Treasure Island

RoseAnn V. Shawiak

(October 6,1950 / New Jersey)

A Capsule Of Grief


When my Mom died, I didn't ever want to have friends or relationships again, thinking, what's the sense? they'll only die too! .
Just wanting to stay home, be safe, not have to reach out to anyone.
It's natural and normal when you're hurting so much, because the grief is so personal. It's hard to share it.
There is no advice to give, the only thing I know of to do is walk through the grief, however long it will take.
It doesn't get any easier, but the time between it's sadness moves farther apart.
Even now, I think of Mom often, still cry, still feel empty and disconnected, wish I could be with her.
Looking ahead, fearing the death of family members in the future - I don't want to experience their loss. yet I know that's impossible.
After the death of my Mom, I kept grief together in a capsule - like a watermelon.
It was soft and mushy, but held together by a rind.
Tears would often escape and flow out when the plug was removed by a thought or memory.
Then one day I just couldn't handle the grief, sorrow and pain anymore.
It felt like I was on a tall building and just let the watermelon slip from my hands.
It fell - I fell - crashing to the ground, bursting open, splashing everywhere - making a big mess.
Emptiness I had hidden inside the rind was now exposed - intense feelings of loss and abandonment filled my heart and mind.
Somehow my soul took over - helped me to continue walking through the intense sadness, sorrow, emptiness, disconnectedness.
Never have I felt so alone in this world. So hurt. So empty.
Mom was gone. All reason for life was now gone.
Wanting her back - but like she was before the surgery she went through.
It didn't happen and I continued suffering - I couldn't get through it.
I'd pick up seeds sometimes, trying to plant them - make them grow.
Each time an image, memory or picture would come to mind, my tears would overflow and water the seeds I planted.
They never bloomed, Mom never came back to me.
No longer am I the same person, my entire life has changed and I have been affected deeply by her death in all aspects of my life.
For years I have kept everyone at a distance, wanting only to be alone when I wasn't caring for my family.
Then I lost good friends, because I distanced myself, being afraid of getting close to anyone else, not wanting to experience any more loss or death.
My silence drove them away - I didn't realize it at the time.
When I started to look about me again, there was no one there for me - I was doubly abandoned because of my grief.
No one understood what I was going through, I couldn't be there for anyone - not myself or family.
No one realized the intense pain and sorrow filling me and they unintentionally made it deepen as they left.
If someone had just stuck it out through the silent distancing and been there listening, talking, being with me in silence - maybe I could've dealt with Mom's death a tiny bit better.
Knowing someone was there who cared maybe would have helped keep me somewhat attached to the world.
In a small way, a friend's love can grow beyond the grief just enough to show their love and caring by allowing you to BE - even if they can't do anything else.
To be there through the silence - and when you begin peeking about, smile, reach out and say, 'I waited. I cared. I let you BE until you could break the silence of grief and live again'.

Submitted: Thursday, March 07, 2013
Edited: Thursday, March 07, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Finally letting go because of my best friend, Rose, who showed me how to laugh, feel joy and live again, just by being there for me. Wanda reaching out to me in friendship also, helping me to grow in other ways.

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