Between Here and There

What, cruel fate?
When body ages naturally,
stooped and frail but moving still,
enjoying time with family and friends,
you dare to strike unexpectedly?

You send blood careening to skull
where corpuscles wreak havoc,
inflict destruction without mercy.
Life gasps bereft of speech, bereft of steps.
Minimal movement left, only on left side.

Now dear Starr, comes time to leave,
the good life lived.
Sustained by faith,
your one love gone far too soon,
waits impatiently beyond.

Ascend into the universe,
soar upon angel’s wings.
Painful our goodbyes
though we understand your need,
your exhaustion, your readiness.

Your body upon its own journey,
earthly path to far past stars.
We hold your hand, not to tether you.
Rather to show our love, provide comfort,
an assuring touch in this transition time.

And when you are gone from here, 
body spent, spirit uplifted, 
you will be here with us
and simultaneously there.
Forever imprinted upon our heart.

This is dedicated to my sister-in-law Starr and her family. Starr, eighty-three, entered hospice this past weekend. She has five children, eleven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She lost her husband, my wonderful brother, to a massive heart attack when he was only fifty-one. We shall all miss her terribly.

Written for dVerse where today Grace hosts with a prompt entitled “The Body and Poetry.”

Also included in NaPoWriMo Day 8 – National Poetry Writing Month – where the challenge is to write a poem every day in April.

24 thoughts on “Between Here and There

    • lillian April 8, 2021 / 2:50 pm

      It’s a very difficult time right now. Thank you for your kind comment, Ben.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. sanaarizvi April 8, 2021 / 11:49 am

    This is such a poignant tribute to your sister-in-law and her family, Lillian. I became teary-eyed when I read this part; “Your body upon its own journey, earthly path to far past stars. We hold your hand, not to tether you. Rather to show our love, provide comfort, an assuring touch in this transition time.”

    Such deep, deep emotion in these words .. my prayers are with you and them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 8, 2021 / 2:51 pm

      Thank you, Sanaa. It’s been a very difficult few days. Today I’m concentrating on writing and reading to keep my mind occupied. Your prayers for Starr are especially appreciated.

      Like

  2. Misky April 8, 2021 / 12:48 pm

    Touched my heart, Lillian.

    Like

    • lillian April 8, 2021 / 2:51 pm

      It’s a very difficult time for my family. Writing and reading today keeps my mind occupied.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Misky April 8, 2021 / 4:28 pm

        I wish you a peaceful heart.

        Like

  3. Ken / rivrvlogr April 8, 2021 / 2:58 pm

    “Your body upon its own journey,
    earthly path to far past stars.”

    Yes, a well deserved peaceful journey.

    Your love and care could not be more clear.

    Like

  4. Grace April 8, 2021 / 3:06 pm

    Very touching poem Lillian. A lot of deaths happening on my side too. Your last verse was a hopeful and loving tribute:

    And when you are gone from here,
    body spent, spirit uplifted,
    you will be here with us

    Like

  5. Ingrid April 8, 2021 / 3:21 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about this hard time you and your family are going through. Your words spoke to my heart and I feel your love through them.

    Like

  6. kim881 April 8, 2021 / 3:26 pm

    My deepest sympathy, Lill, and what a beautiful poem to dedicate to Starr and her family. We are still ‘Between Here and There’, but we know that ‘there’ will eventually come. Oh, that we all will ‘ascend into the universe’ and ‘soar upon angel’s wings’.

    Like

  7. msjadeli April 8, 2021 / 3:56 pm

    Lillian this part gets to me:
    “We hold your hand, not to tether you.
    Rather to show our love, provide comfort,
    an assuring touch in this transition time.”
    Kind thoughts to Starr, you, and the other loved ones.

    Like

  8. robtkistner April 8, 2021 / 6:08 pm

    So moving Lillian, and filled tenderly with love. Be strong my friend.

    Like

  9. merrildsmith April 8, 2021 / 6:28 pm

    I’m so so sorry, Lillian! This is a lovely, moving tribute. Sending hugs.

    Like

  10. Ron. April 8, 2021 / 6:37 pm

    It’s clear from this heartfelt work that even though she’s gone, she will never be gone. Sending positive vibrations your way, Grace. Peace.

    Like

  11. Ron. April 8, 2021 / 6:38 pm

    …Sorry, I meant “Lillian” above. Oy.

    Like

  12. lynn__ April 8, 2021 / 7:16 pm

    My heart goes out to you, Lillian! Today I admitted my father to hospice care.

    Like

  13. rothpoetry April 9, 2021 / 9:21 am

    A very heartfelt poem Lillian. It is very sad to see our loved ones coming to the end. You have shared it so well in your poem!

    Like

  14. Mubashshira Rahman April 9, 2021 / 10:20 am

    What a sweet and heartfelt tribute. Fate striking unexpectedly is cruel indeed, but maybe in ways easier than the slow and painful descent?

    Like

  15. Beverly Crawford April 9, 2021 / 10:49 am

    A touching goodbye to one well loved. As we grow older we encounter more and more goodbyes.

    Like

  16. Linda Lee Lyberg April 9, 2021 / 3:29 pm

    Sending love and light to you and your entire family Lillian. I know how difficult this is.

    Like

  17. pvcann April 12, 2021 / 4:05 am

    Compassion, such a wholeness in these lines.

    Like

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