Grant Me Peace

Wings Bessie P

On May 29th, 2004, my daughter Shannon died.

 

 It was unexpected – it was unthinkable – it was and continues to be – heartbreaking. She was my firstborn and her death left a deep and dark void for her sister, her father and me.

Each April, I start to relive the six weeks of hell she traveled before she died. I don’t realize the sadness has started until my every thought, during every day is filled with her memory.

Losing a child is something no parent should ever face. After years of carrying the burden, daily existence may become somewhat less intense, but life is never again the same. Living for yourself and your family does go on and must go on – but there is a change in your soul…in your heart…in your very existence.

The items you once thought critical and important simply disappear. Broken crystal or china is just that – broken – things. Replace it or get rid of it. Missing an event means nothing, crumpled cars are an annoyance, vacations are meaningless.

If you are blessed with another child in the home, you focus every waking thought to their well-being and comfort. Are they healthy, are they in danger, are they happy? Your life becomes more that of a warden than parent. You cringe each time they leave your home with the terrible thought they may not return.

Part of your heart, soul and existence is ripped from you, never to be replaced or repaired. You section out those memories of your child’s short time on the planet that semi-comfort you. You cry over incidents that caused them angst. And you fine-tune hatred toward those that ever caused them to cry or hurt.

You miss them with a depth of despair you never before realized possible. Parents may continue without them – but – we never recover from their loss.

This poem is for Shannon.

Lord please touch me

Grant me peace

Soothe my broken heart

I had her for such short a time

Letting go makes deeper the dark

She did not have an easy time

Life seemed to pass her by

Too often I walked past her room

And heard her painful cry

So very hard I prayed each night

That if God you were willing

Hug this child so very tight

Please make her life fulfilling

I watched her walk so many roads

She found no place to stay

She was an angel out of place

And could not find her way

Then one day you called her home

Too soon Lord, much too soon

My heart breaks each and every night

I pass by her old room

The Raggedy Ann and Andy

That she always hugged so tight

Sit quietly upon her bed

Beneath the moon’s pale light

My faith was shaken for so long

But I pray and will not stop

Lord please touch me

Grant me peace

Soothe my broken heart

 

Photo: Bessie Pease Gutmann

 

 

3 thoughts on “Grant Me Peace

  1. Very beautiful…I can’t imagine your pain and hope your wonderful memories of her and your time with her provide some comfort.

  2. Motherhood never leaves you because your child has left you. Your participation in co-creation marks you for eternity and your duties as a mother do not cease when your child has entered a different phase of existence. The child that has passed is tied to you in spirit at a depth exceeding that in physical form. But it is impossible for your child’s soul to receive your love when you are in any other state than joy and love. She waits patiently on the other side for those moments when she can share in your bliss.

    Mothers need to continue to offer themselves as an oasis and safe harbor to the souls of their children even when children take to non-physical form. Their spirits are drawn to their mother’s gifts of love, security, protection, and happiness. Take them to their favorite places and invite them to look through your eyes to see the beauty you see and to experience your bliss. Invite them to share in your wonderment and appreciation of the things in this world. Share with them all that you find good in this world. Allow them to continue to share in your pleasures through your your acknowledgement and participation in those pleasures. Invite them into your life. Continue to be the good mother. Write what makes you feel good so she can share in your feelings.

    Thank you, JD — for sharing your feelings with us and allowing us to come closer to who we really are.

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