For the last 10 plus years of my nursing career I have been a Hospice Nurse and have had the privilege of caring for courageous patients and their families as they cope with the great journey called dying. I wrote this poem at the start of my Hospice career as a tribute to the caregivers and their journey of grief. It is called “A process of Grief.
There was love in his eyes as he sat by her bed
The parting goodbyes had all been said.
The silence between them was filled with reflection
Their lives would now turn in different directions.
Memories of good times as well as the bad
Flooded his mind from the history they had.
The drawing of two to a path of just one
Seemed to him a process that had only begun.
The labor, the children, the love, and the laughs
Were jewels of great price God had placed in their paths.
So strangely enough to this point it all came
This once vibrant life was a fading, weak frame.
The illness that threatened her life now to take,
Was accepted though it seemed a horrible mistake.
As he had cared for and loved her all of these years
He wanted to go with her to calm all her fears.
The loneliness he knew would encompass his soul
Was an already aching, deep hurting hole.
He surrendered to the plan with resistance aside
As tears filled his eyes from a well deep inside.
“It’s OK to go, we will all be fine.”
Were the words he now spoke as they came to his mind.
In that moment of permission, death’s sweet release came,
She could leave this world without worry or blame.
To a place free from pain where the tears never flow,
A release up to heaven from this body below.
They say it’s so beautiful, this place up above,
Created by God in His goodness and love,
Yet with limited vision, those of us who remain
Can’t understand eternity in the light of our pain.
With great courage and boldness we face each new day
With a loneliness it seems will never go away.
The path of recovery is an up and down graph.
We think we are over it and can again laugh.
Then in one little moment of one little day
A memory or idea in our mind starts to play.
It lingers and feeds from the history we had
And by the end of the thought we are again sad.
Those times grow less frequent but never are gone,
It then becomes time to pick up and go on.
Those we loved taught us much of the journey beyond
And we are richer for having loved them and followed along.
A path of very narrow vision causes us to doubt
That God, if He loved us, would allow this to come about.
But our God of incredible mercy and love,
Sees the bigger picture from His throne up above.
When will we see He has loved us so?
And Heaven is a place where we really can go!
Our eyes haven’t seen and our ears haven’t heard
Our hearts can’t conceive of this place, says His Word.
In this life there will be times we don’t understand
And a path in the darkness as we hold to His hand.
A place that calls us to give up reason and doubt.
To trust God, instead of trying to figure it out.
Yet a new day dawns on the horizon ahead,
Joy comes in the morning, just as he said.
To those brave loved ones who journey the dark veil of grief. God will never leave you or forsake you.