Everyone is grieving

Everyone is grieving.
The first-year university student who
Looked forward to some independence
And two minute noodle meals
Now sits staring at a screen.
The pilot who once travelled the globe and is now grounded and scrambling to
reinvent himself at fifty.
The lecturer who teaches integration like it matters when she just lost her father.
The petrol attendant who fills your car with a smile but recently became
the head of a three-person household,
The grade four learner who acts out at school because he misses what was normal:
sport, lessons without masks, no one shouting “social distancing” at every turn.
The entrepreneur who launched her dream online shop, only to close it months later and now worries about feeding her family.
The Grade 12 learner who dreamt of wearing a crimson red dress to her dance, one she has imagined since she was 5.
The family who just lost three members at once.
Three
People
Are gone.
Women and girls who may lose their right to education and dignity.
Men who would rather take their chances holding onto a plane taking off,
Than face the reality that unfolds.
Everyone is grieving,
In some way
For dreams,
For people,
For a future that looks
Very much like
A sci-fi horror movie
(With helpless babies
Passed over a barbwire fence)
Everyone
Is
Grieving.

Copyright Hiraeth 2021

For them

I see you,
Worn, but still going,
Tired, but still fighting
For them
Because you were chosen
To be their mom,
To be their representative
(Even though you feel
Unqualified)
Their witness
And witness you do:
Every tear
You catch
(And sometimes shed late at night)
Every failure
You process
(And you remind them, we all fail)
Every victory
You hold
(And want to shout out on the rooftops)
I see you
And you are qualified,
A perfect representative,
Because you are here,
And you turn up
Again
And
Again
For
Them.

Copyright Hiraeth 2021

You don’t know

You don’t know
How hard it is trying to help her
Navigate life
When she knows she is,
Feels she is different.
You think you can make it easier,
Hide it, until one day she asks
Why is it so hard for me and easy for them?
You try to put it in perspective, many
Others have much worse challenges to deal with,
But in her world, hers is all that matters,
At least for now.
You don’t know
When what is easy for your child,
Makes her feel tired, overwhelmed,
When the writing that for your child
Comes without thinking,
Tires her already tired brain.
You don’t know
How besides arranging therapy
And support of every kind,
There is an emotional side
That is overwhelming sometimes,
Most times.
You don’t know how much it hurts
When by her own attempts
She excels and you write a message
To ask if we are helping her answer.
You
Don’t
Know

You don’t know
How hard it is trying to help him
When only one side of his brain
Processes sound as it should,
How hard it is for him to process
An instruction in the noise of a
Fast-paced world,
How what it is easy for your child to
Interpret,
Most times is overwhelming
And so he sharpens his pencil
Incessantly, bites his nails
Or washes his hands
To control what he can
And mask his
Insecurity
Why am I different?
Why is it so hard?
You don’t know
And until you do
You
Don’t
Know

Copyright Hiraeth 2020

When hope emigrated

I knew you
Before he was gone
Before every cell ached for
Him
To be here, near
Before grief found a hold
On your heart
And life and filtered
Through your soul.
And on the days
You struggle,
The days where Facebook
Surprises you with a photo
A memory of just
You two
And hope seems
Like a friend who
Has emigrated
To the furthest corner of
Australia
Without warning or
A farewell,
I will remind you
Who you were
And integrated in the loss
You will now be

Copyright Hiraeth 2019

Ten years ago

I love you still because
Despite the challenges of life,
You believe in forever afters
And even when I lose faith
You stand secure:
Even in these turbulent times
Love conquers, it provides the
Glue to keep on keeping on
And you keep on;
Consistent in your love for me
And our family.
And with time
You have made me believe
Again
That true love does exist
And I am blessed
To live in it.

copyright Hiraeth 2019

You loved

The loneliest things I have had to do so far were get divorced and put down my dog. Nothing compared to the emptiness in these moments. The funerals of some dearly loved people were not so lonely, heartbreaking, yes, but there were many people there, united in our grief. And that made it more bearable for me. Your life meant something and our presence affirms it.

I held his paw while life left him. The dog who had seen my life fall apart, been a casualty of it and watch me piece it back over time. And he always loved me and looked at me with such admiration, like I was getting it right (finally). And even though I knew it was coming, my heart broke and I sobbed like a teenager who was dumped for the first time.

I nervously cupped one hand over the other on that day. I thought if I held myself I would not be overcome with how meaningless it seemed. How twelve years of your life comes down to this, this meaningless banter and nodding of heads. The loneliness bounced off the walls, echoed in my heart.

And I have learnt that these moments are meant to be lonely, be yours and the beautiful thing about life is that it fills you up again, it always reveals there is more, more life, more love and second chances. And the end does not mean it meant nothing, you carry a treasure trove of memories into your future. You loved, you learnt.

And there will be more dogs and each will journey with you for a while, you loved, you had a companion.

You loved.

Copyright Hiraeth 2018

Invisible

How sad that one
Of your last conversations
Was one about feeling
Invisible
After 40,
Heartbreaking.
I wish someone, anyone
Could have told you,
Reminded you,
You belong:
You are beautiful,
As a mother,
As a sister,
As a daughter,
As a friend,
You were never invisible,
Even though
He made you believe
You
were.

And maybe that is
One of the most important
(and lifesaving)
kindnesses
We can show each other
Just a simple reminder:
I see you,
I value you.

Copyright Hiraith 2017

This year

This year
The day you passed
Came and went
And although I acknowledged
It, I also let the hours lapse
Without much thought,
I let the day drown in its
Busyness
I knew if I indulged the loss
It would call out to me,
It would overwhelm my already
Tired disconnected heart
It would call me to slow down
To feel, to cry, to remember
So I held it in
Supressed it
And then this past weekend
I sat on the beach
And watched the waves,
Felt the wind caress my tears
And my only thought was
How unfair it is
That
You
Are
Gone.

copyright Hiraeth 2016