In Memory of V

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Poems, Words and Feelings

Eight months since your passing my son, I would like to share these poems and words sent by friends, yours and mine and ours.

The Cord

We are connected, my child and I, by
An invisible cord not seen by the eye.
It's not like the cord that connects us at birth,
This cord can't be seen by any on Earth.
This cord does it's work right from the start,
It binds us together attached to my heart.
I know that it's there, though no-one can see
The invisible cord from my child to me.
The strength of this cord is hard to describe,
It can't be destroyed, it can't be denied.
It's stronger than any cord man could create,
It withstands any test, can hold any weight.
And though you are gone and you're not here with me,
The cord is still there but no-one can see.
It pulls at my heart, I am bruised, I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline as never before.
I'm thankful that God connects us this way,
A parent and child, death can't take away.

Author unknown


Please (One love V)

You was my boy who always kept it real
Just for one second I wish I could feel
The pain that you did, when you hung yourself
I would die for the chance to help you out
I'd gladly trade, your life for mine
Just so I could feel what was goin' through
your mind
Tell me what you thought about
Thinkin' that was your only way out
Was your life really that bad
When you left I felt so sad

Please, tell me 'bout your life and why you ain't like it
Please, you gotta dawg, 'cause I aint psychic
Please, talk to me kid
Please, say why you aint wanna live

I know you for like a hot four years
So of course for you I'd shed tears
You did some shit I aint approve of
But I don't care 'cause I stilled you love
It's now been four months and I'm still cryin'
It feels like my soul is dyin'
You left me with an empty hole in my chest
I'll always have it till they lay me to rest

Please, tell me 'bout your life and why you ain't like it
Please, you gotta dawg, 'cause I aint psychic
Please, talk to me kid
Please, say why you aint wanna live

And finally then will I see you again
Unfortunately I won't know where to begin
I'll have so much to tell you bout what happened to me
Although I know that all of it you'll see
'Cause I know you in heaven watchin' over me
A guardian angel sittin on my shoulder
Keepin' my heart from getting' colder

Please, tell me 'bout your life and why you ain't like it
Please, you gotta dawg, 'cause I aint psychic
Please, talk to me kid
Please, say why you aint wanna live

So finally I'll be able to roll wit' my dawg
The same one I aint seen for so long
Once again able to slap his hand
Finally able to chill with my man
I wish I had a number that I could call
That would take you from heaven and make you fall
Back to the earth from where you came
Regain your life and control the game

~by Noah Thomas~
This song is dedicated in loving memory of Vic(V)



From Gates of Prayer (Reform Judaism Prayerbook)

In the rising of the sun and in its going down...we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter...we remember
In the opening of buds and in the warmth of summer...we remember

In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn...we remember
In the beginning of the year and when it ends...we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength...we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart...we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share...we remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live,
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.


Go ahead and mention my child,--------------------the one that died
you know.

Don't worry about hurting me,-------------------------the depth of my
pain don't show.

Don't worry about making me cry,-------------------I'm all ready
crying inside.

Help me to heal by releasing,-------------------------the tears that
I try to hide.

I'm hurt when you just keep silent,------------------Pretending He
(She) didn't exist.

I'd rather you mention my child,----------------------knowing that He
has been missed.

You ask me how I am doing?-------------------------I say ""pretty
good"" or "" fine""

But healing is something ongoing.------------------I feel it will
take a lifetime.

With deep thoughts and affection


Vision Without Eyes

I'm sorry I thought you had gone,
And all that was left was the pain.
I was blinded by ignorance,
And couldn't see my mourning was in vain.

Now that you are free from your body,
I cannot see you with my eyes.
I now see you with my soul,
And know you live without demise.

I cannot touch you with my hands,
I now feel you in my heart.
Your light will always shine,
With so much love to impart.

