Advice from My Mother

by Kelly Wilk
(Toronto, Ontario)

My Mother

When I watched my mother
Lose my father
Someone said your tears will be a river,
Go with the flow.
I don’t know who this
Wise, experienced person was,
But when my mother said the same thing
After my wife died,
I resisted.

When I watched my mother
Lose my father
I watched her succumb
To tears,
That were only puddles.
We teared together
But we never sobbed.
Now I am in the water myself
And that need
Is powerfully

The fabled flow is not a puddle.
It is a waterfall, a tsunami, a hurricane
That erodes the world
And picks up
Every kind of debris.
Houses. cars, forests, chin link fences,
Broken glass…human remains.

It destroys the surface of the earth
Over and over and over again.
Washing your life away
And then it says to you,
Get up again.

Comments for Advice from My Mother

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Sep 13, 2013
advice to my daughter
by: "the mother"

I am the mother who spoke the words to a daughter far too young to be in a position to need to hear them. So thank you to Susan, the wise woman who spoke them to me.

Sep 12, 2013
by: Kelly

Wow thanks to both of you for taking the time to comment, I am so glad it resonated. As a writer I have spent a lot of time trying to process my grief in this way, sad parts, funny parts, horrid I can't make it through the night parts, every part and it is nice to know I am not alone. Take care of yourselves and thanks again,


Sep 03, 2013
advice from my Mother
by: Anonymous--MI

I have read your post and that of Doreen and agree with both of you. It is true that grief pulls us under and smothers us and leaves us gasping for the air that God gives us just to breathe again. After 9 months of grieving for my dear husband who died of SCA arrest, I can say this journey of sorrow is the hardest most brutal thing God has asked me to do. Some days are not as hard as others and then it is like a wall of water builds up and then breaks out and floods me with the knowledge that my wonderful love of my life is gone forever and I sink down low and feel hopeless. I have said this many times before on this site and I believe it with every fiber of my being that God is my only answer to survive this pain and to make it to a place where I can have comfort for my broken heart. Our families and friends love us but we all have to die and go away from one another. God is forever and He will not go away. He is my hope of getting to heaven where I will praise Him and see my dear husband again. Thank you all for your words of honestly in your grief and your words of hope for us all.

Aug 27, 2013
Advice from My Mother
by: Doreen U.K.

Kelly I am sorry for your losses. Good advice from your mother very beautifully expressed. This is what grief does. Few of us could express the elements of grief like this.
Grief is part of life, but it doesn't kill us. It assaults our very being with such crushing pain that purifies us in some way and makes us stronger. At the time we are in that water we feel we won't survive the current, force and strength of the water. We will feel we are drowning. We come up for air and then go under again. This keeps happening and then suddenly WE DO ALL GET UP! This does give us all HOPE to go on in life. Knowing DEATH is not the end helps. As one American preacher puts it. DEATH is the end of this part of our living but the start of our FUTURE. This is to come. Knowing our loved one's are SAFE in God's Crucible is comforting. Our Belief system is what helps us cope and Get up to live another day. Thank you for your post.

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