Grief: Healing Through Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


[Part 2 – Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother]

I processed grief over Mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s through poetry writing. The fact that caregivers—such as myself and many other poets—can relieve grief through poetry supports my belief that poetry is both the memoir of and the medicine for the soul. Poetry is a means to storytelling, witnessing the human condition in a personal way. What am I thinking, praying, hoping for? How am I hurting? What has happened to me? How can I understand it? How can I share it? Who will witness my pain?

Poetry provides a creative outlet for the release of pain, for healing. It explores the soul. Reading the poems of others who have gone through similar experiences as mine is reassuring because I realize that I am not alone. I could also share my experiences of loss and grief.

Continue reading “Grief: Healing Through Poetry”

Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


[Part 1 – Fire & Ice: The Faces of Grief]

As a way to examine grief and loss, I will share my story of the loss of my mother to Alzheimer’s, one of the most devastating forms of dementia.

What is Alzheimer’s?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a dementia caused by the building up of plaques—deposits of protein fragments that create spaces between neurons (nerve cells)—as well as tau tangles inside the cells of the brain itself.

Continue reading “Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother”

A Walk With Time

 

Laughter.
Galloping between warming rays
it echoes through the still
of a quiet afternoon.
Child unburdened, mind untamed,
curiosity insatiable that feeds
her wandering thoughts.

Spring arrives,
ripened with verdant green,

like blossoms unfurling with the breeze
she spreads her timid wings.
Each hour reveals, each day a new age,
boundless fields before her,
pirouettes on a promised stage.

Then you hasten,
remain ahead of her strides.

She pleas for you to turn for her
as she chases each moment elusive.
Years rush like seconds,
seasons shrink to days,

what once sprightly pranced upon tender leaves
now slow to a staggering gait.

Standing alone under winter sun
where golden days fade to rust,
she reminisces of ages past
and of lives come and gone.
Through aches of tears nostalgic
she sees you turn for her.
You take her hand, “It’s alright” you say,
“for a new season now has come.”

Then you guide her tenderly
one final time down the road.
Out of the frost, away from the cold,
and into the mists
of tomorrow.

Lines penned two decades ago never felt more true.
May we treasure every day.

 

Fire & Ice: The Faces of Grief

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


Robert Frost once wrote:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Online, one can find many poets who sing about their grief. In this lyrical piece, Frost tells us that we face changes all the time. Eden, our paradise, has been lost. Life is temporary, terminal, and short lived. The sun both rises and falls; the seasons change, and we grieve.

Continue reading “Fire & Ice: The Faces of Grief”

Tomorrow.

Cheer that blossomed within our hearts,
stirred by your presence at each day’s start,
yearns to wilt when you depart.
But our song will sing again, tomorrow.

The smiles that pierced through saddened guise,
the rays which conquered thundered skies,
they ache to dim neath heaven’s cries.
But the sun will rise again, tomorrow.

For many years our lives you blessed,
but the hour has come for you to rest,
to soar upon hills on golden crest.
So have no fear, tomorrow.

For on that day, I know we shall meet again.

Dedicated to Pam, in memory of Sammy ♥

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