Caption "Lessons in Loss" above clouds low in the sky at sunset
Lessons in Loss

Lessons in Loss 3: A Poem

I think about loss from time to time, as you probably know if you’re a regular reader over here. I’ve discussed recovery from loss of a baby and other people’s reactions. But, we don’t only struggle or grieve over the loss of a person – whether they were fully-formed or not. Sometimes loss is part of growing into the person we have become, sometimes it leaves us feeling like something’s fundamentally missing, sometimes we can’t remember what it was like before we lost whatever it was. In this series of posts, I’ve asked some of my favourite blogging colleagues to write about a loss that they’ve experienced and how it affected them. You can find the full list here.

This poem comes from Ingrid at Experiments in Fiction, it was first published on her site in October 2020 and she’s kindly allowed me to share it again here. I love Ingrid’s poetry for its honesty and clarity; her wonderful blog combines her artistic use of words, cuisine and windows into her life.

30 Years On

30 years since you walked out that door
into another world, unknown to me
and did you know, that fateful night 
the wounds you would be opening?
Unhealed 
for 30 years and more
no doubt
unending till eternity 
should close my eyes
as they closed yours
and I can never know 
the details: where did you go in?
I hope that it was high up
that your neck broke with the impact
and you didn’t struggle with the seething waters
though they said ‘asphyxia’ so probably this was not the case.
Your body travelled downriver 
as your soul rose and we agonised over
whether you would be coming home
knowing full well you could not.
I have never felt a shred of anger
no, it isn’t anger
just a hunger to understand better
what exactly drove you to the brink
and as for me: in those 8 years you gave me enough love
to last a humble human lifetime and many more years spanning the bridge into infinity
I may have lost my way
it’s understandable 
we’re all carried by our own river in life 
the undercurrent, deeper than any hurt or fear
is love.

Written 30 years to the day since the author’s mum committed suicide by drowning.

9 thoughts on “Lessons in Loss 3: A Poem”

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