Talking about Survivor




I see them in my office, their look slightly haunted by the memories of having been here before, though not alone. Their fingers absent-mindedly trace the circle of their wedding band, as we talk not about their own illness, but about the struggle of getting up each day in a house grown bleak by absence. We talk about family, their church, support groups for the bereaved. They tell me how they all of a sudden look up from a book, wanting to read aloud the passage that struck them, and realizing, again, that the person who shared their days and nights all these years is no longer there. After each encounter like this, I come home and give my love an extra hard hug and a kiss, having been reminded once more how ephemeral our lives are, and how each moment of shared happiness is such a great gift. Loss is an inevitable part of our lives. The following poem speaks to this struggle.




i’m trying to follow your wishes

work hard

find something you love to do

and just go for it

we had plans

the future before the diagnosis

art and painting for me

politics for you.

but after five months

the artist brushes are heavy

they seem stuck in rubber cement and

moving them around the canvas

to put the paint down

became difficult.

i’m sure you’d say just push through

don’t get lost in your head.

easy words for you

i was there

when your screams reverberated through the city in the middle of the night

i was there

to hold you, to give you kisses

to whisper hope in your ear

yes you had plenty of friends and they were all very encouraging

but I was there

when death leaned hard and

you struggled to keep him hidden from friends and family

you’re not here now

to help me

when I could really use your hugs and whispers

to carry me along

and lighten the brushes

brighten the days

erase the clouds

when emptiness heaps up and

rushes over me

in an avalanche of loneliness.


Frank DeCicco


Thanks Jorge I needed that! You stirred some atrophying gray matter a bit with this post. Your comments as well as the excellent poem by Mr. DeCicco provided some cranial rattling that felt good beneath my lawn care cap. The heavy spring work load seems to be taking a greater toll every year. It’s definitely interfering with greater enjoyments in my life. March is the month of both my parent’s death. Dad died on 03/20/1982 at age 57. Mom died on 03/07/2004 at age 75. She was 52 when Dad died. She never remarried.

Mom missed Dad. You could see it in her eyes, every year about this time. She stayed busy with her church and church friends. She became a volunteer counselor in a grief recovery group at church. She also volunteered with a local funeral home ministering anyway she could to survivors. She loved gardening and sunday dinners but, she was never able to fill the space Dad left in her life. He was a remarkable man but, that is another post for another time.

Dad was a diabetic. His first heart attack came 8 years earlier when he was 49. He recovered fully. Mom said the last 8 years were the best ever. During that time of recovery she told me that she began to pray that God would prepare her and him for the day death came calling to take one or the other away.

It was good advice. At some point we will all become the survivor or we will leave survivors.

Thanks Jorge,




About jingeorgia

Searching high and low no matter where i go it always seems the same: shades of grey. Or, was that gray?
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3 Responses to Talking about Survivor

  1. Beth says:

    I first read this at Jorge\’s space.  It really hit home with me.  I have felt alone since my husband died over a year ago.  The feeling of being alone never goes away.  I have just learned to live with it.

  2. R U Serious says:

    Burt didn\’t get very far but he had a good time!! LOL  He really needs a mate!!  But then I would have tortoises all over the place!!  YIKES!!
    Have a GREAT week!!

  3. the says:

    Ephemeral we are, indeed.  Continue to give that hug and kiss . . . ephemerally.  One never know when the lat one will come about.  Nice post.  Peace.

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