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The Passing...a poem

Updated on July 22, 2013
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The Passing

By Tony DeLorger © 2013

Mounded earth through blurred eyes,

unwilling to acknowledge the loss,

torrid emotions, unleashed,

unable to focus on the reality ensuing.

Profound, defining and heartbreaking,

her eyes filled with sadness, a memory burnt,

knowing the end was near,

and her concern was for me.

She said little, ignoring the last goodbye,

out of fear, out of kindness,

perhaps to just hold on to what was left,

and I, barely able to speak, didn't help.

As she fell to darkness and her body clung to life,

I stood there helpless, inept,

and she, having waited for my arrival,

knew my steps as they approached.

Face gaunt, pale and lifeless,

her breathing slow, and in desperate rhythm,

seemingly gone, but grasping that last moment.

I held her hand and tenderly squeezed,

her warmth radiating, her presence undeniable,

and I knew she'd been waiting for me,

to make sure I was alright.

I leaned forward, my lips closed to her ear,

and whispered “you can let go now Mum, I'm here,

and I'll be fine.”

I peered down at her neck, sinewy and so narrow,

and her pulse slow and regular, just stopped,

and I felt her settle,

as if her soul finally found release

and this shell, this body just dropped to the bed, all done.

She was gone.

As the casket lowered into the loving arms of the earth,

her soul no doubt looking down on her only son,

the pain just swept me away,

into a vast and stark desert within myself.

I was alone, truly alone for the first time,

and my soul ached,

for all she had given me,

for what she had sacrificed

and how she had endowed me with love.

Kindness surrounded me, loving arms to comfort,

but there was no comfort,

just complete and utter sorrow.

The sun would rise again, with or without me,

and my pain was as much my loss as my mother's passing,

but I would survive, as I was taught by her,

to experience yet another day, in this cycle of life.

Sorrow is a profound emotional experience, especially when we lose our parents. But life goes on in perpetual cycles of Life and Death, and we are simply part of it.


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    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thank you red mermaid; glad you were touched by my words. And thank you for your eloquent words of compassion, they are appreciated.

    • red mermaid profile image

      red mermaid 4 years ago

      Many people will read your poem and share your pain, reliving their own feelings of loss as their parents passed over. Your mother will never leave you, she is connected with you still. Just like the wind, you cannot see but feel its breeze. So too will you feel her prescence around you.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Glad it touched you Linda. Losing a loved one is such a defining experience in life, yet it is the nature of life and part of the endless cycle. When time has healed, we all hang on to our memories and our love endures. Take care.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      So true, their passing leaves a whole on our hearts that can never be filled, at least not in this earthly life. Nice to hear from you Diana.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I can relate so well to this poem. I lost my mom in 2006. We never stop missing them.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Oh Tony~this is such a beautifully written piece on the pain of losing a loved one. I have goosebumps from the touching images you used here. You do think you will die without your loved one but it is amazing how we somehow move on and learn to live with the great memories. I had a tough time after losing my father . Our bond was deep as he raised me and the rest of my siblings after mom died. I was only nine years old when mom died and dad was everything to me. I couldn't breath for a long time but eventually worked through it. Hit lots of buttons, voted up and sharing. Thanks for sharing this beautiful and sacred poem about your mother's passing.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks Wayne. I guess sooner or later we all have to experience this first hand. It's never easy and it's never forgotten, but death is simply a part of life, an endless cycle. Have a great day my fellow poet.

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Very powerful piece, speaking to the experience of loss. Last year I held my sisters hand as she passed and two months later I stood by my mother in laws bed as my wife told her she only had two Weeks to live. It is a tough road, but as you so eloquently put it, the cycle of life goes on.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks you so much for sharing your experience Phyllis, and your kinds words are much appreciated. You're right, the feeling of loss never goes but time heals and those we love are forever in our memories.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Tony, this is so beautiful, a devastating feeling of loss of your beloved mother. I so understand each and every word you expressed. It was the same when I lost my mother in 2011. She did not want to leave for concern about her children -- all six of us gathered around her daily for the last week of her life, watching her fading. The time came when we each found our own time alone with Mom to lean down, and whisper in her ear. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, to tell my dear mother it was ok to let go, and the tears mingled, hers and mine as we said our last goodbye. The pain stays, the loss is ever felt. I lost my Father in 1983 and it is still with me, the pain and awareness of loss. You portrayed all the emotions so honestly and openly. We are all a part of this, life and death, yet we are never ready for it when the time comes. I truly admire the expression of love and loss you so masterfully penned. Peace does fall on us after some time, yet there are moments when we must be alone to feel and go with the pain. May you walk in peace and harmony, Tony, and never fear the pain that will heal -- for, it is the pain that reminds us of the great love we had with our loved one.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thank you so much Vincent. My mother passed in 1983, so long ago, but in my heart it only seems like yesterday and her loss is still felt as it was then. These moments in our lives define us, and as we search our inner selves to find solace, we find so much more. One has to find peace and forgive all aspects of past relationships in order to move on and to accept that we are all of fault, and on this miraculous journey called life. Take care my friend.

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      Vincent Moore 4 years ago

      Your tenderness as her loving son shines with the great respect you showed here to your dying mother. I know your loss was severe as is most losses of our loved ones, I felt your pain and loss, I know the feeling, I lost my mother in the same manner.

      Holding her hand for the last time as she slipped to the other side of living. I know I will see her again, she awaits her son with arms outstretched, as does your mothers arms wait to embrace you, her beloved son. Peace and blessings I send to you dear poet.