Grief Poem

Wishing To Be There When A Loved One Is Dying

Many of us have had twice the heartbreak during COVID by not being able to be with someone we love when they are dying. I have myself known the sorrow of not being able to see a close long-standing childhood friend when she was dying.

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Six years ago, my mother was in the hospital. She had congestive heart failure. After my dad would get back from the hospital, I would always ask him if she was getting better. One day, he...

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Ann D. Stevenson © more by Ann D. Stevenson

Published by Family Friend Poems April 2021 with permission of the Author.

I wasn't there to say goodbye,
to reminisce of times gone by.

I wasn't there to make you smile,
to tell old stories, laugh awhile.

I wasn't there to talk of fun,
the happy times in life's long run.

I wasn't there to share the years,
those times of happiness and tears.

I wasn't there to hear your fear
of leaving those you held so dear.

I wasn't there to feel your pain,
you knew we'd never meet again.

I wasn't there to hold your hand
when you parted from this land.

I wasn't there to share our love,
before you joined the stars above.

I wasn't there, I shed a tear.
In my heart you're always there.

Interview with Top Poet Ann D. Stevenson

  • How do you cope when you can't be with a loved one who is dying?
    I think it’s incredibly difficult for anyone to cope when they can’t be with someone they love when they are dying, as has happened to so many people during Covid. There are feelings of helplessness, anger, and being cheated of precious moments. One hopes that these feelings will fade with time and can be replaced with cherished memories. In my case, as so often, I wrote about it, which helped lessen the pain.
  • How has poetry been a beneficial outlet to you during the pandemic?
    I have found both reading and writing poetry has been extremely beneficial during the pandemic. It lifts my spirits and takes my mind off other concerns.
  • What is your favorite topic to write about?
    I like to write about nature, feelings, emotions, memories and hope. I also like to try out different forms of creative poetry.
  • What is your favorite experience that has resulted from being published on Family Friend Poems?
    My favourite experience from being published by Family Friends Poems has been when Ceri Hill, previously unknown to me, discovered my Villanelle of "Brighter Skies" on the website and asked my permission for it to be read at the Tenovus Cancer Spring Concert by the Chairman, Professor Malcolm Mason. I still have a video of the performance, and it gives me a glow each time I play it.

    I was also touched and surprised to see that my triolet poem has been translated into another language. Family Friend Poems certainly has a worldwide audience.

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Ali Glass by Ali Glass
  • 2 years ago

Six years ago, my mother was in the hospital. She had congestive heart failure. After my dad would get back from the hospital, I would always ask him if she was getting better. One day, he made a video of her so that I could see her. Well, a few days after he made the video, we were allowed to visit her. Before we left, I forgot to tell her how much I loved her, and I forgot to tell her good-bye. The night after she had died. I still feel bad for not saying those things, and I am still struggling.

I was very moved by your story. I'm quite sure your mother knew how much you loved her, some things don't need to be said. I think the hardest thing when someone you love very much dies is to look back and remember the good times and not dwell on the ending. My thoughts are with you and I wish you well. -Ann

What a lovely poem, so true, so touching, yet a comfort to read.

Thank you very much for your kind comment. It was a poem very much written from the heart.

I forgot to say I wrote this poem in couplets to enhance that feeling of two people who wish to be together at a difficult time.

  • Rammohan Potturi by Rammohan Potturi
  • 2 years ago

Ann Stevenson poem reflects guilt, pain, and agony.

I've only just seen this kind comment - I'm sending a very belated 'thank you'.

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