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Poem: My Mother Left Without Saying Goodbye

Updated on April 26, 2012
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When words and dreams collide, poetry results. These poetry hubs reflect my life, my interests and all the things that move me.

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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