There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
So it is hard to get around it.
Yet we squeeze by with “How are you?” And “I’m fine”
And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.
We talk about the weather.
We talk about work.
We talk about everything – except the elephant in the room.
There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant as we talk together.
It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all.
But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.
Oh, please say her name.
Oh, please, say “Abi” again.
Oh, please, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
For if we talk about her death,
Perhaps we can talk about her life.
Can I say “Abi” to you and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, then you are leaving me
In a room…
With an elephant…
(by Terry Kettering)
Another poem we chose for Abi’s church service, read by another uncle.
You were so very, very special
And were so from the start
We held you in our arms
But mainly in our hearts.
And like a single drop of rain
That on still waters fall,
Your life did ripples make
And touched the lives of all.
You’ve gone to play with angels
In heaven up above
So we’ll keep our special memories
And treasure them with love
Although you, our darling daughter,
Were with us just a while
You’ll live on in our hearts
With a sweet remembered smile.
A poem we chose to be read at Abi’s church funeral service, read beautifully by one of Abi’s uncles. It was one we’d read to her in the past and reminded us of her.
I’ve watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! – not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
Continue reading “To a Butterfly (1801)”
We chose the complete version of this well-known poem to be the only reading at Abi’s brief cremation service.
Finding a reading which meant something and was not overly sentimental was very difficult. Nothing seemed to be fitting for Abi’s ‘final word’… nothing could be. But this poem spoke to us, it was both a comfort and an expression of grief; it doesn’t pretend it’s all okay but that what has happened and how we feel is both human and spiritual.
Continue reading “When tomorrow starts without me…”
Please, Mum and Dad…
My hands are small, I don’t mean to spill my drink.
My legs are short – please slow down so I can keep up.
Don’t slap my hands when I touch something bright and pretty. I don’t understand.
Please look at me when I talk to you. It lets me know you are really listening.
My feelings are tender – don’t nag me all day. Let me make mistakes without feeling stupid.
Don’t expect the bed I make or the picture I draw to be perfect. Just love me for trying.
Remember, I am a child, not a small adult. Sometimes I don’t understand what you’re saying.
I love you so much. Please love me just for being myself, not just for the things I can do.
A beautiful poem written by my older sister in a comment, which I think deserves a post of its own.
I live each day with you, understanding the pain,
Will life ever one day, be the same?
Each heartbreaking moment reliving what was,
Life as we knew it burst into dust.
Continue reading “Guest blog: To my grieving sister… (a poem)”