This New Year I will not say,
Another year gone without your light.
For now I have vision without eyes,
Because you exist beyond my sight.

written by Cheryl Sanders



Someone we love
Did not keep their life
In pain and anguish
They ended their strife

In this lifetime on Earth
We'll see them no more
Yet we carry them always
In our soul, in our core

Now we're left here
And we must stay
We have life to live
To the fullest each day

For we are the Lifekeepers
A promise we make
To celebrate their lives
Our own not to take

We are the Lifekeepers
Truth Bearers, Peace Seekers,
We are the wounded
We are the healed
We are the Lifekeepers
Our commitment now sealed

~Sandy Martin~
This was written by one of the SOS ladies that lost her son to suicide


An Affirmation of Those Who Have Lost

I believe there is no denying it: it hurts to lose.
It hurts to lose a cherished relationship with another,
or a significant part of one's own self.
It can hurt to lose that which has united one with the past,
or that which has beckoned one into the future.
It is painful to feel diminished or abandoned,
to be left behind or left alone.
Yet I believe there is more to losing than just the hurt and the pain.
For there are other experiences that loss can call forth.
I believe that courage often appears,
however quietly it is expressed,
however easily it goes unnoticed by others:
the courage to be strong enough to surrender,
the fortitude to be firm enough to be flexible.
the bravery to go where one has not gone before.
I believe a time of loss can be a time of learning unlike any other,
and that it can teach some of life's most valuable lessons:
In the act of losing, there is something to be found.
In the act of letting go, there is something to be grasped.
In the act of saying "good-bye," there is a "hello" to be heard.
For I believe that living with loss is about beginnings as well as
And grieving is a matter of life more than of death.
And growing is a matter of mind and heart and soul more than of body.
And loving is a matter of eternity more than of time.
Finally, I believe in the promising paradoxes of loss:
In the midst of darkness, there can come a great Light.
At the bottom of despair, there can appear a great Hope.
And deep within loneliness, there can dwell a great Love.
I believe these things because others have shown the way--
others who have lost and then have grown through their losing,
others who have suffered and then found new meaning.
So I know I am not alone:
I am accompanied, day after night, night after day.

~by Dr. Jim Miller


"Maybe that is why we have been chosen as parents of
such sensitive, vulnerable spirits that our children
are because we know them and can learn to deal with it
and accept them and respect the choice they made."



My Heart Will Go On

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you,
That is how I know you go on

Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

Love can touch us one time
And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we're one

Love was when I loved you
One true time I hold to
In my life we'll always go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

There is some love that will not go away

You're here, there's nothing I fear,
And I know that my heart will go on
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

~Celine Dion


Grief -- the Unimaginable Force

Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you,
smashes down upon you with unimaginable force,
sweeps you up into its darkness, where you tumble and crash
against unidentifiable surfaces,
only to be thrown out on an unknown beach,
bruised, reshaped...

It is the ashes from which the phoenix rises,
and the mettle of rebirth.

It returns life to the living dead.
It teaches that there is nothing absolutely true or untrue...

Grief will make a new person out of you,
if it doesn't kill you in the making.

Stephanie Ericcson



If I knew it woud be the last time that I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord your soul to keep.
If, I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time I'd hear your voice lifted up in
praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day
after day.
If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute or
two to stop and say , "I love you," instead of assuming you would know I do.
If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip

For surely there's always tomorrow to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance to make everything right.
There will always be another day to say our, "I LOVE YOUS",
and certainly there's another chance to say our ,"Anything I can dos?"
But, just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget,
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.
So, if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one
last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, whisper in their ear.
Tell them how much you love them and that you'll always hold them
Take time to say "I'm sorry", "please forgive me" , "thank you", or,
"it's okay".
And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today...


In Memory of You

I find an old photograph
and see your smile.
As I feel your presence anew,
I am filled with warmth
and my heart remembers love.

I read an old card
sent many years ago
during a time of turmoil and confusion.
The soothing words written then
still caress my spirit
and bring me peace.

I remember who you used to be
the laughter we shared
and wonder what you have become.
Where are you now,
Where did you go,
When the body is left behind
and the spirit is released to fly?

