When They Ask....,

by Debra Freeman

When they ask how am I doing
I smile and say, I'm healing
What exactly does that mean, healing?
To heal implies you have suffered some wound or injury
Am I wounded?
Have I been injured?
No, I am grieving
I am grieving the loss of my father
And if that is defined as a wound
Then that wound is still open and painful
And the healing process is equally painful
And agonizingly slow
There is still not a day that goes by
That he doesn't cross my mind
Or the picture of him doesn't cloud my eyes
I still cry when I think of him
Sometimes it's a solitary tear
Painting a wet trail down my face
Other times it is deep, gut-wrenching sobs
Emotionally draining me until I fall asleep on a damp pillow
Am I healing?
I suppose so
Some mornings
When the sun is shining and the sky is blue
And I awake to the aviary chorus of mockingbirds, goldfinch, and chickadees
And the rich aroma of French roast coffee is brewing
I feel almost normal
At least as next to normal as I'm going to get for awhile
And I know I will be productive
Perhaps cleaning out a closet
Visiting with friends
Or taking the dog for a long walk around the neighborhood park
And yet
There are those days
When I achingly drag myself from an unsettling sleep
A night filled with bittersweet memories
And fragmented story lines
Of hospital beds, shades of pale blues, greens, and grays
Of ashen faces, hollow cheeks, and dull eyes
The lingering scent of sanitizers, medicines, and death
And though I long to see him, to speak with him, to hold him once again,
I am saddened to be reminded of how the cancer had reduced him
To such a fraction of the man that he once was
The dreams disturb me
And I awake angry and emotionally spent
My day shot before it has even begun

Again, they ask, "How I'm doing?"
I smile politely and say,
"I'm healing."

(8 months healed)

Comments for When They Ask....,

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Aug 08, 2013
by: lost

Finally, finally someone who completely understands. I smile everyday and im extra friendly but I feel like I died too only im still breathing. Grief is soo lonely. Thank you for your post. It gives me peace.

Aug 04, 2013
Thank you
by: SansCoeur

Thank you so much for this. It's beautiful.

Aug 04, 2013
When They Ask......
by: Doreen U.K.

Debra I am sorry for your loss of your father. Sadly HEALING is a slow process. Our grief is a slow long process of pain that can't receive medication to ease the pain. It slows us down and causes us to lose our motivation for what we did in normal life. It will take time to get this normality back. Just the day to day things can seem like such a burden. But as the days go by we can find ourselves getting stronger and crying less and then all of a sudden something inside us will trigger off another load of tears and emotion and we wonder what is going on? Just when we think we are healing it starts all over again. This too is part of the healing process. The cancer journey is a horrendous one. I had to watch my husband die slowly over 3yrs. and these are the memories I have also. We can't shut out those memories either. WE have to let them come automatically until they work themselves out of our system to be replaced with newer and older memories of happier times. As you begin to replace new memories each day you will find that when you look back you will wonder how you got through those months that become years. We will keep losing people from our lives amongst the other losses of job, homes, friends etc. Each new memory is a unique experience of one's history, and adds to the quality of our life. I wish you better months ahead and a full Healing from your loss.

Aug 03, 2013
Thank you
by: Anonymous

I have been reading your beautiful poems on this website. I lost my Dad in January, and am trying to heal as well. I can relate to the feelings and raw emotions of your posts. My father died suddenly, so the circumstances were different, but the love of a grieving daughter is the same. Thank you for writing and sharing these thoughts-they give me comfort. I wish you peace as you continue to work through your grief.

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