On July 7, 2021, my greatest cheerleader, most enduring audience, loving critic, incomparable supporter, and most beloved mother, Jane Cook, passed away from this life. Life will never be the same. Writing will never be the same. The following are some pathetic attempts at thoughts on her passing, in the knowledge that words can never express what we feel with great loss and great love. As I wrote the following, I thought of others I loved who have passed and those I love now and foolishly hope will never die. Friends –Seize the Day and let those you love, know it – right now. Jane
#1 Your Love Is Still Here
A lot of people died today,
but only one was mine.
A lot of people passed away.
I wonder, which were Thine?
I know not what is at Life’s End.
A lot of people can pretend,
that Death is simply Heaven’s Bend;
but no one truly comprehends.
All that I know?– You were my friend.
And I shall strive to live the part,
Your love created in my heart.
And I will trust, through all my tears,
that your Love still is here.
#2 I Only Know Now
And do not say to me, “It will…”
I only know what is no longer now.
And do not tell me “It will get better…”
Today I can only live in this moment,
that this bleak Finality “is”.
My eschatology veered sharply from yours,
the moment that my Some\body died.
The End Times are upon me
and I will live with ashes on my soul
in a world that cannot bear the sight of
the ashes I long to wear on my head.
If only the world could see the black armband
constricting the muscles around my heart.
Some\body died today; Some\body who cared for
and was cared for by me;
that first and ultimate person,
who made the “I”, in “me”, a “We”;
that “We” is now forever and ever lost.
And like a limb lopped off of my being,
the ghost of remembrance of what used to be,
gives me no joy.
Encouragements of what I might be able to do someday
without my lost limb,
give me no comfort.
Loss is all. Loss is now.
You long to leap straight and with daring ease,
back to the past of memories,
or to the future, which you believe,
is free of sorrow and heavenly.
Be free in knowing,
I do not begrudge you, your need or your worldview.
But please do not offer it to me.
It is a poor substitution for my grief.
Death for me, has brought endless ending,
and Now, is only dross.
And in my loss,
the emptiness and lack of meaning,
is all I can hold on to.
I cannot see the shore, until I have drowned,
and all I can cling to
is what made me feel safe,
and gave Love its meaning
for me, for us.
I have lost the one voice that’s been inside,
my head, my heart, for all these years.
Please keep your platitudes and thoughts you mean to cheer me.
I will, however, grateful be, if you would silently,
endure with me my tears.
Time has finally condensed the story,
constricting like a deadly boa,
to Only Now.
The Now is the ache of the battering ram of emotions,
the unbidden memories that spell “no more”,
the gaping holes in my heart,
the “what ifs” and “shoulds” and “could haves, should haves, would haves”
… if only.
Oh yes, with time, wounds stop seeping,
and may, in time, become scars.
Yes, duties and needs will stop my weeping,
but for now, my strength is bleeding out.
And in these lost and mournful hours,
I can only know Now, in my heart.
For the You that was mine, and the life that was “ours”,
for me, in life-left, left me ever alone,
from the moment for me, we were finally apart.
Going forward tomorrow I do not know how,
and your memories are slicing me through.
For today, it is true I may only know Now,
Yet one thing I do know — you loved me,
and Oh! How I loved you.
I will always miss you Mom, and I wish I could tell you that again. I will always love you, Mom and I wish that I had told you that more.
Jane, July 18, 2021