Death and grief  

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Sruti

Death is a word commonly used in this world. Headlines of a newspaper scream "100 dead in rail road accident", obituaries tell us that the loved one of some family has passed away and we hear of deaths from friends and family. Someone will tell you, "my grandmother passed away" or "my friend was killed in an accident". You murmur youíre sorry and-try to comfort them with a few words before going back to the routine of your life.

The actual meaning of death doesnít really hit you-till it happens to someone you love. Then suddenly what was just a commonly used word becomes deeply personal. The rational part of your mind tells you to accept it-it is said that all that is born must die-and yet the other half of your mind is screaming, -"This canít be happening, it canít be true".

All at once the finality of that word strikes you. Whatever religious belief one may haveódeath simply means youíll never see that person again ---in this world --in this life. It means that youíll never hear their voice, never see them smile or laugh againóit is a physical as well as an emotional loss. In someway it is like loosing a part of yourself-because when we love someone we give a part of ourselves to them.

When the person who has died is young-the grief may be more-as we grieve for them as well as ourselves-but no matter at what age death occurs the loss is no less. Yes ≠we shall always have memories-but the thing is-we can never create new ones. You will never again sit by your grandmotherís bed as she makes those huge paper boats from single sheets of paper for you to sail on rivers produced by the rain. Never again will you feel the excitement of riding a bike with your friend-because both bike and friend are now still.

Sometimes when illness has been prolonged and when the prognosis was death-people tell you that it was a good thing you were prepared-but how does one prepare oneself for such loss which has the capacity to shake the very roots of ones foundation?

More difficult to handle than the immediate grief is the permanence of loss that sets in later. That the person who was once so much a part of your life is no more is a difficult thing to believe and accept.

Death and the grief accompanying it are as much apart of life as birth and itís joy. Like everything else in life, death is a teacher. Death teaches us that love is true and that love and friendship we felt for a person will remain even though he or she is no longer with us. It teaches us to value relationships and family-and not to take anyone or anything for granted. We realize then the importance of the time we spent listening to friendís feelings or a grandparentís childhood memory.

We come to know that the most important time in life is the present ≠because the future is so uncertain and the past is just a memory and we learn to tell the people we love how much they mean to us-for who knows -what may happen tomorrow?

This copy is posted as it was received. It has not been edited by TLM

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