Perhaps you are the morning bird
singing joyfully at sunrise,
or the butterfly that dances
so carelessly on the breeze
or the rainbow of colors
that brightens a stormy sky
or the fingers of afternoon mist
delicately reaching over the mountains
or the final few rays of the setting sun
lighting up the skies
edging the clouds with a magical glow.

I miss your being
but I feel your presence,
In whatever form you choose to take,
however you now choose to be.

Your spirit has become for me
a guardian angel on high
guiding, advising, and watching over me.

I remember you.
You are with me
and I am not afraid.

Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS



When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared;
Miss me - but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrow in doing good deeds,
Miss me - but let me go.


Prayer of St. Francis

Lord make me an instrument of Thy peace, where there is hatred, let me sow
love, where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith; where there
is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness,

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to
console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it
is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it
is in dying, that we are born to eternal life.

St. Francis of Assisi


"...I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and to share not
just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the
pain, the intense, often unmitigating pain. It is important to
share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk through
the rain."

- Audre Lorde


Unless someone has lost a child to suicide,
they know NOTHING of this grief.
If you breathe in and out everyday, you're doing well.
And if you make it out of bed, you're doing excellent.
And if you get anything accomplished that day, you're
doing outstanding.



The Comforting

Alone now and lonely with tears in my eyes,
my heart wears a big break deep down inside.
A part of me died the day you went home...
and emptiness entered where love once was shown.

I miss you so much, but after a while,
my friends tell me God will put back my smile.
So I started praying for peace to return
and for God to reveal what He'd want me to learn.

I'm learning to look back and rejoice in the thought
of our time spent together, of the love that you brought.
Of the memories sweet that we made in times past...
of your eyes lighting up when you smiled...that will last...
of the hugs and the kisses and long talks at night...
of the warm feeling I felt when things would go right.

The comforting's coming as our Lord draws near
and things once familiar make the memories dear.
When I look up to heaven and see skies of blue
I find myself talking out loud just to you.

I imagine you smiling and laughing with me
feel the touch of your hand, though I know it can't be...
loneliness is dispelled; there's a feeling of love,
and I'm sure that you sent me a kiss from above.
Peace flows in my heart, my tears have been dried,
your memory's with're here by my side.

Dorothea K. Bareick (c) 1997


"Think Twice"

Don't think I can't feel there's something wrong
You've been the sweetest part of my life so long
I look in your eyes, there's a distant light
And you and I know there'll be a storm tonight
This is getting serious
Are you thinking 'bout you or us

Don't say what you're about to say
Look back before you leave my life
Be sure before you close that door
Before you roll those dice
Baby think twice

Baby think twice for the sake of our love, for the memory
For the fire and the faith that was you and me
Baby I know it ain't easy when your soul cries out for a higher ground
'Coz when you're halfway up, you're always halfway down
But baby this is serious
Are you thinking 'bout you or us

(repeat first chorus)

Baby this is serious
Are you thinking 'bout you or us

Don't say what you're about to say
Look back before you leave my life
Be sure before you close that door
Before you roll those dice

Don't do what you're about to do
My everything depends on you
And whatever it takes, I'll sacrifice
Before you roll those dice
Baby think twice


When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die,
the world cries and you rejoice.

Cherokee Expression


A vivid description of death as part of the cycle of life was given by Silver Birch when, one Easter-time, he drew a comparison with the seasons of the year.

"Think of the 'miracle' of the seasons," he said, "the eternal circle for ever revolving with unbroken constancy - the snows of winter, when all life sleeps; the herald of spring, when life awakens; the fullness of summer, when life is revealed in all its beauty; autumn, when the voice of nature is hushed and preparation is made for sleep ere the period of refreshment comes upon it.

"You are about to witness nature's great revelation - spring, Easter, resurrection - when the new life makes itself visible all over your world, the life that has been sleeping, the life that has retreated into the darkness of mother earth, there to find peace and quietness in the darkness. Soon you will see the rising sap, the bud, the foliage, the leaf and then the flower. The tiny aconites raise their heads and a thousand voices announce the birth of new life.

