Sonnet: 8th September 2018

This was the day on which my mother died.

On this day, I learned the meaning of pain

And though time has passed, this hurt will remain

Long after the tears that have fallen dried.

I have forgotten, but I cannot hide

From truth, anymore than I can from shame.

I have lost the one who gave me my name

Taken farther than the waves on a tide.

I believe that I will see her again

Though departed from her physical form

I will still know when my time may come

Already she waits patiently till then

As life without her becomes our new norm

We work hard, to try to remember mum.

2019©DSCoremans

Sonnet: Hear the Silence

Sometimes the silence is too difficult

To listen to, to hear, to acknowledge

It can be filled, but it always returns

Every return harder to filter.

 

Each time that you are forced to acknowledge,

That the only voice, for that you listen,

Is the voice you must accept, you cannot

Hear again, as it is already gone.

 

Last words mouthed, but not spoken aloud

And then you were gone, though I sat with you

Surrounded in love as you said goodbye

To us, to life, to the world that you knew.

 

Rejoining your family, already

Departed. You will wait for us to come.

Sonnet: Goodbye Mother

The difference between sickness and death,

The same as breathing and that final breath.

Remarkable in its finality,

Comfort and grief, a strange duality.

 

From my world of hurt, pain unlike any other

Repress the pain of losing a mother.

It cannot be done I have come to learn

To get by yourself you have to discern.

 

A new path. Unlocked, without her guidance,

Staying true to course, avoid subsidence.

Darkness awaits the hearts of those who fall

Those who obsess over that final call.

 

Goodbye is hard, but suffering harder,

Permission to pass, no need to martyr.

Personal Blog: The Beautiful Warrior II

Written on Tuesday, 18th September 2018:

On the 8th September 2018 my mother’s physical journey ended. Where death for me has always come with a fear of nothingness, what her passing taught me is that the end of a physical existence is just the beginning of new existence. One in which the spirit and energy of a person is free from the confines of their physical form.

Tomorrow I, along with my family and friends, will gather together to attend a service planned to allow the people whose lives my mother has touched in some way to say goodbye to my mother’s body, the vessel that carried the soul of a warrior into her final battle.

Called in on a Monday morning to spend what we were told could be our final hours with mum we began a journey with our mother that lasted six days. Perhaps the six longest days of my life so far.

My mother was thrifty, and creative. She could create something from nothing, and always worked hard to provide anything that we required. So when she was given hours, she somehow managed to find days. Those days were long but she was never alone. Those of us that were with her ensured that in her final days she was constantly surrounded in love. Her family, and friends around the world prayed for her, loved her, and thought of her. Strangers who had never met her, heard of her and asked to pray, and to share her story. The story of The Battle of Room Seven.

Although the illness which took her into her final battle came suddenly, my mother’s health had been in decline for a while. Small things at first, things which we passed off as inconvenient, but which mum would never directly complain about.

As was her way my mother put the needs of her family first. This was her way in life, and so to was it her way in death.

With each day that passed in that bloody week, we struggled to come to terms with what we were being told. After the first two days of watching her fight so hard, I had to ask. I had to hear the words be said and so I spoke to a nurse and asked her to tell me what I needed to hear.

“Your mother is dying. She isn’t going to get better. She doesn’t have long left.”

The nurse who said these words said them because I asked to hear them. It didn’t make it easier, but it allowed me to change my thinking. To begin to process what was actually happening rather than what we wanted to happen.

We prayed of course for a miracle, but miracles come few and far between. To have shared a moment with Thilda was to experience the miracle of her generosity, of her kindness, of her ability to love indiscriminately and unconditionally. As a close family, I have the luxury of a lifetime of memories with my mum and I hold each memory dearly now.

As hours stretched into days, mum’s transition from physical to spiritual became a testament to ‘The Beautiful Warrior’. A woman who championed those she fought for.

I asked my mum a number of times throughout the years to tell me what made her happy. Her reply was always the same,

“I am happiest when you are happy.”

This was my mum’s way. To live for others and in particular to live for her family. As her final battle drew to an end, I was struck with a moment of clarity. The fight, the bold and bloody fight which my mum had put up so far had never been a fight to get better. It was instead a fight to be with the people she loved for every last second she could be. Each breath in and out a gift to us, to give us the time we needed to come to terms with what was about to happen.

During the whole week my mum was unconscious. Though she was surrounded in love. Love which transcended the physical environment she was in, and surrounded us all. Keeping us strong, and protecting us in this time before we say goodbye.

Mum’s last week with us was a powerful one. One in which myself and all of her family members learned about ourselves and each other. Even in death my mother brought us together, creating bonds that ensured we would always have people to surround us in love when our time comes.

Losing mum feels like losing a part of ourselves. It is a living nightmare from which we can never wake. The loss of such a profoundly wonderful person has affected so many people, but what I have learned about my mother since she passed is that she has given so much in her short time on earth.

Solace comes from the memories and love she gave and left us with. I treasure not just my own memories of The Beautiful Warrior, but those shared by the people whose lives she touched. Memories which keep her with us, until we see her next.

Personal Blog: The Beautiful Warrior

I wanted to write something grand and beautiful. I have tried a few times now, to find words enough to express an experience so profound it has left me changed and very much in shock.

On the 8th of September 2018, at exactly 8:00am my mum died.

The drafts I have will likely be developed into content that will be shared in the near future. I hope to tell you more about my mum, she was an amazing woman who was compassionate and selfless through and through. She had so much love to give and all she ever asked in return was to be around the people she loved the most as often as she could be.

During her last week of life, she was a warrior, and she proved her strength and love in a six day battle that she gloriously ended. On my last full day with my mum I told her about Valhalla, I told her about the mead halls of vikings and warriors of great battles who she could regale with her tale. I can see her now bringing a rowdy hall to silence as she takes them on a long and rambling tale with many false starts and tangents. I can see them hanging on her every word.

I wanted to write about her sooner, to acknowledge what had happened. But the longer I left it the more difficult it seemed to write about. Even just writing it down makes it feel more absolute, writing about it makes it feel more real. No matter how much I want it to a lie to be false, I find myself having to come to terms with the fact that she is no longer a part of my physical life. Thankfully I still feel very close to her spirit and the love that she built into the fabric of everything she did, but I miss her dreadfully. I long to speak with her, to sit with her, even just to hold her one more time. But of course the finality of death is to accept that however much we want these things, we must accept that they are not to be.

Grief has been both horrific and beautiful. Trying to control it is like trying to control the tides, it comes and goes as it pleases, dynamic and ever changing. A reflection of life itself, which is also dynamic and changing. As painful as losing my mother has been, life has so far gone on relatively unhindered, and will continue to do so long after I rejoin her.

But before then I have a life to live. A life that I promised my mother would be as happy and full as I could make it. This was my final promise to my mother, and one that I intend on keeping.

Rest peacefully mum, your final battle may be over, but the legend of ‘The Beautiful Warrior’ has only just begun being told.

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