Writer's Tree

As a writer with each endeavor I grow and my branches spread to encompass the world.

Friday, March 24, 2006

My Mortality

Being in ones 50’s tends to make you much more aware of your mortality, and if that were not enough, I recently lost one of my younger brothers. It is very hard to say good-bye when you feel that they are leaving you much too soon. Adding to the difficulty of saying good-bye to my baby brother was discovering the fact that my parent, though present, is in many ways no longer reachable.

Dementia, Alzheimer’s, or simply old age doesn’t matter. Whatever label you put on it will not make the reality of the situation any easier. We all hope to be sprightly old folks, still present enough to be annoying the hell out of those around us simply because we can, we are old, what can they do to us. So watching someone that you love loose that sense of presence is very difficult, especially if you feel that you have unresolved issues.

This was the case for me at my brother’s funeral. I was very aware of the pain of saying good-bye to Mark but did not expect that I would, in some ways, be saying good-bye to my father as well. So as I usually do, I put pen to paper to help deal with my emotions.


You Needed To Tell

He is gone, my brother, your son,
and though you stand there,
you are gone as well.
I have things to say, but you will hear them
only for a moment,
and they too will be gone.

She is gone, my mother, your wife.
Died long ago, taking with her your guilt
you stand unaccused, unaccepting of your part,
your freedom to stand by and watch
her actions of destruction.

He is gone. I remind you for the third,
no fourth time, and in a moment
you have forgotten.
Is this more painful for you, or for me?

You stand there, small in your large frame,
your weakness giving you sympathy
...undeserved.
There are things you needed
to hear,
to know,
to say.
But that moment too, is gone.

You needed to tell me how
...she possessed such power.
You needed to tell me why
...you just stood by and watched.
Just stood by, you
So tall,
So strong,
So weak.
You needed to tell me why,
when you walked away from her,
you walked away from me.

Now I stand looking at you,
loving you, hating you,
knowing, that you too are gone.

You needed to tell me
...how to love
......after you are gone.


Conni Struss Johnson

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jen Eslinger said...

Wow--Conni--Great poem! It definitely speaks to me. Thanks so much for sharing :) I look forward to reading more of your poetry.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Like you, when I'm dealing with strong emotions, I tend to sit down and try to write.

But with my beginner's writing skills I can never create that special atmosphere that surrounds me when I read work like yours, or the sense that the words come out and reach for me.

I'm very glad I found this blog. And thank you for deciding to share all this with us in the first place.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site, I am bookmarking it!Keep it up!
With the best regards!
Frank

2:51 PM  

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