"You will be reminded of the old pagans, the 'uncivilised' savages, whose religion was founded on the rituals of nature, who saw in the seasons the divine drama, who constructed from the movements of the stars and the planets the lives of the gods, the powers that watched over them; who paid tribute to the laws which controlled their life, who recognised that the greatest season of all was spring, when birth came upon your world.

"The cycle is repeated in every human life. The pageant of nature is duplicated in every human soul. First there is the spring, with the awakening consciousness; the summer, when man's powers rise to their highest; autumn, when life begins to wane; and winter, when sleep comes to the wary, tired soul. But even after the winter of the physical life, spring comes to the spirit as it awakens in another world to continue that eternal cycle. Take from nature this message, and be assured that the laws which have never failed will continue to operate in your case and in the case of every human life."


To Those I Love

When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that we had so many years.
I gave you my love. You can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness
I thank you for the love you have shown
But now it's time I traveled on alone.
So grieve awhile for me if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
It's only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories with your heart.
I won't be far away, for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All of my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone
I'll greet you with a smile, and welcome you home.



"Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well."

~Henry Scott Holland


November 2000

And here at the end of it all there is this:

the winds
the fall of the leaves
and the soft mournful song of a steam-whistle

in sables and shivers the evening steps out
and takes the arm of her spectral escort -
tonight you join the rondeau.

the chill
the fall of the leaves
and the soft mournful song of a steam-whistle

the stellate tapestry whirls round
invisible force-lines still hold
and Newton's proof remains.

racked and hung, suspended
my particulate matter held fast
my ethereal self spun distaff -

i spin with the winds
and the chill
and the fall of the leaves
and the soft mournful song of the steam-whistle

as the storm blows your name over the wall
and my tears break on the stones.

~Ted Dage


Stuck In Grief

If anyone seems to think they will "get over" grief from losing their
child, I think they are being unrealistic. The grief will certainly change - it
gets less painful, quits occupying your mind from the time you get up
unto you fall asleep, and it can catch you by surprise with poignant,
tearful memories when you least expect it, but this is not a disease from which
we can recover. It's too bad that death and grieving have been so shoved
into the background of modern life that everyone has unrealistic
expectations about it.

Does this mean you will never be happy again? No. Does it mean you
will never laugh again? No. Does it mean you will go back to being the
person you used to be? No. Grief makes a big shift in our perspective; it
hopefully matures us and leaves us wise, more compassionate, more
loving, and makes us realize how precious time is with our loved ones. And we
slowly learn to deal with and live around that big hole left in our lives.

Being stuck in grief means when I get into prolonged depression which
I am unable to get out of. I'm talking the kind of depression where life
appears hopeless and you began to contemplate that it would be easier for you
to die rather than go on without your beloved child. Or it means a tremendous
anger which doesn't go away for a prolonged period and ends up driving others
away from you when you need them most. These kinds of things require
professional counseling. Some people think that remembering good times, happy days,
etc. is depressing when they are new in grief. Later they will find that
these memories are their treasure lode and it means that their beloved child
continues to be a part of their lives. My son no longer exists
physically. But he remains very much present in my heart, mind, and memories. I
can call him back to me any time when I bring up a memory, look at an old photo,
or find something he has written.

We have had something devastating happen to us. A part of our lives
has suddenly been amputated. We will have to live with that forever. But
it doesn't mean we go on indefinitely, years and years, living in the pain
we have during the first year. Rebuilding our lives comes about slowly.
First we awaken without our first thought being that our child is dead. We
begin to have peaceful moments in the middle of horrible pain. The pain
itself begins to lessen. One day we laugh at something funny. Establishing a
new routine of life which does not include our beloved is a slow and
sometimes difficult process, but we begin to do it.

There is no "right" or "wrong" way to grieve. I think that living in
an age where we have expectations of quick solutions means that we think grief
is something we can "deal" with and put behind us. It doesn't work that
way. Grief is a long journey, but one which gets softer with time,
fortunately. But this "time" is not measured in hours or weeks, or even a few years,
but a lifetime.




