Her Voice, By Brian37 (AKA Brian James Rational Poet on FB/META and @brianrrs37 on Twitter)
I remember her voice
Of certainty, of finality
When she told the doctor
To send her back to the nursing home
I screamed inside “NO NO NO
I NEED YOU, DON’T GO DONT GO”
But I knew it was her right
Her decision, and nothing I could do
Isolation, fear, but especially guilt
Why am I so scared, she’s the one dying
Not me, but I knew, I knew
She always took care of me
The days that followed, filled with fear
The nakedness of loss, a knife in the gut
The what ifs torture your mind,
If maybe I’d done this, or that
Time is never kind, takes every kind
It has no sympathy for you, it marches
Ticks and tocks and takes and takes
That fucker, selfish fucker, took my mother
Damn you time, you are never charitable
You tease everyone with your promise of more
Then you sabotage all bonds, ripping them to shreds
No sympathy for the dying, they soon will be dead
You can torture me, with your harsh reality
You may have her, and keep her, but fuck you
She is still with me, no, not in a superstitious sense
She is not elsewhere looking down on me
But her voice, her voice, would be mad at me
If I had stayed in my dark dungeon, self shackled
Paralyzed with fear, she was no longer here
To care for me, protect me, to be my pillar
Three months in a mourning stupor
Her voice, her voice, would be angry
“Damn it Brian! Get up, get up!
You did nothing wrong, but it is time
Way past time my son, my son
That you wipe those grateful tears
Tackle your lonely fears, remember me well
But live your life well, and move on.”
The earth has made 5 orbits since
That dreadful day she took her last breath
The sickly sight of her stillness, motionless
Body, but I still hear her voice today,
“Clean your house Brian! It is getting messy again”
Then I roll my eyes, and smile, and now the memories
Bring fondness and joy, and the pain while never gone
Has no refuge knowing she’d be pissed at me if I stayed
In that dark dungeon, self inflicted stupor
Time is thoughtless, uncaring, an arbitrary thief
But it can never rob me of the time it gave me
And my mother’s voice is what saved me.
I was in a very deep depression the days after I watched my mom take her last breath. It was a slow horrifying process I could not stop, she had made that final DNR decision. I was screaming in my head when she told the doctor to send her back to the nursing home, “NO MOM, NO, I NEED YOU, I NEED YOU”. But that was the selfish irrational side of me. I knew I had to let her make that decision for herself.
But even in her last days she was brave, stoic, but had clear moments of fear calling out my name, as others reported to me when I came to visit. I stayed from the pre dawn till sometimes after midnight, but there were no sleeping quarters for family at the nursing home so I had to go home.
My biggest fear was to get that call in the middle of the night, and not be there. But I look back at those dark days, and I can say without a doubt, my late mother would have been pissed if I stayed in a deep depression.
I hear her voice today, not in any real “great beyond” context. I am an atheist. But I do imagine in my head what she would say to me if I didn’t put something back in place, EVEN IN MY OWN HOUSE.
Mothers do that when they visit. I can smile today and imagine her visiting me telling me to put the book back on the shelf, or take the DVD out of the player and put it back in the case. Or ask me when the last time I dusted was. Or why I have broken window blinds. I smile, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I damned sure miss that.
My best friend John snapped me out of my stupor. But I can honestly say I did not slip back into it because I know my mom would have been pissed at me, slapping me on the head, telling me to get out of bed, get up and do something and shave, oh how she hated stubble and shadow.