Writing to someone who just lost a loved one

If you are on the point of facing the loss of a loved one, or just have, or you know someone who is doing so … you might find this blank verse poem helpful.

bereavement

No matter what a loved one has or will have left you for you to cherish, what matters is not what that is, but how you use it

I wrote it the other night because a wonderful family I know are about to lose their mother, who has been a friend of mine for many years. I’m not sure if this poem can reach out to that family, or indeed whether this would be appropriate now anyway.
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For more articles on how to write about bereavement and other difficult, painful experiences, click here.
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You can only judge by what would you might find helpful in the circumstances and in mine, yes – I will. I just hope others may find similar comfort from it.

Your loved one’s legacy

It’s not about what might have been
It’s about what has been
It’s about understanding what has been
Blending that into what it will be for your own future
And ensuring that this legacy will travel on into future generations.
Your children. Their children.
No matter what a loved one has or will have left you for you to cherish
What matters is not what that is, but how you use it
How you use it and how you make it work for yourself and others
Is the most priceless inheritance anyone can leave you.
And just because that “what has been” may not seem obvious to you yet
Don’t fuss.
Don’t try to work it out.
It will find you, although it may take a while.
And once it has found you, you will know
Your grief will abate for a minute or two
Your sorrow will seem just a little less agonising before resuming
Nonetheless capture this well.
Use it well.
Use it well for the sake of your lost loved one.
Remember, it’s not about what might have been
It’s about what has been
And it’s about understanding what has been
That will allow you to capture it well
And use it well.
Grieve, scream, punch walls and gravitate
Towards slimy solutions spat out by the woo-woos
Oh, please! What a nonsense
Remember what has been
Not what might have been.
Cherish the good, dump out the bad.
Use the “what has been” to learn what you can
About yourself. But before you go on a crusade
To help others like you who are grieving, so true
Do yourself a big favour. Admit you are worth it.
Like someone once said, “physician, heal thyself.”
Heal yourself first and it takes quite a time
In fact healing creeps up on you
When you least expect it, little by little
Until healed moments become longer and stronger
That’s all part of moving on
From what might have been, to what was – and now is.
Capture it well, use it well
A legacy that will live on in you and generations to come.

What advice could you add to this topic?

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