First year HN Journalism student Tasha has written this powerful free-verse poem on the subject of grief, about her brother, Jamie, who passed away. Jamie was a fun-loving and selfless man, with a smile that lit up the room. He couldn’t do enough for his friends and family. He tragically died far too young at the age of twenty-eight, in a road accident in Glasgow. He put up a strong fight, but couldn’t overcome his injuries.
The blood pumped around my body too quickly,
My heart thrashed against my chest- he was gone.
There is no way to explain the heartbreak of losing someone,
Your life just crumbles, your whole world collapses.
You pick up the dreaded phone call from your family,
You hear the crack in their voice, the heartbreak in their tone,
You know they are gone: they aren’t coming back.
Part of you still seeks hope, the phone screen lights up:
You prepare for good news, the news you have been waiting for.
They are better.
Instead your heart drops in your chest, your eyes burn,
Your body encloses the tears as the shock prevents you from breaking down.
I stared blankly at the TV in front of me, no attention to what was going on.
The numbness captivated my body like a roaring wave drowning me within,
I could not believe this; I would not believe it.
He was my shoulder to cry on, my answer to my every life problem.
He made me laugh: even when he was being a wind-up.
Pulling pranks on me, annoying me.
We would laugh about it afterwards and all was right again.
I was his shadow growing up, attached to him always.
Now life had ripped us apart; why would it be so cruel?
I felt my insides shrink and collapse inside me as the reality became clearer.
I wouldn’t see the smile, hear that laugh or feel those hugs again.
The shock and numbing of my body released as the news settled inside.
My body fell to the floor, my fingernails ripping through the fabric in the carpet.
I knew nothing else I could do but scream, cry out and shout for him to come back.
He did not appear.
They say grief happens in five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance;
I have experienced every one apart from acceptance.
I will never accept the loss of my brother, my best friend.
“Time is a healer” is what I was often told.
It has been five years and the wounds are still as red and raw as if it was yesterday.
The memories not as precise and clear cut- you remember a shirt but not the exact shade.
They fizzle out and you try to grasp onto small details, but it fades.
It still causes an uncomfortable pain and hurt, you learn how to survive; not to accept it.
It is never something that can be accepted, the loss of a loved one.
We slowly return to our life; however, it is never the way it once was.
There is now a gaping hole of darkness placed in the middle and we must learn to survive-
And we do.
We solider on because we know it is what they would have wanted us to do.
It never gets easier; there is no specific process to grieving.
We should never feel guilty for not being able to move forward,
From the loss of someone so significant.
All I know is that the darkness never leaves you fully.
It is always there, darkening that part of your heart.
Until we meet again and the light is restored;
I shall seek sunshine from the memories.