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Sunday, April 17, 2011

M is for Mourning

I haven't always been the perfect daughter! Who is? My mother and I have always had a somewhat volatile relationship. Three and a half years ago, we had a terrible falling out. I chose not allow her behavior in front of my children to continue.

I stopped speaking to her, and because of my choice, the remainder of my family chose not to speak to me. I mourned this "death" for a very long time. I wrote this poem long before I knew she was ill. Dying from brain cancer.


The mourning happens
When I miss you most,

Each longing, a small death,
Leading me through our
family crypt of dysfunction.

I break the lock, swatting cobwebs of tangled
memories from my face, spewing angry epitaphs,
etched into your granite heart.

Is your skin now paper, thin?
Have you forgotten what it is, you need to remember?
Or do you prefer age as your excuse.

The sharp shards of your slated words
impale me, one at a time.

"I. Wish."

The “Never,” scraping, flaying me,
The “had,” exposing, tearing away,

I inhale, turn back to my life without you,
Shrug off the mourning cloak
Of my life, of you.
I lock the crypt once more.

As of today, she is home from the nursing home, Hospice caring for her.

I saw my mother two months ago, she still recognized me, her grandchildren, and my husband. She could hardly speak. But she knew us, knew we had come, that I was there.

We've visited her twice since. Her last words to me were 4, 5 , 6, 7. This is how she responded to all questions, counting. Counting down, counting seconds?

Now she is completely lost now, locked inside her head. No more words.

I love you, Mom!


  1. Joyce, that was a beautiful poem. Loved it. So sorry. But I'm glad you were able to see her and she recognized you.

  2. Very nice post, Joyce. It was quite touching. Well written too.

  3. Very well written and touching post.

  4. I've just lost my brother and I empathize. Mourning has many aspects to it. Lovely poem. Best wishes.

  5. Very touching. I'm so sorry about your mom, but I'm glad I found your blog. I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

  6. Hi Joyce, thanks for sharing those intimate thoughts. Sorry for your loss. D