A Bright Past

  Did I do enough in life and career? Surrounded by good people to hold dear?   Did I look in wonder at this world around me? Did I notice life’s blessings and really see?   Did I try enough to achieve my best? Did I ever work out my true life’s quest?   Did I […]

Acceptance

Denial. How can this be? Ain’t happening to me! Anger. This is not fair – don’t fucking dare! Bargain. God is listening, pray – I’ll fight all the way! Sadness. There’s so much I’ll miss; it’s hard to reminisce. Acceptance. It’s time now to surrender; I’ve lived life in all its splendour. I’ve been reading up on […]

Time on a Tightrope

The first daily prompt I’ve worked on for a while. This poem relates to what we’re going through at the moment. My mother-in-law is getting weaker by the day and having trouble walking; often needing a wheelchair when out.  We’re not sure if it’s the brain or bone cancer causing it.  She remains determined to look after herself and refuses any care. Her husband died five years ago, so she’s alone.  I believe she’s hanging on to the hope that she’ll “get over this blip” even though she knows she is dying. She’s so far outlived her life expectancy by 1.5 years, so she’s hanging in there.  By accepting help, she may feel she’s surrendered to the illness?   She’s also terribly house-proud and will struggle with strangers in her home.

Her daughter lives alone nearby her mum but offers limited support (pops in once a week).  I’m not sure if her head is in the sand or if there’s more to it? We’re 2.5 hours away and my husband is struggling to cope right now.  Just received a phone call from him and his mum’s going into hospice for a few days. Perhaps we’ll worry about her less for a couple of days.

Kneels and scrubs and strains;

cleans her show home every day.

Alone with her pains;

weak – as cancer feasts away.

If she stops no hope remains.

 

Carers, she declined;

says she must live on her own.

Daughter remains blind;

but son’s never off the phone.

No ones vision is aligned.

 

Time on a tightrope

as the cancer now is rife.

Keeping up the hope –

months are grasping on for life.

It’s her only way to cope.

 

The Visits

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I’ve witnessed loved ones avoiding the death conversation with ill relatives who clearly want to talk about it. This poem portrays a situation where someone avoids such a conversation – and then it’s too late:

The Visits

PART 1

Oh it’s nice in here!

Could you look out some stuff?

The nurses are sincere

Things are getting tough…

Anything you’re needing?

I can now accept…

What’s that you’re reading?

There are things I’ve kept…

How’s your appetitive?

Could you get me a drink?

Did you sleep last night?

I’ve been having a think…

PART 2

Are you ok today?

I need to say…

You’re not going away!

It’s been a bad day….

You look pale

The pain’s worse.

You seem frail.

I’ll get the nurse.

Just you rest.

She’s distressed.

Please close the door

Please clear the floor

Is she asleep?

Beep

Beep

Beeeeeeeeep

.

Sometimes when someone has a terminal illness the last thing the family want is to talk about the practicalities. These days, we’re conditioned to think about people getting better and when they are at the stage of never getting better; people don’t always deal with it in the best way they can. We will all die at some stage – every one of us. It’s the one thing that is promised to us all and yet it’s one of the most common taboo subjects.

It wasn’t always like this. As Louisa Peacock of The Telegraph states ““In the late 19th century, the standard of life used to be much lower and people died much earlier. the average life expectancy was around 48 [by 1901]. Nowadays people can expect to live into the high 90s. In the Victorian era, people understood that they had little time left to live a life, and they confronted and talked about mortality, operations and medicine as people around them died. Now the lifespan has increased, people don’t talk about it.”

We’ve had two world wars since then and gradually people have avoided talking about death. This, along with a vastly increased life expectancy, has added to the terrifying prospect of conversations around death.

For more information on talking about death see the Dying Matters  website. Another perspective is that some people just don’t want to talk about their own impending death. My father-in-law didn’t want to and the general feeling is that we should take the ill persons’ lead on this.

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Sincere

Wading Through the Mud

 

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Introduction to Poetry: Day 4 – Simile including the theme of journey

 

Another day, another Introduction to Poetry task. This one was enjoyable. I just had to describe something to be like another thing usually not related.  For more information see this Introduction to Poetry ink.

 

Niggles, nagging doubt

Numbness needing checked out

Needles pricking much too often

Like the nails in the coffin

 

Nurses naming drugs

Not to be around the bugs

Navigating paths before him

Hoping journey’s not too grim

 

Nourishment neglected

Nausea is expected

He can’t nip this in the bud

It’s like wading through the mud

  

Nominated friend

Noticed he’s nearing end

Treatment crumbles with defeat

Like a military retreat

 

I wrote this depressing little poem in a beautiful ancient country castle hotel library, whilst my husband drove fast cars and hotel guests arranged their weddings. Life just happens around us despite what some may going through.

 

 

Don’t Light a Candle

My father-in-laws’ funeral was held on Christmas Eve. I asked my husband if he’d like to light a candle for him or do something on Christmas day to remember him. He answered by pointing to his head and saying that his memories were all in there. There was no need for a candle or new customs. The daily word prompt of candle got me thinking of what people leave behind when they go. I’ve written about this before in End Days and believe that we live on in the people we leave behind and the things we do to make our mark.

I do realise that many people light candles and have customs for remembrance and if that works for them then it’s wonderful – I don’t mean to belittle their choices and I also use such customs. This is a personal poem on how I’d like to be remembered.

Don’t light a candle for me when I’ve gone

Nor dwell on my death with a grief long drawn

Not Christmas or birthdays or anytime

Life is short, live it well as the years’ climb

 

Don’t visit my grave to remember me

In morbid cemeteries I won’t be

I’ll be hanging out in happy places

So mop up those tears from solemn faces

 

Don’t worry if your memories sometimes fade

My garden’s still blooming with seeds I laid

Look at what my time on earth still creates

There’s copied customs and family traits

 

I’m there in the way my boy’s kind and cares

and when a child I worked with can now share

or when my best girls laugh about our past

and my husband can now make friends at last

 

Don’t schedule in your time to think of me

No time for that, enjoy and be carefree

Was never one for a solemn meeting

Put your stamp on life – it is so fleeting

 

Don’t light a candle for me now I’ve gone

You’re wasting precious time – so move right on