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Grief's Blindfold


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Hi all

I wrote this poem recently, after many years of denying my mother's death, and searching every area of my life and my past for what the reasons for my deep sadness could be - it finally clicked into place one day - I had never grieved for my mother...

I have called it "Grief's Blindfold", because I feel that sometimes, if grief is just too much to bear, and we are not emotionally capable to deal with it, we can block it out completely, and the grief can become a blindfold to everything else in our lives. I was 16 when she died and nowhere near ready to deal with it. Now it is all coming out...

In Memory of Mary Orr Martin 17th Aug 1949- 10th June 1999.

Grief’s Blindfold

My life belies what I want to be

Yet I cannot think what that is for me

For my heart has been stuck in a time and place

When words were unspoken, and life kept its pace

And years have passed now, years of contemplation

Hundreds of pounds spent on self-help information

Thousands of moments that I can never get back

On millions of reasons why peace I might lack

And yet no thing could tell me that it could be this clear

No one pointed out it could be heartache - not fear

No single passing thought had ever crossed my mind

That it might be buried grief, buried at the time

When the shiny wood was lowered to the cold dark grave

When flowers were placed and words were said

And beds were quickly made

All these years forgone now and not once could I see

A life had come to pass – what had this meant for me?

Relationships have came and went and each one took their toll

Pulling me down deeper into the deep and dreary hole

I beat the sides, I searched the ground, I tried to build a ladder

But every rung I tried to grasp was insubstantial matter

For the tears I cried over what I lost - persons, job or home

Where nothing but the echo’s of the one thing I’d disowned

So now as this reveals itself like a blindfold from my eyes

The memories come thick and fast of good things I’d denied

A reservoir of love and joy and laughter and comfort and hope

The rich and vibrant happenings, now how will I ever cope -

As the realisation creeps in too and makes a silent hole

That she is gone, gone forever, no more to nourish my soul.

As the ribbons of grief unravel themselves, the wings of the dove will flap

And suck in air for the strangled throat of the grief that was at nap

And the tears come now, deep and murky

Stagnant throughout the years

For although I feel I’m all cried out

They weren’t the proper tears

by Rachael Martin.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dear Rachel,

This poem is amazing. You have some work ahead of you; keep writing, keep posting, keep praying. As one who spent years avoiding any feelings at all, I can tell you that they do come back when you are ready to face them. Luckily, it is not all at once, but they must be faced none-the-less. Good luck on your journey. I'm sorry you had to lose your mom at such a young age.

Take good care,


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  • 2 months later...
Guest Rachel T

Hi Rachael (the other Rachel here!)

What a lovely poem. I can really relate to it. I spent SO long searching for answers to my unhappiness, just like you. Although for me, some of it was bound up with illness issues, so much of it was also that i hadn't grieved for my mother too. But isn't it strange when you think that you had? - "Grief's blindfold" is an excellent way of putting it.

Like you I pinned my unhappiness on lost jobs, broken relationships etc. When i first saw my current counsellor 2 years ago - who's been brilliant, she was the first person to say that she didn't think that i'd grieved. i thought she was mad because i'd cried so much over the years. then after she left, this terrifying wave of 'raw' grief poured out of me as if mum had only just gone, and has been bursting out of me ever since. were you close to your mum- i guess you were judging by the feelings you express in the beautiful poem? 16 is such a young age to lose your mother. in terms of emotional maturity i wasn't a lot older - 23 and trying to acknowledge that she's not coming back and that i've got to rebuild my foundations alone and face a future without my ''rock' and favourite person is horrible. i feel like i'm on a mad rollercoaster, different moods, thoughts and feelings all giving way to each other at unpredictable times. sometimes i feel like i'm losing the plot!

wishing you luck and thanks again for your post on my 'delayed grief' page.

Rachel xx

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