Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time to Let Go


(For my mother, dementia victim)


The time has come
without my permission
to remove my arms
from around your neck

I held you up so long
my arms are frozen
in the clutch position

It is like tearing flesh
to rip away
first one arm
and then the other
to release you

and allow whatever happens
next to happen
in your partial, maddened life

My teeth are clenched with pain.

You don’t even notice
I have gone


******


For other creative efforts, please visit Magpie Tales.
******

36 comments:

Prayer Girl said...

God bless the both of you.

PG

C.M. Jackson said...

she knows how much you love her and what you have done to take care of her--even if she can't tell you--she knows and she loves you--prayers and good thoughts to you and yours--

Dianne said...

Not a midnight post,

unclench,
see a past and a present
focus on the tears releasing
then give pleasure to her days
the questions for her are as old as you are

just love her, and parent her with the objects she loved...as my sister did with tea parties with her teacup collection from England, and hand embroidering socks, and fresh flower arrangements, and artichokes with mayonaise,
She may like the essence of pleasure now.

sheri... said...

THIS tears the heart right out of me! it's the torment of having to walk away from someone who is so clueless...this is powerful but so full of pain!

evalinn said...

That´s so beautifully told. It was just like that with my grandmother. I got goose bumps...

Karen said...

Not our time, Chris, but God's.

Brian Miller said...

oerhaps next post you could just hit me with a baseball bat chris...it will hurt less. so sad. thoughts for you today.

the walking man said...

Be Well for your self and allow time to do what it will.

Birdie said...

Sweet Chris, there must be a bigger picture out there to all of this... in the meantime I feel your pain and I'm sending love and peace your way. You are a beautiful Soul. You can offer your mom compassion and the love which you do and the rest you probably need to release gently and have a trust ... love and hugs!

Kristin H. said...

You are in my thoughts, Chris.

Susan said...

agonizing, but beautifully written.
May God grant you Serenity my friend.

Vicki Lane said...

Very, very nice. I helped to care for a friend with early onset Alzheimer's and the 'partial maddened life' is so heartbreakingly true.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Chris,

I think you have said it so well. My grandma would ask me, "Who are you?" and I would say, "I am your granddaughter." Then ten minutes later she would ask the same question and I would give her the same answer. Sometimes she would remember for a little longer, but then she just totally forgot.

Yes, you said it very well.

God bless.

willow said...

My mother in law suffered from dementia before passing away last month. It was heart wrenching for her to not recognize family. Powerful piece.

Enchanted Oak said...

Thank you for walking this part of my journey with me.
I am a voice crying in the wilderness.
You hear me.
I'm not so lonely now.
Love, Chris

Magpie said...

You express yourself so beautifully. All the pain and sadness are there to see. Hold fast to the promise your Mom will be made whole again and all you've done is for the glory of God...she'll know.

Nana Jo said...

This is profoundly beautiful. You have captured perfectly the fragmented stories of the re-configured mosaic which define those suffering from the dementia of Alzheimers.

Many years ago as a very young nurse, I was taught a gentle lesson by the wife of a man who had just died after years suffering from Alzheimers. After I had offered her my condolences, she said words I have never forgotten, " I did my grieving years ago, dear. The mother I knew ... her heart and spirit died a long time ago."

That woman still honoured the pieces still locked away inside her mother, but she understood that they were not whole.

"You don’t even notice I have gone"
... the words are the essence of the most profound pain imaginable.

You are in my prayers.

TechnoBabe said...

Letting go is not leaving. Hugs to you, dear friend.

Star said...

How sad that you have to go through this. Writing poetry helps, doesn't it but time only makes it worse.
Star

Dianne said...

The little things,
this is the Writer's Almanac for today: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/

Still keeping you close, I am feeling your many sources of unpermitted pain.

steviewren said...

Chris you've expressed your feelings powerfully here. Life can be so painful sometimes. I'm hoping you find peace in yours today.

Titanium said...

Hurting with you, today. Your beautiful words let the pain out, one whisper at a time.

RNSANE said...

Chris, so often now, you speak for me or echo my sentiments exactly. The mother I knew, I last saw in November when I was home in Georgia. This visit in February, when I found her in the state she was in, and disassembled her home -and her life, as she knew it - was not my mother anymore, in any real sense of the word. I can so relate to this poem.

Jen said...

That is such a scary diagnosis. I hope she at least is still able to experience some joy in her daily life. That would be the only consolation for me.

Syd said...

Chris, this post fills me with sadness. I think that your mother has reverted back to being an infant in a way. I wish that it were different. Bless you both.

Peter Goulding said...

The last two lines are the kick in the teeth.
You can feel the emotion in every line

Catherine said...

Chris, I can feel your pain so strongly in this poem. We are here listening.

xoxo, Catherine

Peggy said...

Your blog is beautiful - poetry and images. You are incredibly prolific - don't know how you do it! I'd love to hear more about your daily schedule and how you write - your process. I'm interested in that and learning how to better balance my own life and writing.
I passed your blog site on to several poet friends - they, too, are impressed. And - - Thursday night, I will be reading one of my poems that I submitted to a juried poetry contest and it was selected to be published. This is a first for me - I'm nervous, but thrilled. Thanks for continuing to inspire . . . Peggy

joanny said...

A beautiful heart wrenching poetry and tribute-- I may have commented already but came back and reread this powerful poem. I can hardly comment for my mother died -while I hold tightly to her hand -- she too was a sufferer of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. I have yet been able to write about it.

Joanny

Yvonne Osborne said...

I love your poem. And the ending is heartbreakingly true. Or is it? How can we be sure?

I followed you here from C.M.Jackson's, attracted to your poetry. Perhaps I need to see what this Magpie Tales is all about.

Thanks!

Susie Hemingway said...

Powerfully beautiful!

e said...

Heartrending, wishing you both peace...

Helen said...

Your poem touched me more deeply than any other ~ mine was also written as I sat vigil during the last few days of my Mother's life. I held her as she took her last tiny breath, a tear trickled down her cheek ... I mixed mine with hers and covered my face in them.

little hat said...

I haven't experienced dementia up close. Walking alonside my father in his last years in a nursing home, him with all his faculties was hard enpugh. I vcan't imagine how hard that would be.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Reading everyone's comments...there is a little help and perspective in all of them that helps. How wonderful blogging is, if for just that support and giving...

Jennifer said...

Beautifully expressed - and utterly painful: "You don’t even notice I have gone." I've read no less than three bloggers navigating this very process this week. It will be a reality for so many. That's why an expression like this is so important.

Albert Einstein Quotes