Alone

I see them in my office, their look slightly haunted by the memories of having been here before, though not alone. Their fingers absent-mindlessly trace the circle of their wedding band, as we talk not about their own illness, but about the struggle of getting up each day in a house grown bleak by absence. We talk about family, their church, support groups for the bereaved. They tell me how they all of a sudden look up from a book, wanting to read aloud the passage that struck them, and realizing, again, that the person who shared their days and nights all these years is no longer there. After each encounter like this, I come home and give my love an extra hard hug and a kiss, having been reminded once more how ephemeral our lives are, and how each moment of shared happiness is such a great gift. Loss is an inevitable part of our lives. Memories may help to sustain us, though the bittersweet price is the painful longing for the one we can no longer touch. The following poem speaks to this struggle.

Alone

i’m trying to follow your wishes

work hard

find something you love to do

and just go for it

we had plans

the future before the diagnosis

art and painting for me

politics for you.

but after five months

the artist brushes are heavy

they seem stuck in rubber cement and

moving them around the canvas

to put the paint down

became difficult.

i’m sure you’d say just push through

don’t get lost in your head.

easy words for you

i was there

when your screams reverberated through the city in the middle of the night

i was there

to hold you, to give you kisses

to whisper hope in your ear

yes you had plenty of friends and they were all very encouraging

but I was there

when death leaned hard and

you struggled to keep him hidden from friends and family

you’re not here now

to help me

when I could really use your hugs and whispers

to carry me along

and lighten the brushes

brighten the days

erase the clouds

when emptiness heaps up and

rushes over me

in an avalanche of loneliness.

Frank DeCicco

This entry was posted in America, Death and Dying, Family, Happiness, Health and wellness, Loneliness, Marriage, Medicine, Poetry, Thoughts & Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Alone

  1. Nawazish says:

    Amazing write up!

  2. Wonderful writing!

  3. Jorge Medico says:

    Thanks for taking the time. It’s always good to know when a message is received 🙂 Be well.

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