Time does not heal,
It makes a half-stitched scar
That can be broken and again you feel
Grief as total as in its first hour.



For Memorial Day in memory of all of our children lost to suicide:

This Memorial Day, We remember you,
Not as a soldier who fought a battle
Read about between the pages of our history book,
Not as a soldier who fought for his country,
For values and a way of life worth preserving.

We remember you,
As a soldier on the battlefield of life,
Valiantly struggling through your own personal war,
A war none of us were aware of,
And all of us would have taken up arms for in your cause.
We would have rallied, given muskets of courage,
Canons of patience, barrels of understanding,
Rifles loaded with love and compassion,
But you didn't let us know we needed to come to your aid,
We didn't know you were on the battlefield all alone.

The dragons of despair, the monsters of melancholy,
The shadows of stress and the presence of pressures,
We would have slayed them, we would have lessened their ability
To lead you astray from a life full of hope, promise and love.

But now we remember you, this Memorial Day,
For you valiantly fought a battle
Only this family is vaguely aware of.
You were our little soldier, our happy,
Carefree, confident, companion,
We wish we could have helped you,
But this was just one battle
You had to selfishly fight by yourself.

And you've helped us to be aware
That we are all here for each other,
Through life's joyous occasions
As well as the tragic events.
We treasure our memories of you
And of our times together,
We remember you with love,
But most of all,
We love you and remember you always.


Child of Mine

I gave you life, my child
On the day that you were born
The love you gave to me
Now helps this heart that's torn

I watched you grow and learn each day
As the years flew like a gentle breeze
Now if I could have you back again
I'd kneel and pray on my knees

I didn't know our life together
Would end after only a few years
Now my heart is sad and lonely
And life is full of tears

I always think about you
Not a day goes by that I miss
I cherish the memories we made
Yet forever I'll always wish....

That life had taken a different path
Or that I could un-do that last day
When I was given no warning
That you were going away

I often think if things were changed
And I had left and you stayed
Would I want you to feel the pain
When your dad was taken away?

I wouldn't want you to cry each night
Or have your heart broken in two
I'd want you to go on and live
And have my memories be special for you

I'd want you to remember me
And the love we forever shared
I'd never want you feeling lonely
But to know how much I cared

Now you live in Heaven
And I'm still waiting for my time
When the angels call my name
I'll step to the front of the line

On Father's Day I will cry
And I know I always will
Because I'm a dad whose heart hurts
For my child who left too soon

An Angels' Dad Forever


My Mom

My Mom is a survivor,
or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night
when all others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I am with her
to help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach
that never wash away...
I watch over my surviving mom,
who thinks of me each day.

She wears a smile for others...
a smile of disguise!
But through Heaven's door I see
tears flowing from her eyes.

My Mom tries to cope with death
to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
it is her way to survive.

As I watch over my surviving Mom
through Heaven's open door...
I try to tell her that angels
protect me forevermore.

I know that doesn't help her...
or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her...
and show her that you care.

For no matter what she says...
no matter what she feels.
My surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.


"A child who loses a parent is an 'orphan.' A man who loses his wife
is a 'widower.' A woman who loses her husband is a 'widow.' There is no
name for a parent who loses a child, for there is no word to describe the pain."



Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds limits.


"What is Death" by T. Harris Spiritual Hymn

1. Death is the fading of a cloud. The breaking of a
chain. The rending of a mortal shroud, We ne'er
shall see again.

2. Death is the conquerors welcome home. The
heavenly city's door. The entrance of the world to
come, Tis life for evermore.

3. Death is the close of life's alarms. The
watchlight on the shore. The clasping in immortal
arms, of lov'd ones gone before.



A Poem by Colleen Corah Hitchcock

And if I go,
while you're still here
Know that I live on,
vibrating to a different measure
-behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me,
so you must have faith.
I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
-both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to its fullest.
And when you need me,
Just whisper my name in your heart,
I will be there.


Forever your mom
Forever my son
We are one