Sickness Poem

Poem On The Struggles Of Caregiving

This poem is about losing someone without them being dead. My family has suffered a lot of loss. My father passed away suddenly in 2012 from congestive heart failure. Shortly thereafter my mother became quite ill and has never been the same. When we were growing up, my mother was extremely bubbly. She was a friend to everyone she met. She is extremely limited now. Due to her extreme illness, she does not talk much anymore. She does not communicate. She lies in her bed and listens to the TV all day long. She's no longer the mother I always knew and loved.

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I hear what you are saying. It hurts a lot I know. When I was born my mothers lung both collapsed and when the doctor put a tube of oxygen into her lungs, it had golden staff on it. For the...

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Shell Of A Person I Once Knew

© more by Juli Nielsen

Published by Family Friend Poems August 2014 with permission of the Author.

You're the shell of the person I once knew.
When I talk, I know you can hear,
But I barely feel your spirit lingering near.

You've given up... at least part way.
I can't help but envision the words that you'd say
If you weren't the shell of a person I once knew.

You express your love for me, but that's just it.
You'd rather I come and quietly sit.
I wish you were more than the shell of a person I once knew.

I love you with all of my heart and soul.
Sometimes I feel like I'm losing control
Because it's hard to see the shell of a person I once knew.

My heart hurts because I know you're aching. 
Your body's there, but it's just the casing.
It's the shell of a person I once knew.

I don't want you to die; I'd be left here on earth,
But passing on brings peace and rebirth.
You'd be more than the shell of a person I once knew.

It's your choice in the end to fight or give up.
It's not our actions that define when or what...
Please be more than the shell of a person I once knew.

Release your spirit to Heavenly Father's grace.
Only then will you see his kind, smiling face.
No longer a shell of a person I once knew.

You'd be free from all the worldly limitations.
In heaven you'd be expressing exclamations,
Freed from the shell of a person I once knew.

You're not really the shell of a person I once knew;
You're my mother and I love you.
You're not a burden that I heavily have to bear;
You're strength, inspiration, and care.
You're kind and loving and all that I aspire to be.
It's selfish to want to keep you here close to me.

You get to choose how long you want to stay,
So I'll keep on coming every day.
I'll rub your feet and scratch your back,
Read you your line up and help you take a bath.

Mom, take your time, it's patience I'm learning.
I'm developing and my soul's constantly yearning.
Each lesson is coming... selflessness and humility.
You're who I want to be.


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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!

I hear what you are saying. It hurts a lot I know. When I was born my mothers lung both collapsed and when the doctor put a tube of oxygen into her lungs, it had golden staff on it. For the next 26 years my mother ended up having 11 lung operations and was left with 1/3 of a lung which still had golden staff. She could hardly breath and I was in a children's home for the first 4 years of my life. I never remember getting a hug from my Mum or my Dad. I was never told I was loved. I remember being home from school sick and my mother was always in hospital and I had no one to care for me. Consequently I grew up with no self esteem and totally feeling unloved. My mother, all I can remember is that she would be asleep in her bed, suffering from chronic illness and on so many amounts of medication, she was not able to be coherent. When I was 26 years of age, Mum had gone in for a bath. She was in there a very long time and when I went to the door and asked how she was, there was no answer. I opened the bathroom door and found her. She had drowned in the bath. I tried so desperately to resuscitate her but it didn't work. I have always wished she had had a better life. Been able to swim in the sea, knew that we loved her and everything would have been good. She couldn't help her chronic illness. She would get very cranky sometimes and I would cop a belting with the buckle. She always told me not to let the teachers see the bruises on my legs. I knew she was in pain. I grew up blaming myself because if I hadn't been conceived, she wouldn't have ended up with golden staff. All I wanted was to be hugged and told I was loved but that never happened.

Your Mum might be the shell of a person you once knew, but she is in terrible emotional pain that no one can repair. You must remember her for the good times, the productive years and accept that she is now at a stage in her life where she is giving up. You must support her in this process. When we are little, we rely so much on our parents. However when they grow old and frail, it is up to us to support them as much as we can and accept they don't have the mental strength to keep going on. This is a totally normal part of life. Hold her hand, say it's all going to be okay and just stand by her, the way she would have stood by you as you were growing up. Unfortunately there comes a time when we just can't take anymore. Be there for her, support her and accept that her time is coming to finally be at peace. She will never leave you. She will always be there watching over you. She will always love you endlessly.

Kindest Regards

  • Vicky Smith by Vicky Smith
  • 9 years ago

A wonderful poem. I can relate to this poem very easily due to my own mother's illness. It is comforting to a degree to know there are others that share feelings similar to your own although it is very sad to know as well that they feel the same pain as you.

  • Karla by Karla, Missouri
  • 9 years ago

This is my mama too. Dad's death was hard because it was so sudden, but mom's end of life, I think, is harder because we have watched her deteriorate for over two years. I live far away, so when I see her, usually the changes are dramatic. It was nice the last visit to see her sitting up and talking again, at least a little bit. Love you Mom! Thank you sis for patiently visiting and taking care of her.

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