond with tears that “bleed down” our cheeks. I could repeat “I’m so sorry” a thousand times and it won’t really help, but with the limits of speech, I just send you my love. I am moved much beyond words by this you’ve written. oxo

    • Debra, I’m so grateful that you are part of my life. Your empathy and sincerity help to hold me up during the most painful of times. And then your wonderful cyber tours of CA. bring back so many wonderful memories for me. Your words do help, they truly do.
      With love Xx

  6. Reblogged this on Brknbtrfly's Blog and commented:
    This isn’t my work, but I did really like it. It says so much.

  7. This is a beautiful yet haunting poem. Thanks for sharing it.

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