Remembering

Still in the throes of a weepfest. Here is another poem about dealing with grief. Feel free to share poems that have helped you get through rough times.

Remember by Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
            Gone far away into the silent land;
            When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
            You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
            Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
            And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
            For if the darkness and corruption leave
            A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
            Than that you should remember and be sad.

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13 Responses to “Remembering”

  1. joylene Says:

    I’m so terribly sorry for your loss, Pat. Words just don’t do it. Please know that you are in my prayers. Hope you’re surrounding my loved ones. Take care.

  2. cmac Says:

    Pat, I’m so sorry. Know that I’m thinking of you every day. This poem made me feel better when my friend Wayne died:

    The Waking
    by Theodore Roethke

    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear,
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    We think by feeling. What is there to know?
    I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
    I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.

    Of those so close beside me, which are you?
    God bless the ground! I shall walk softly there,
    And learn by going where I have to go.

    Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Great nature has another thing to do
    To you and me, so take the lively air,
    And, Lovely, learn by going where to go.

    This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    Cathy

  3. slpmartin Says:

    I’m not certain that I could forget that hand I found when I turned now or if I ever would want to…you have written such a fine verse.

  4. dellanioakes Says:

    I’ve always loved Christina Rossetti’s poetry. She had a magnificent voice. I find this one strangely uplifting for some reason.

    When I Am Dead – Christina Rossetti

    When I am dead, my dearest,
    Sing no sad songs for me;
    Plant thou no roses at my head,
    Nor shady cypress tree:
    Be the green grass above me
    With showers and dewdrops wet;
    And if thou wilt, remember,
    And if thou wilt, forget.

    I shall not see the shadows,
    I shall not feel the rain;
    I shall not hear the nightingale
    Sing on, as if in pain:
    And dreaming through the twilight
    That doth not rise nor set,
    Haply I may remember,
    And haply may forget.

  5. MJ Goodnow Says:

    Rest now my fallen son.

    Slumber in your peace.

    Dying from all of the pain

    your life has been put in restraint.

    Now it’s beginning to fade.

    Please, do not die in vain.

    No healing power for injury

    Blood stains like water

    Escape with all of my tears and that fear.

    Oh, the candles they drip and burn.

    To keep out all the danger
    Tears continue with your cries.

    You’ll cry…before death

    before death…
    No little smile
    From those lovely eyes
    Even in your cries
    I never can blame you
    A mother’s love will never end
    Even in those cries
    I hold you to me
    Even at your end
    No reason to fear
    My loving dear
    You are here with me
    I shall never let you go
    Rest now in the light, my fallen son.

  6. L.V. Gaudet Says:

    I’m so sorry Pat.

  7. knightofswords Says:

    “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” — Rabindranath Tagore

  8. Suzanne Francis Says:

    Here is one that I have always liked, by W H Auden. I’m very, very sorry to hear the sad news. Suz. XOX

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

  9. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    Pat, I’m so sorry to hear this. I remember when my husband had open heart surgery some years ago I prayed for his recovery and wondered how I would ever go on if he didn’t make it. He did, but the truth is that I would have survived, just as I did when our daughter died. Life goes on. God strengthens us and as the pain of the loss heals we are sustained by our memories, the love of friends and family, and our faith.

    I love the quotation above. Here’s another poem for you to consider, too:

    THE SHIP
    (Floyd B. Allen)

    A ship has spread to the breeze
    Her snow white sails, and heads for the open seas.
    She is an object of beauty and strength
    As we stand and watch her, until at length,
    Like a wave, she is lost from our view
    Where sky and sea mingle in fading hue.
    At that moment, someone cries with regret,
    “There! She’s gone!” “Gone where?” I ask.
    “Don’t forget:
    She has only left our sight. Even now
    In mast and spar and hull from stern to prow
    She is just as large as when by our side
    She stood, waiting for the outgoing tide”.

    Her diminished size is in me, not her;
    For, just at the moment we would infer
    “There, she’s gone,” voices from that other Home
    Are taking up the glad shout “Here she comes!”
    With God, the sunset on our western horizon
    Is sunrise beyond, a New Day begun.

    We too must rejoice and not be sighing.
    It’s a glad adventure that – dying.

  10. Pat Bertram Says:

    Thank you all for your support in this incredibly difficult time. I hadn’t planned to mention it but I disappeared for so long I thought I should offer a bit of explanation for my absence. And such a painful experience is bound to affect my postings. So now you know my sad tale. Or at least a piece of it.

    Life goes on — just not yet.

    • Suzanne Francis Says:

      I just went back to read your previous posts and I am amazed to see you had already put up the poem I quoted above. I hadn’t seen it before I wrote my message…

      Yes life goes on, but you take all the time you need to process this terrible event. It is a dark road, but in one sense you have a whole heap of people walking right beside you, me included.

      • Pat Bertram Says:

        I always liked that poem. It was particularly poignant for me because my mate almost died years ago, and I thought I knew what grief was when I first heard it. Turns out I hadn’t a clue. Almost dying and dying are two completely different things. Thank you for a bit of light on my dark road.


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