Bereaved Father's Group




I Remember

I remember your steady heartbeat
As the gentle lapping sound
Of waves against a rock.
I remember your smile
Like the summer sun
Spreading warmth everywhere.
I remember your laughter
Like ripples on a pool.
I remember your tears
Like summer showers
Unable to dampen
Those golden hours.
I remember the calm before the storm.
I remember your love.

I remember your diagnosis
Like a giant tidal wave
Overpowering us all.
I remember my helplessness,
Feeling small.
I remember all the fighting,
Struggling not to drown.
I remember the franticness and urgency,     
The need for everything done now.
There's no time to waste wallowing
When you're being swept along

I remember your relapse
When the waters began to subside;
For I knew then with certainty
That you would die.

I remember your last breath
When all hope went away.
The waters are still now
With icy blackness they remain.
With your death came
And despair fathoms deep.
No point
In struggling anymore
Just silent tears to weep.
But inside me rages the greatest storm,
A tempest all of my own,
Forever looking for answers
Yet knowing there are none.
I remember you in the early hours
In the darkness before dawn.
I remember with everything I do
Behind false smiles I mourn.
I imagine all the might-have-beens
Of how you would have grown,
Your looks, your likes,
We'll never know -
But you would have done us proud.

I remember in your bedroom,
I pretend you're there asleep.
I remember creeping in at night
For one last peep.
But now your bed lies empty
Your teddies line the wall
Your clothes are folded neatly
Your books and slippers call.
My friends say time will help me-
It'll take away the pain.
But I don't want to forget - Oh no!
I want to remember -plain as plain.
I need to remember
For if I forget
How will I ever live?
I 've already lost you once -
I don't intend to do it again.

I remember, Gareth..................
..................and I always will.

The holiday

I wanted to take you combing
For starfish on the beach.
I wanted to show you treasures.
So many things to teach.

But time was cruel and we were robbed
Of holidays on the sand.
No buckets and spades for you and me,
No jumping waves, hand in hand.

I wanted to take you camping,
Sleeping in a tent.
I wanted to give you memories
Of happy hours spent.

But time was cruel and we were robbed
Of camping under trees.
No playing scouts for you and me,
No grubby hands and dirty knees.

I wanted to take you fishing
With rods and weights and nets.
I wanted to hear you squealing
“Please, Mummy, let's!”

But time was cruel and we were robbed     
Of sitting on the rocks.
No exciting catches for you and me,
No splashing or wet socks.
  I wanted to buy you ice-creams,
Flip-flops and candy floss.
I wanted to buy you sunglasses
And a T-shirt with “I'M BOSS!”

But time was cruel and we were robbed
Of walking on the pier.
No paddling pools for you and me.
No jumping in without fear.

I wanted to do all the normal things
A mother and son should do.
I wanted to take you to the park,
To the monkey house at the zoo.

But time was cruel and we were robbed
Of all the normal things.
No outings now for you and me.
No roundabouts and swings.

I wanted to take you places
You'd never been before.
I wanted to open up your world
Like sunshine through a door.

But time was cruel and all too short,     
Our adventures far too few.
So little time to do everything
And so many things to do.

I wrote this poem hours after our return from a family holiday. No matter what I do with my husband and two other children, there will never cease to be an acute awareness for me of all the things I would have done with Gareth if only he had lived. The sight of other families taking these simple pleasures for granted can be very hard on times and holidays for me will always be tinged with sadness.

Written by Glenys Booker, 18th August 1997, 2.00am
© Copyright 1999 Glenys Booker

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