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My Father's Gone

My father's gone ... he died. He's dead!

Yet, no one helped me calm the dread

I felt with every passing day

at home, in school and even play.

No wake or grave did I attend;

no closure meant: "There was no end."

So as a shroud of sadness fell

my life became a living hell

of constant pain; a rising flood

that chilled and froze my very blood.

My body grew, but still a boy

in temperament, no childhood joy

could lift my eyes above the clouds.

In time, I learned to act for crowds

that garnered accolades of praise

yet, told me nothing of the ways

of how I should become a man;

my mother's son - my father's clan.

Teachers... priests... nobody knew

the real reason I was blue

and so depressed. I could not speak

about a world I saw as bleak.

I dared not dream that I could thrive

within a soul still-born alive.

A counselor I had paid to hear

me talk about my greater fear

stumbled on the unseen pain

I carried every year in vain,

until right then. What utter shock

that after 30 years o'clock

the big hand came around at last.

With tools I learned, I now could cast

my story in a different light.

Nobody understands the blight

of silence stealing time to mourn,

when souls we love, from us are torn.

The truth unearthed, prepared me for

what shook me at my very core

the year my mother finally died.

At 39, this rushing tide

around me surged. I kept my head

and made my grief my daily bread.

Twelve years have passed since '96

when I stared down the River Styx.

It's not too late to seek to share

by writing what is good and rare

about a twisting, rough hewn path

through unshed tears and silenced wrath!

January 10, 2009

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I may have missed it but how old were you when your father died? I'm sorry that you had to carry this sorrow around for so long. It is bad enough when they don't understand us as adults but it has to be even worse as a child. Everyone thinks because you go about daily "chores" that you are OK when most of the time that is far from the truth. I've found I could almost vomit when people ask how I am doing because I have gotten to the point that I say pretty well or OK but really it's a big fat lie. I'm still dying inside but nobody except the people on this site gives a crud.

Please let us help you get through this new grief with your mother.

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I was 9 years and 4 mos. old when my dad died. That was in 1964 - it was a time just before the dawn of a greater awareness of such issues. My mom died in April of 1996. So I was 39 years old then. Now I am 53 and at times, still feeling very puzzled about what I still find myself coming back to these issues again. :huh:
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I think your poem is amazing - it tells me your story so clearly. My thoughts - when my husband died, my mother's death from 10 years prior also came back; I found myself grieving for both of them. I don't think our lives are lived in a linear way, but we keep going back, and around, to try to understand what we've gone through in a different manner. To just try and understand, period. I'm 53 as well. I thought I would achieve some measure of knowledge and wisdom by now - and I have, to a certain extent, but there's still lots I have to learn about myself. The scars you bear, especially when it happened at so young an age, are still scars - sometimes the scab gets broken open again. Hugs, Marsha

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  • 3 months later...

Tequesta dear,

I cried reading your poem; thank you for the poem! I just lost my lovely dad three weeks ago. It feels like being hit by a brick wall. I hope we all find some peace and may God give us all the strength! I hope you are healing and finding peace!


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