Hello! This is a poem I wrote about being a military widow and also finding other widows to help heal. I recently read it at a ceremony to honor GSW day here in Massachusetts. Thanks.
The Ones Left Behind – What It Means to be a GSW
To know a heart can truly sink,
To fill your heart with love again
To know what it means to cry from your gut
To surprise ourselves
To screw it all up
To figure it all out
To realize we still haven’t
To wish everyone away
Then search high and low
For someone who might comprehend
Your pain and your mind and where it has gone or
The time in which you’ve
Slept it all away
A life you never thought you’d live
A title you’d never thought you’d have
When you wake up in a life you never dreamed of
A life no one dreams of
A reality too cold to talk about
But there it is
In your hands
In your heart
In your face
And you can’t escape
(I know you tried)
So you accept
So you struggle
So you cry
So you scream
So you kick and punch and curse the skies
So you fall to your knees and pray you find a way
To the day before
That last day of life as you’d known it
In all its beautiful
You can see it now
Like looking through a window back in time
Thinking if you could just run fast enough you’d beat the clock and be there again
With a smile on your face
Love in your heart
Your soulmate, your partner
Making mistakes, being human
But doing it together
Now this life will not allow it
Your heart will not heal
People will not stop going on with their lives
While yours has stopped forever
But it doesn’t stop
You haven’t stopped
You haven’t realized
You have changed
You have thrived
You have made it to the “other side” of grief
You are strong
You are real
You are a survivor
You are a new you
Like a baby giraffe whose legs are far too long for its body
(Because you know the analogy works)
Where’s the manual?
How do I walk in these widow shoes?
Where do I walk?
Where do I go?
What do I do?
What’s the right thing to do?
What if I screw it all up?
Why does everyone care what I do?
Why are so many people watching?
When did my little humble life become a public one?
Why isn’t the one person who could help me through this not here anymore?
His opinion mattered
None of these opinions matter
I don’t even know my own opinion anymore
Who am I?
Shut it all out
Help me. Someone.
Then you find a group
Of Hurt souls
Of Broken hearts
Missing their other halves
Their life loves
Their men who went off to war
Doing a job most could never bear
And their love
Women left to raise their children in their memory
Or to realize they will never hold that little piece of their husbands they so wish they had
But they hold onto that flame
That life inside
And they fight and claw their way into a life all are proud of
Shining a light
And offering hope
Wearing their hearts on their sleeves
To be healed
To heal others
To have a dark widow humor
That can often frighten others
But delights those in the club
And to hope.
To share your mistakes and successes with
Your feelings no one else would understand
When you ask a question and somehow
Wait.. You get it?
You’ve been there too?
I’m so sorry
Thank you for showing me there is no right way
Just your own way
Your own timeline
That it’s okay
It will be okay ❤
Categories: Moving Forward