Monday, February 6, 2012

Truth in Haiku

I am writing this post as a sort of apology to our blog 'hommies'.  Some of you, over the past year or so have sent e-mails or left comments asking if all was right in my world. It seems you noticed a change in  my posts or my lack of posts. All of you sent offers of comfort or help. So endearing of you all. Thank you.

Last year when I was in the throes of cleaning closets and doing laundry my  mother was dying.
I was not there. Nor was I here. I was in some strange limbo  keenly aware of her imminent departure and torn between honoring her preferences or succumbing to my own. Her dying was a slow, relentless march. Not a swift crossing.  There were numerous times in the years preceding  her death where I hopped a plane or drove  like a maniac to get there " in time".  There were miracles and gratitude. Then the devastating  reality I would again have to leave her because she lives there and I live here. Impossible to stay, impossible to go.

In our last visit, a few weeks before her death, we both knew she was out of miracles. There had been a crisis, there would be more until the last one. Before her final day came I had to  come back here. I dreaded leaving her for a minute. But. We both knew I had to. On the day I was to  leave I sat for a while outside trying to summon strength to give my mother a fine farewell. I tried to think how I would feel if I knew I would  be saying good bye to my child forever. I buckled at the thought.  Yet I knew this parting would be harder for her than for me because while I had to find the strength of character to say good bye to one person I love so dearly ... my mother had to  suffer the agony of saying good bye to all of us.  She was weary. I knew this.  We said all the good things there was to say.  I left knowing she wished to  be spared of repeating this goodbye. I left knowing she wished for me to be spared the vision of her in death.  I left knowing I would never see her again. I wailed like a baby the minute I cleared the building. I shrieked and howled  and raged and wept and kept my promise. To drive  away.  To leave my mother to die without me.

 My truth is I do not have the acceptance of Karl, the grit of Chickory, the openess of Boxer or the grace of Aunty ... all of whom were able to share their losses  and accept the prayers of this blog family. I did not share because the loss was too huge, the vulnerabilities too numerous, my control  far too fragile. I could not bring myself to speak of this loss. When friends asked after her I gave the same answer I had been giving for years, " She is in God's hands". I could not speak of other realities.  I could not expose my grief for fear of collapse.

But there  are Haiku Mondays.
In this venue, over time, on various blog sites,  I think I have been speaking  of my loss.

Today's haiku is this:

I hung a wind chime
in the tree by Mama's grave
Love! Whisper'd in chime

( I actually did this )

On other Mondays I had written these:

Furious rain pelts
my anguish ...cleansing my grief
joy crests in my soul

( Mermaid took me to a beach to cry out my grief)

Moonlight silver hair
halos my mother's beauty.
Soft. Like Angel 's wing.

( My mother did indeed have moonlight hair)

Her exquisite face
fills the dreams of seven men
Sleeping beauty death

( husband, son, sons in law, grandsons = 7
She died in her sleep )

There is no warmth in
touching cold unyielding flesh.
Yet I am sustained.

( An angel statue )

One A.M.  cell tweet
Awakens heart pounding fear.
Oh God! Keep her close.

(the messengers call)

Bagpipers lament
announces life's last vict'ry
Celebrate her joy!

( It was a beautiful funeral)

Thank you all for your friendship.
I am grateful.


Jenny said...

First, I'm so sorry for your loss. :-(

You don't have to apologize to anyone for how you managed your grief; as I've said MANY times, it's a lonely journey.

Also, we express ourselves in different ways. I make videos when I'm at my most stressed and you wrote this collection of very personal and loving haikus. And you walked the reader through the process. I really hope writing this post and hitting the publish button brings you comfort.

The wind chime one is my favorite.

Bless you Fishy.

sparringK9 said...

Fishy, beautiful post explaining is universal that time of leaving...I am so sorry. I went to my mothers grave just this past saturday. The grass had covered over the dirt that was there my last visit. I laid a single rose on it and prayed that God have her and keep her -shes probably cracking everyone up with her witty reparte.

all your haiku are good but the angel statue is my favorite. The rotty is active in his pen again. follow me home and rant with us.

happy Haiku Monday

Karl said...

Evening Fishy,

My sincere condolences on your mother's passing. There is no way to really be prepared for the inevitable. You know it's coming and you can't stop it. Yet you feel you should be able to do just that. Stop it make everything better. It doesn't work that way. Understanding and appreciating the natural cycle of life can help. It was her time to pass and by all accounts she produced a beautiful intelligent daughter, a granddaughter and seven sons. She has done what she was meant to do.

Bless her for her contribution and except that it's nature's passage.

moi said...

Oh, Fishy, I'm so, so sorry. My deepest condolences on your loss. Your haiku tributes are beautiful.

Anonymous said...


I had no idea. Please accept my deepest condolences. What a beautiful collection.


Aunty Belle said...

Iffin' I could reach ya', I'd hug ya' Fishy. Know how it wrenches at yore heart.

Yore Mama wuz honored by yore sacrifice of leaving. The last loving act ya' gave her.

Yore grief is captured in this lovely collection of Haikus-- a beautiful tribute to a Sweet Mama.
As ya' wrote: She is in God's hands.

Pam said...

Oh Fishy, this is so beautiful. A wonderful tribute. I am very glad you found the words to comfort your soul through haiku, and very glad that you have been able to bring up the subject in this post. It is so hard to keep going sometimes; it is so hard to NOT keep going other times -- because if you slow down or stop or give yourself a minute to think about things, that fear of falling apart is there. But it is okay to fall apart and grieve and cry your eyes out. I think it is necessary. A grief counselor I heard speak once said that the grief will come in bursts. Like a cloud burst. Sometimes strong and hard, sometimes gentle and sweet, but grief it will be. And soon that burst is over. You know another one will come along. I hope that maybe your bursts are starting to lighten and allowing you to open up about all that has happened. Not sure when the crying stops ... my mom passed 16 years ago and I still get choked up. Peace be with you, Fishy Fishy. Mama Fish still loves you and I know you can feel it.

Buzz Kill said...

Very well written and it brought back flashbacks of my mother. The toughest thing in the world is seeing someone close to you take a long time dying. I was fortunate in being close by the rehab my mother was in and was there pretty much every day for 5 months. She too passed in her sleep - when I wasn't there.

I like your first haiku a lot. Windchimes are somthing she always liked and I never thought to bring them. Maybe the next visit I will because I visit my mother's grave often. I find comfort there.

I once put a small, solar-powered butterfly light next to her stone. It didn't last long (the cemetery is not in a very nice neighborhood anymore) and a light in the cemetery probably freaked a lot of people out. bwahahahaha

Jenny said...

Congratulations!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your win Fishy!

All three of yours were good.


Aunty Belle said...

woo-hoo!! Nice win Fishy!! Congratulations.

chickory said...

oh dear. you have been very quiet. Its very hard to lose that one person who you have never known life without. I am sending you a big hug Fishy, and thinking about you. Go ahead and this country we dont acknowledge grief that well. soak it up and feel it - its what our spirits were designed to do. and like pam said...its the waves. xoxox

chickory said...

Oh, forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS!!! you so deserved it.

BlazngScarlet said...

Firstly, congratulations on your win; yours was definitely one of my favorites!
Secondly, my sincerest condolences on your loss.
Grief is a very odd thing, and very personal. I don't think it ever stops, we just find ways to manage it.
My Mother has been gone for 33 years ... and there isn't a day that she doesn't cross my mind.
Some days just happen to be more than others.

Thinking of you .....

fishy said...

Thank you.
to you each and every one.