Poem: My Mother Left Without Saying Goodbye

Diabetes Took My Mother


Dialysis for diabetic patient to clean out toxins in the body.


My Mother Left Without Saying Goodbye

12,000 miles away, a storm is brewing

Not the dark clouds shrouded in midnight hush

But one steeped in veins and blood

Body riddled with regular poking

Searching for the veins

to cleanse, the IV tubes and the sound

of dialysis in the cold harsh room

where nurses fuss a useless fuss

and patients await the eventual silence

when blood no longer runs

and the machine peeps for no one.


12,000 miles away, when day is night

The dreaded call came in the stillness

The quiet of the night turned black

The call that pierced the air

Pierced the heart, oozing…. . the pain

Gushed, feverishly threshing over rocks.

“Mom stopped breathing….,” my brother’s voice trailed

into a silence that deafens.

12,000 miles and the story unfolds

She left in the thick of the night

When the house was still and no one was near

She decided that the time has come

The journey of a thousand hills to yonder

Began with a quiet whisper…the long sign

As life seeped out and the light beyond beckoned

The land where pain has lost its sting

And tears are dewdrops on dainty petals.

12,000 miles and the wails of sorrow

Failed to awaken the dead

Tears flowed onto face like parchment paper

Etched by selfness giving and caring

The arms bulging with swollen veins

The blue and black of cleansing

Now sit like silent stems of lotus

Floating on the seas of tears.

12,000 miles and my tears smart

The face I can no longer see

The hand I can no longer hold

The warmth of her fingers as she

Traced the contours of my face

Tucking my hair behind my ears

all will become the spindly webs

of memory weaving

in and out of this flimsy life.

12,000 miles away and I can’t wait

Across oceans and vast expanse

I flew home for one last look

As she laid in her favorite samfu

A pearl in the mouth

So she’ll reach the pearly gate

Does my momma know I’ve come?

As the wind howls

And the rain falls softly

A river filling up in my heart.


Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages and my mother was one of them. When she was first diagnosed, she was put on a special diet. Despite her attempts to follow a strict diet, her diabetic condition continued on a downward spiral, complicated by high blood pressure. Before long, she was not just on medications, she had to take insulin shots. Even then, her diabetic condition never seemed to respond favorably. Eventually, her condition became so bad, she had kidney failure and she had to do dialysis two times a week. She suffered various side-effects with this treatment—she lost her appetite and had difficulty sleeping.

Living 12,000 miles away from a sick mother can be difficult. My brothers and I talked about the dreaded call in the night. No call can be a good call when it comes in the dead of the night. Even then, when that dreaded call came, it still seemed unreal—that my mother had passed on. She had left and I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I flew 20 hours to get home to see her one last time. I knew I could never talk to her again, but I wanted to say goodbye. The strangest thing happened when I stepped out the cab to get to the wake—the winds howled and the rain came right at that very moment. It was uncanny—but my brothers said that it was mom’s way of greeting me—she was happy I came.

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 40 comments

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Lovely poetry. I feel your pain.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

There are no words that can relieve grief, but I am sorry for your loss, anginwu.

SamboRambo profile image

SamboRambo 5 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

No kidding, this brought tears. It reminded me of when my mother died of a stroke. She didn't recognize anybody, nor could she speak. But one night while I waited by her side, she looked at me, and with a subtle and peaceful smile, she raised her hand to lightly caress my face with her finger one last time.

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Anginwu, my friend I feel your grief and loss and have wept at your words, I am so sorry.

Kulsum Mehmood profile image

Kulsum Mehmood 5 years ago from Nagpur, India

Very nice poem. I recognize the pain you felt on losing your mother as I lost my mom too due to diabetes. I loved my mom so much. Feel the compassion in your poem. God Bless.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, rebeccamealey, appreciate your kindness.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

RTalloni, I appreciate your kind words. Good to see you again.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

SamboRambo, I so appreciate your comments. Your own personal story just makes us feel the power of a mother's love--how she still knows you even though she's seem to have lost her memory. Thank you for dropping by to comments. Many happy returns.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

I'm so sorry for your loss. I think I know exactly how you felt. When my grandma passed, I was thousands of miles away from her, too. This poem is so beautiful, very touching.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 5 years ago

Your heartbreak spoke in your poem. Yet may I speak to your last paragraph - you can talk to your mother any time you wish. And if you choose a symbol of her - a pearl, a feather, something you generally don't see often - when you see that symbol, think of your mother. And someday you might even think she's sending the symbol...

moiragallaga profile image

moiragallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I'm sorry for your loss anglnwu. Your words so vividly express your emotions. Your poem has resonated strongly with me as I ponder if I will one day find myself in such a situation as my husband's work entails us living in a foreign country every few years. Thanks for sharing this personal moment and feelings of your with us here.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Om. Knowing how much you love your grandma, I think we both know how sad it is when someone you love leaves without saying goodbye. Anyway, on to happier things--Happy Thanksgiving.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Movie Master, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Kulsum, sorry about your mother too. I'm glad you like the poem and I'm so glad you came to by to comment.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Sheila b. I appreciate your comments. Regarding what you said, actually it was quite freaky because when I came back from Singapore, I went to Home depot to buy flowers. Out of nowhere, in the parking lot, a ladybug flew and attached itself to my clothes. I didn't really think of it but when I went home, a ladybug was in my patio. I put the two together and I thought to myself, "My mom is visiting with me." A few weeks later, my family went to Yosemite and as my family was walking in the park, a ladybug came and attached itself to my pants. I didn't pick the ladybug off but allow it to accompany my family to the whole time we were at the park. I knew then that my mother was spending time with my family. From then on, the ladybug has a whole significance to me. Thanks for sharing and I totally appreciate your suggestion. Have a great day.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

moira, that's part of living so far away from parents. The fear is always at the back of your mind. Hopefully, it won't happen this way. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

