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 […]

Faded Lights

This place was full of light. Sparks buzzed and bounced day an’ night.   Vivid views to ponder. Revolving doors to new wonder.   Now the lights are fading. Power stutters. Invading.   Thick foggy outlook. Trapped inside a closed Book.   Warning: Describes Brain Cancer Symptoms in Final Weeks This poem is a representation of […]

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 […]

Denial

Don’t look at me that way. Turn off that pitying face. I don’t want your sympathetic stare. I want you to see ME.   Don’t tell me you know. Nobody knows. I don’t want you thinking you do, when you don’t.   Don’t say I need help. I’m coping. I don’t want you assuming I’m […]

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