30 Years On #poetry #bereavement

30 years since you walked out that door
into another world, unknown to me
and did you know, that fateful night 
the wounds you would be opening?
for 30 years and more
no doubt
unending till eternity 
should close my eyes
as they closed yours
and I can never know 
the details: where did you go in?
I hope that it was high up
that your neck broke with the impact
and you didn’t struggle with the seething waters
though they said ‘asphyxia’ so probably this was not the case.
Your body travelled downriver 
as your soul rose and we agonised over
whether you would be coming home
knowing full well you could not.
I have never felt a shred of anger
no, it isn’t anger
just a hunger to understand better
what exactly drove you to the brink
and as for me: in those 8 years you gave me enough love
to last a humble human lifetime and many more years spanning the bridge into infinity
I may have lost my way
it’s understandable 
we’re all carried by our own river in life 
the undercurrent, deeper than any hurt or fear
is love.

Just working through some feelings this morning. It’s 30 years to the day since my mum committed suicide by drowning. It’s always been a tough one to get my head around, especially since I became a mum myself. Needless to say, she was suffering from many mental health issues, full of tablets and alcohol, and no-one seemed able to help her. I still miss her very much and sometimes I think of the words of Don McLean:

This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

38 thoughts on “30 Years On #poetry #bereavement

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  1. Suicide is just awful, particularly for those left behind. You are very brave to share your feelings and it is a beautiful poem.

  2. Ingrid, I am sad for the indescribable pain you must have experienced thirty years ago, and that you still carry with you – even if to a lesser degree, how can you not? Your brave and honest writing is part of your healing journey and your sharing will help others. The pain and unanswered questions that follow someone taking their own life, never leaves us, as too many people know. Talking (and writing) about your pain, and your mom’s, brings more awareness to this serious issue. 🙏🏻💗

    1. Thank you Michele. I think it used to be something that people just didn’t talk about, but unless we talk about it how can we help others who are suffering, and improve our understanding?

  3. Oh Ingrid,
    What a beautiful song to listen to while I respond here to your astute and beautiful words. Tears run down my face thinking about whe you have been through. The pain of your mom leaving who loved you so much, could never be understood as a child. She would be so proud of you. The depth of your writing is an expression of the river of love that runs through you both. I think often this happens when a mom in particular suffers so internally, she wants to set her child free of the pain and not pass it along. Of course we can never save our children from pain if we live or we die, but we sure try. Holding you closely today while your shared your soul with us. I so admire that about you in your writing. ❤️ Cindy

  4. This is such a moving post Ingrid! Our mums are very special. I am sad she was taken so early in life and with so many troubles. Your words gave the memory of your loss real substance…

    1. Thank you ❤️ I’m so sorry you lost your friend like this also. Very hard to understand and painful for all involved. 🙏

  5. Beautiful poem, full of love! Ingrid, I found it touching that even in her pain, your mother let you know how much she loved you, and you will never forget that you were loved. <3 My husband, who was a devoted father, died when our two children were ten and twelve. That is such a difficult thing! Thank you for sharing the lovely poem. All the best! Cheryl

    1. I am sorry for the loss of your husband and your children’s father. It must have been a very tough time. I hope you are all well and happy 😊

  6. Ingrid, so sad, but tender, too. At least you know you were loved, and she was troubled. I can see where this song–which is beautiful (Susan Werner also does a lovely version) would touch you and give you some comfort. I’m so sorry for your loss. I imagine though long ago, it’s always with you. 💙

    1. Yes it’s one of those things which never leaves but I’ve learned to deal with. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words 🙏

  7. Oh Ingrid, what a staggering loss to endure as a child. I am so sorry. What I have gleaned about suicide is, their pain is so great they want it to end. I wonder if they have any idea of the pain they leave behind. Thank you for sharing this poem. I am so sorry that you suffered such a loss.

    1. I think she told herself she would inflict more pain if she stayed, which wasn’t true of course, but our minds can tell us all kinds of lies when we’re unwell.

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