Category: Death & Loss

A New Day

A New Day.


What do we do, come that day,

when walk we must through vacant streets,
when frore and tremulous become the nights,
and windowpanes with autumn’s dew weep?

What do we do, come that day,
when summertide flees from bitter air’s chase,
when even the trees forsake their leaves,
And swallows depart to a fitter place?

For that day has come,

and now we weep,

as the earth reclaims another,

their souls now sleep.

But come winter’s call new snow will fall,
then
autumn’s death will be entombed.

And as morning rays gleam through curtain seams,
New seedlings in our hearts will bloom.

Then we will know that a new day has come. 

This Poem is Dedicated to the Memory of Rhonda Elkins and her daughter, Kaitlyn.

Sky

To Rhonda.

 

Almost a year ago, I wrote something for your daughter.

 •

I never thought at that time that soon I would be writing similar lines for you.

So as I try to find ways to make sense of the pain of finding out that you left us, just as Kaitlyn had left us, I can only come out with these words…

…That through your daughter’s passing,
you had come into our lives.

Through your pain,
the world was moved.

Through your words,
 eyes were opened.

Through your tears,
hearts were touched, lives changed.

And through your perseverance,
Kaitlyn lived on.

But even as you worked unceasingly,
Your soul continued to break, your heart grieved.

And now you are again with your daughter, your bright shining star.

Goodbye, Rhonda. Now you can finally rest.

◊ A Poem Dedicated to the Memory of Rhonda ◊

Sky

 Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower, we will find… rather… strength in what remains behind…

•      •      •

.For those who may not have known Rhonda, here are the links to her writing.

My Bright Shining Star: A Mother’s True Story of Brilliance, Love, and Suicide

My Bright Shining Star, a blog

To Say Goodbye.

Moisture burning her vision.
In the dark, it hides her eyes.
Teardrops.
Clinging onto her, one falls onto her lap
and stains her skirt.
She mourns.

Comfort her.
Tell her it will be okay.
That the shadow of a moment
may not stretch into tomorrow’s light.
That the ocean,
at its blackest
is still a reflection of the sky,
and she will not drown.

But the tide has come to take you home.
To her smile and her strength
she bids farewell.
Her heart, a piece borrowed and now returned,
departs with you.
She says goodbye.

phoebe-chi-grandpa

 

The Tragedy Behind a Poem.

We did it. We took it out.

Slowly, the oxygen saturation dropped.
Gradually, the alarms sounded.
Insisting. Imploring us to do something.
We turned them off.
Made him comfortable.
But we knew we couldn’t hide the truth.

We were letting him suffocate.

~     ~     ~

A lucid man.
A failing lung. A decision made.
A breathing tube placed—just temporarily—
until the lungs healed.
Until they got stronger. Until he got stronger.
But I saw the regret the moment it was inserted.
Nevertheless. We agreed to give it a chance.

But days passed. Then weeks.
No improvement.
Being alert, he communicated with us well.
Through his writing, I got to know him well.
His adventures. His best memory. His regrets in life.
He was a good man.

But a man who never desired to live like this.

While the family disputed on what course of action to take next,
he remained calm and unwavering.

“Please let me go.” was what he would say.

Then finally the moment came.

The time to say goodbye.

~     ~     ~

That day, I let myself weep during rounds.
In front of a crowd of stoic faces.
To weep over a friend.
To weep over a human being.
Over his courage.
An impossible decision.
The loss of a life.
Everything.

Because I didn’t want to do it. But I did.

I let go.

•      •      •

“To Let Go” – the poem

To Kaitlyn, a Girl I Will Never Know.

I’ve been wanting to write this to you for a while. I go to work, and though I’ve never met you, I think about you. I talk to a patient, and while I’m standing there, there you are again, tugging at my heart. Maybe it’s because I know of your mom, and I know of her heartbreak. Maybe it’s because I know you will never be able to do what you were meant to do.

This is what I know about you. You were a medical student. You went to school in North Carolina. You cared for people. And you wanted to care for them at the greatest capacity possible. You wanted to help people during their times of sickness, strengthen them in their weakness. But your life was robbed from beneath you. So this will never happen. And the world has lost another great physician.

I hear you were a loving person, one who illuminated the day of all whom you came across. Of course you did. You were your mother’s shining star. But what no one knew, and what you didn’t reveal until your departure, was that you were also suffering. Deeply. But you were good at hiding it with your smile. And because it was a genuine smile, we were beguiled. Especially those closest to you.

bench

When I think of you, my heart aches. Maybe it’s because I feel that I understand you better than I have a right to. Maybe it is because I once smiled a similar smile. I weep because of what you did, and because I think I understand why.

When I think of you, my soul is anguished. You were going to be a remarkable physician. You would have touched others with your empathy, changed lives with your care. They would have remembered you, not simply because you were the one who eased their suffering and comforted their souls, but because your spirit would have brightened their lives. No one had the right to take that away from you.

I’m sorry I never got to know you.

But even now, you will not be forgotten.

◊ A Tribute to her Mother: Rhonda Elkins ◊

◊ A Poem Dedicated to Kaitlyn and her Mother ◊