A Poem about a Mother’s Grief and Loss
This past week we had a funeral for a 23 year old whose alcohol problems caused an untimely death*. During the funeral — which was one of the more powerful funerals I’ve ever worked — the mother of this young man somehow mustered the strength to read the following poem. I don’t know who wrote the poem, and neither did the mother; and, honestly, it’s doesn’t even come close to having great poetic structure.
What it does manage to do is capture the honest, grieving soul of a mother who had to bury her child in a way that I’ve never heard enunciated.
Don’t Tell Me
Please don’t tell me you know how I feel,
Unless you have lost your child too.
Please don’t tell me my broken heart will heal,
Because that is just not true.
Please don’t tell me my son is in a better place,
Though it is true, I want him here with me.
Don’t tell me someday I’ll hear his voice, see his face,
Beyond today I cannot see.
Dont tell me it is time to move on,
Because I cannot.
Dont tell me to face the fact he is gone,
Because denial is something I can’t stop.
Don’t tell me to be thankful for the time I had,
Because I wanted more.
Don’t tell me when I am my old self you will be glad,
I’ll never be as I was before.
What you can tell me is you will be here for me,
That you will listen when I talk of my child.
You can share with me my precious memories,
You can even cry with me for a while.
And please don’t hesitate to say his name,
Because it is something I long to hear everyday.
Friend please realize that I can never be the same,
But if you stand by me,
You may like the new person I become someday.
*I’ve changed some of the details of the funeral I mentioned above in order to protect the family’s privacy. If you know which funeral I’m referring to, please continue to comfort them and pray for them.