Navigating the ocean of sadness and grief after losing a beloved is a universal experience. This day last year, I wrote a poem for my Dad’s anniversary, as part of a creative dance/writing project. Today, I want to share it with you in case it resonates with you. And in case it gives you hope that you, too, can come to terms with a great loss. It was first published as part of Coisceim’s Love Letters project 2020.
Ten Years Ago ©Marese Hickey 2020
Ten years ago today
You drew your last breath
In a bizarre way I was glad
Because you were free.
I watched you labouring for breath for a week.
It was a long dying.
I would have done anything to save you the pain
But that was your journey,
Mine was a journey through the landscape of loss.
No map, only rivers of grief excavating down soul deep.
I stood at your graveside and howled.
People stepped away from the rawness of my pain.
Except one friend, who held me close
And never told me to shush.
Once, before you lost consciousness,
I came into your room.
You looked at me and laughed at the absurdity of it all.
Ten years on
I talk to you every day.
I ask you for inspiration with DIY
And laugh at having flatpack bits left over.
I cry when I miss you so I cry often.
But then I always say, I know you are okay now, I know it.
The tears subside.
I’m not sure when it happened,
But one day I discovered that
I was free too.