I Cannot See You Now

I Cannot See You Now

 For BdB

A Poem Written by Request to

Remember Her Beloved Aunt

Who Took Her Own Life.


12 April 2010


I cannot see you now

Even though I have looked at you a thousand [many*] times.

I close my eyes and search for your image in my mind,

To see the smile, the twinkle in your eyes

That always assured me of your love.


A glimpse is all I want, all I need

To see past your final pain

Welling up as endless tears never bidden

A veil flowing over a lintel

Separating the grasp of our hearts from one another.


My tears now flow as that veil

Wishing that for one moment infinitesimally small

I could have carried that pain for you,

That you could have been lifted from its burden

And standing straight, find that spark was not extinguished.


My tears now flow as that veil

Wishing that for one instant I could have caught a glimpse

Through the mists of this oceaned globe,

And seeing the dimming of your soul

Called your name so you would recognize my love.


I cannot see you now,

Even though a thousand times I have searched

For that one door, open so many times

As we passed through, I in your life and yours in mine,

Now closed and vanished for all my days to come.


My door still open to this world is heavier;

I have nailed your memories to it–

So strong they can never fall from its

Scarred surface, because it must match

The wounds that also scar my heart.


And though I cannot see you now,

Your memories are secure on the door to my life

They are clear in my mind’s eye, for the images are cast in love

I will visit them as if I am visiting you

And the twinkle in your eye will never fade.


Peace is now what I can see when I look for you,

Memories a gentle salve to place upon the wounds

And a vision of your own heart and mind healed

By One whose love I cannot ever match, but hold in hope,

And for you and me, that is enough.


*BdB preferred the word “many” rather than “thousand” in this line.
 BdB resides in The Netherlands.  She asked if I could provide her with a suitable work of poetry to read at her aunt’s funeral.  Although her roots were Dutch, her aunt had lived in many years in South Africa so the service was to be there and conducted in English. BdB’s tante had suffered with bipolar disorder for many years, and most unfortunately, died of an overdose of her medication.  For nearly four decades I have counseled countless persons who have lost a family member or loved one to suicide, and even more who have attempted it.  The poem, which came in a short period of inspiration, is based on the words of grief and the search for hope and comfort expressed by the survivors, trying to find meaning from an act they will never truly understand.
DCW, 12 Apr 10, Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved

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