Sharing the wisdom of the years and the realities of the present, the challenges as well as the exquisite joys, can create bridges for the younger ones who hopefully will have the privilege of growing old to tell their own stories. Snapshots from living the journey with death – my own and that of significant others.
Living The Shadow
Sharing the wisdom of the years and the realities of the present, the challenges as well as the exquisite joys, can create bridges for the younger ones who hopefully will have the privilege of growing old to tell their own stories.
These word rythms are divided into three sections:
- Feeling the Shadow (living with the intuition of death)
- Fighting the Shadow (battling the daily challenges that signal aging and the advance towards death)
- The Shadow Is (poems I have written for friends who have passed on or are critically ill). Section 2 includes prose pieces from the experience of caring for my brother during his terminal illness.
Here then are snapshots from living the journey with death – my own and that of significant others.
When I turned 68, my younger brother became terminally ill and in need of my care while I myself was still on crutches from a fall which had left me with a leg broken in two parts. As a result of these life-changing events in 2013, I became acutely aware of advancing age, which has inspired this collection.
The above incidents proved to be the acceleration of a dynamic which had begun in 2008 when relationships of caregiving with elderly friends and relatives and the elderly relatives of friends became a feature of my life. The loss of the father of my children in 2012 seemed, I thought, to close my circle of affective loss-with-responsibility. This was not to be.
The current collection contains poetry and some prose confronting death with a mixture of fascination, concern, humour and spirited engagement.
I share these out of the conviction that it is important for this generation of aging women to use the capacity and independence gained from the struggles of our foremothers and fathers, and our own, to claim a space for speaking for ourselves of our experiences in the aging process. Too often the elderly and infirm are spoken about, rather than heard in our own voices.
In The Final Analysis
Page 9 – from Part One: Feeling The Shadow
In the final analysis
I am living my dying
Aching step by aching step
Tremble by tremble of my hand
Pill by pill (when I can afford them)
And hand by helping hand.
I carry my body now – it scarcely carries me
And the ‘I’ has to fortify itself to keep it moving.
In the final analysis, tomorrow I will be gone.