This is hard for me to read, how devastating that must have been. My mom died one year ago. She was diabetic too. I was right there with her, but she didn't say good bye either because she didn't know she was dying, and I didn't either until it was too late to say goodbye. I wish there had been someone to help us understand what was really going on earlier. The care is there to try and help you live, but there's another side to the picture that needs to be acknowledged. Maybe I can leave a better comment later. I am so sorry for your loss. Regards, snakeslane

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

snakeslane, I'm sorry for your loss too. You must have wished you knew but you were with her right there and that counts.

Regarding your comment about care and diabetes--I agree--patients suffer more than health providers know or care to know. It's the daily living that makes it hard. When my mother was on dialysis, it was painful to see what she had to go through. Part of me wanted the pain to go away and that's only possible if she physically leaves this world, yet part of me didnt' want that to happen.

Also, I wish I knew more about diabetes. I was young and didn't know as much as I do now. I think I would have been able to help her more with what I know now.

Again, I'm glad you stopped by to add to this hub with your comments. I greatly appreciate that.

drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

I feel your pain my Mom died from heart disease. May God Bless you and keep you. I have missed you!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

drpastorcarlotta, good to see you again. Thanks for your kind thoughts. I'm sorry for your loss too. Take care.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, anglnwu...LOVE THIS HUB. Although my heart breaks as this is the first year without my mom or dad at Christmas, I am moved by your thoughts. What a talented person you are. And I apologize for not being around sooner to ead your hubs. I am not in good health. And catching up on things in case it worsens. Forgive me. Have a Merry Christmas and dear anglynwu...I DO VALUE you as a follower and good friend. Regards, Kenneth

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

kenneth, sorry about your mom and dad. I'm glad you stopped by to comment. Thank you so much for your kind words and I greatly appreciate it. Take care and have a wonderful Christmas season. Take care.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, again, anglnwu, thank you for your sweet words and genuine kindness. I LOVE real people. Ive had enough plastics in my life to do me. And you are REAL and that goes a long way with me. Peace to you. KENNETH

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Kenneth, me too. Thanks for checking me and I appreciate your kind words. Peace to you too:))

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago

Dear Anginwu ~ All the while reading my brain is going, "I'm so sorry" for this pain and loss. I hope your words have helped release some sorrow. The distance makes it all the more difficult. I'm glad your brother was there with her and you could meet and be together. All the unanswered questions. The epidemics of diabetes and heart disease must be contained. Blessings, Debby

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear anglnwu, you also. Have a peaceful Friday and a happy weekend. I will be meditating on your fine work and how it has touched my life.



anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Hi Debby, thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words. I know the epidemics of diabetes and heart disease must be contained, like you say. The effects are truly devastating. I appreciate your visit and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Kenneth, thanks for checking back and thank you for your kind wishes. Take care and I'll see you around.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

. . .you are very welcome, anglnwu...I enjoyed this and I told the truth about you and your work. I will take care and you do the same.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Kenneth!

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear Friend, anglnwu..."May the sun always shine on your dreams and peace surround your heart." You are very welcome. I cherish your friendship, my talented friend. God bless and guide you. Kenneth

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Anglnwu, this is so touching, and I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Mother. It was so beautiful and sad at that same time, what you say here.

Diabetes is such a mean thing, and so many are affected by it. Its a good thing to share some information on it so others can know.

I agree with your brothers, your Mom was glad you came, greeted you there. Life is so precious, and sharing things like this are beautiful even though so difficult. My sincerest condolences...the part about her putting your hair behind your ear was when I got tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 years ago from California

I so sorry for your loss! What a touching tribute to to the love you bear her. Beautifully done!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

oceansunsets, thank you for your encouraging comments. I agree diabetes can be devastating. Have a wonderful holiday season and take care.

Audrey, thanks for commenting. I appreciate encouragement

Magdaleine profile image

Magdaleine 4 years ago

Anglnwu, please accept my deep condolences. I can understand your feeling. My mom is also struggling with diabetes now.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Magdaleine, thanks for your kindness. I hope your mother is coping well.

skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

anglnwu Hello sister. Precious although your mom passed months ago I send my regards for your loss. Your mom knew you were there I am certain of it. As your brothers said there was a sign. I believe it came from God. She is inside the pearly gates no more suffering. I know what it is like to loose your mom. My mom passed on over 25 years ago she was very young. I still miss her. I will see her one day as you will see your mom again. God Bless you anglnwu. Love, Skye

Your poetry is moving. My heart was touched by your transparency. God has blessed you with many gifts.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

skye2day, I always enjoy hearing from you as you say the sweetest things. I know, our moms will always be in our hearts. They occupy a special place that will always be theirs. Thank you, once again, for your kind words. Have a great day and God bless.

James-wolve profile image

James-wolve 2 years ago from Morocco

I am so sorry for your loss and sorry if my comment dredges up some memories.I hope you are fine and always in good health you and all memebers of your family.



anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 2 years ago Author

James, thanks for your kind words. I carry my mom in my heart.

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