You cannot tell anyone how to feel.

I was recently sent this poem by a dear friend. She was waiting for the appropriate time to share it with me, and admitted that she found it via internet research. I am thankful she shared it, and I did shed several tears as I read through the lines. I thought I should share it with others, because we never know how someone is feeling, or what it may truly be like to live with a loss. I think my surviving son, as well as my husband and I, struggle with some of these emotions that the poet shares. Yet, we are creatively working through our grief. I always say that those that grieve must wear disguises or masks, because there are some days we simply cannot speak or move, and yet we do. It is amazing.

“Don’t Tell Me” by Shawty Dew Whap, copyright 2012

Please don’t tell me you know how I feel, unless you have lost your child too.

Don’t tell me my broken heart will heal, because that is just not true.

Don’t tell me my son is in a better place, I want him here with me.

Don’t tell me someday I’ll hear his voice, see his face, because beyond today I cannot see.

Don’t tell me it is time to move on, because I simply cannot.

Don’t tell me to face the fact he is gone, because denial is something I can’t stop.

Don’t tell me to be thankful for the time I had, because I wanted more.

Don’t tell me when I am back to my old self you will be glad, because I’ll never be as I was before.

What you can tell me is you will be here for me, that you will listen when I talk of my child.

You can share with me my precious memories, you can even cry with me for a while.

And please don’t hesitate to say his name, because it is something I long to hear every day.

Friends please realize that I can never be the same, but if you stand by me, you may like the new person I become someday.

12 responses to “You cannot tell anyone how to feel.

  1. Wow……thanks for the tears. Beautiful

  2. Patricia Silvar

    That’s a really great poem!! I love it. For me when I went through my loss a friend from H. S. sent me a poem that included my sons name in it and it was really helpful for me. For some reason it gave me a sence of peace. And this wasn’t a girl I really ever spoke much to. I seen her about 2 wks ago while having lunch with a friend and coincidentally it was the anniversary of his passing. I gave her the biggest hug and told her how much she helped me. It was wonderful!!

  3. You have a very thoughtful friend. Thank you so much for sharing that poem – it is all so true. . .Take care.

  4. Thanks for the share. I once wrote in one of my blog posts that people often say that time heals all wounds, but I don’t believe that. Love does. However, while love may help us cope through the pain, it can never take away the scars of surviving the loss of our loved ones. Being a suicide survivor is like being part of a club that we never wanted to join. I’m grateful for people like you and blogs like this which create a safe place for us to share and support each other as we grieve. Big hugs to you. ~Nora

  5. Beautiful poem, and how true. I especially don’t like to hear “he is in a better place.” That may be true for some elderly people in a lot of pain and suffering, but not for our children and young adult children who were so young and had so much living to do on this side.

  6. How true that poem resonates for those of us who have lost a child, even if they are in their young adult years. I especially do not like people to say “he is in a better place.” I feel that may hold for an elderly person who is in pain and suffering, but not for our children who were vibrant and so young. They had so much more to live and experience here on this earth.

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to think how deep your hurt is. A lovely poem, that covers many losses. Many of the words sum up my world right now, just different circumstances.
    Thank you for sharing, and good luck in your life xxx

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