I have a gift
I did not want this gift, it meant suffering and pain
The pain because of love.
A love which had manifested itself in a child.
The child brought its love to me and asked for my love.
Sometimes I did not understand this.
Sometimes I was to busy to listen quietly to this love.
But the love persisted; it was always three.
And one day the child died.
The loved remained.
This time the love came in other forms.
This time there were memories,
there was sadness and anguish.
And believable pain.
One day a stranger came and stood with me.
The stranger said," I understand",
You see the stranger had also been this way.
We talked and cried together.
The stranger became my friend as no other had.
My friend said" I am always here" and was.
One day I lifted my head
I noticed another grieving, gray and drawn with pain
I approached and spoke.
I touched and comforted.
I said, I will walk with you",
and I did.
I also had the gift.
Joe Lawley, TCF Co Founder
Coventry, England, 1969
If they only knew that when I speak of him, I am not being morbid.
proclaiming his life. I am learning to live with his absence. For 26
years, he was a part of my life, born, nurtured, molded and loved; this
cannot be put aside to please those who are uncomfortable with my grief.
Where ever I am, I am with him, I am seeing his face, hearing his voice,
remembering his laughter, recalling his excitement and joy in life.
If only they knew that when I weep, I weep for what
he has lost, for
the life he loved, for the music which filled his very being, and for all
he still longed to see and hear. For all that he loved and lost, I cry.
If only they knew the feeling of deep grief, the emptiness, the
the endlessness of death ; if only they understood the insanity of
platitudes so freely spoken that "time heals"' that"
you'll get over it, " that "crying wont bring him back",
that ," he's in a better place ", that God only takes the best", and "
get on with your life already," and realize that these are more of an
insult than a comfort ; that the warm and compassionate touch of another
means so much more.
If they only knew that we will not find true peace and tranquility
they are prepared to try to stand in our shoes. We will not
be understood until they learn to understand compassionately
and we will not be heard until they learn to listen with their hearts.
Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another, "One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she's going?" Up, up, up it slowly went... Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return...
"That's funny!" said one water bug to another... " Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second... "Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third... No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.
Finally one of the water bugs gathered its friends together. "I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why." "We promise" they said solemnly.
One spring day not long after the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and fallen into the broad and free lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come over his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail.
Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings... The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from his new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself above the water.
He had become a dragonfly. Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere.
By and by the new dragonfly landed happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.
Then the dragonfly remembered the promise. without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water...
"I can't return!" he said in dismay. "At least I tried. But I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air...
Yesterday was a year sent I buried my son, That's when I thought my pain had begun How naive I was not to fear The hell awaiting in the second year.
Memories have dimmed, desolation's increased The world doesn't give a damn that my child is deceased. The phony face and smile I'm compelled Conceal my silent scream, "It's just not fair!"
At bereavement groups, though I weep and moan, I find solace in the credo, "We need not walk alone." I beseech all "civilians" with families intact, Don't judge my grief, don't tell me how to act!
Time has stripped away the shock but my wounds are raw, I wish I could die, too - I can't take it anymore! The torment in my soul never, ever ends.. I live because I'm blessed with Compassionate Friends.