Six Months Without My Mother

Summer turned to winter; half a year is gone.
Six months, 6 – so neat, it doesn’t sound so long.

My grief is not neat.

My journey is not linear.

My sorrow does not rhyme
(most of the time).

This marker feels an empty one to me,
Its tidiness finding no resonance in my unsettled heart.

I have not found whatever I was seeking for today,
Perhaps a way to keep my fears at bay?
But I have found within this night instead
Merely that you are still, and forever, dead.


20 thoughts on “Six Months Without My Mother

  1. My heart to yours. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I am not expert, but as I have journeyed with my grief, it has never left me. Yet my response when the loss taps me on the shoulder has changed. When I look back, I think I grieved differently everyday, every tap. I think it is honorable that you are willing to write your loss in words of poetry. The poem itself is very well written, woven with emotion and love of your mother. Thank you.

  2. Hi Laurel,

    I have just found your site via Becomingherself.

    Your poem is so very moving and I can relate to it so much.

    I was going to say it’s a coincidence that I found this poem today but a friend of mine would rather call it “synchronicity”. I have just written a poem about my mum. You may like to check it out.

    I will be back to read more of your work



    1. Hi Christine,
      How lovely that you found me through one of my very favourite blogs 🙂 Your poem was so beautiful and moving – I am glad we could relate to each other’s experience so much. What superb synchronicity indeed!

  3. As always, Laurel, you touched my heart and reminded me of what really matters, causing me to consider that what empties us is what necessitates a sharing to comfort and even heal beyond our own pain.

  4. Beautiful Laurel. Your last two lines are so lovely — very reminiscent of a favorite poem of mine by Edna St. Vincent Millay. You have struck the same chord of shocking permanence that she also struck.. I’m including it here – I think it will resonate with you even though it speaks to a love between a woman and her partner. But we know that loss is loss and love is love and that is all. My young husband died 14 years ago and I still remember the first time I read this poem. I lost my breath and stood still, unmoving, as though I had, quite literally, been struck.

    ” Time Does Not Bring Relief: You All Have Lied ” By Edna St. Vincent Millay

    Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
    Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
    I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
    I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
    The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
    And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
    But last year’s bitter loving must remain
    Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
    There are a hundred places where I fear
    To go,—so with his memory they brim.
    And entering with relief some quiet place
    Where never fell his foot or shone his face
    I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
    And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

    1. Thank you for sharing that very moving poem, which I had not come across before. I was also very sad to hear of your own loss – my own fear of losing my beloved husband floods me with overwhelming sympathy (and imagined empathy). Sending you a hug.

  5. I was just thinking, after reading this, how hard it can be to show others what’s in our hearts. I have poems (many, many of them) that I wrote over a period of months after my own mother died and I don’t think I’ve shared any of them online. Maybe I will be able to find the courage to do what you’re doing so much here.

    A hug from me too.

    1. Thank you, and it would be really lovely to read your poems, if it feels right to you to share them at any point.

      I saw on your blog that you will be vanishing for a couple of weeks. I hope you’re okay, and I look forward to catching up in 2012.

      1. I’m making some changes, had to close Absurd Old Bird. Hopefully I’ve emailed you about the changes, if not, email me and I’ll let you know.

  6. Hi, Laurel

    What struck me immediately when I read this is how honest and courageous you are in your writing. You say what is, and that is one of the reasons why your writing is so compelling. The poem quoted by writingms is so apt. And how right you are: linear time tries to impose order on us, but it doesn’t work like that at all.

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