The Phoenix & The Ashes
I am still in the early stages of grief, & am wondering when it will finally go, you know?
When will I have a week with no tears. Her death certificate came in the mail yesterday & it was absolutely final for me. You would think the cremation would’ve been the final wake up, but I kept having days where I thought she was going to call me. So I called her 2 days ago, but I knew already that my sister had disconnected mum’s phone.
I rang anyway, 100% convinced she was going to pick up. In my head she did.
Why I Let Myself Experience the Full Spectrum of Grief
Writing Out My Grief
Exploring grief & death can be a taboo subject in Western society. I get it. It’s confronting & distressing.
In this adventure in writing I hope to be able to work through some of my unsettled thoughts regarding this painful experience in my life, & I would like to open a dialogue for people to begin writing through their grief & to be given the chance to be vulnerable, because that’s okay. This is perhaps the most vulnerable time in my life, & I am proudly laying it out for the world to see.
In my eyes, it’s just a display of the love I have for mum.
Mourning My Mother After Losing Her to Lung Cancer
The following poem describe a portion of my emotional journey that ensued during the time my mum passed away.
Mum had stage IV lung cancer (adenocarcinoma) & was diagnosed in December of 2016. She passed in May of 2017. Those last 6 months were the most precious of my life & have helped to shape my identity even further.
Marie was her name, but it was pronounced in an unconventional way. Just like her life, & how she raised me. To go against the grain if I so desired. She was more than her disease, & she impacted upon so many people’s lives without ever realising.
My aim in life is to spread the kindness she showed to others & to be as generous of heart & spirit as she was. This is the best way to show people who mum was, I think.
I hope these words reach those who may need them.
Poetry Dedicated to My Mother
The Aftermath in each day
I have your nose, your eyes, cheekbones & you’re in my DNA.
The mitochondria in my body, that amazing little powerhouse that is my biological lifeforce – it came from you.
But you are gone.
But you’re not, because you’re in my head.
You’re on my head.
You’re in my phone.
I have pictures of you in my phone, & this phone I have was once yours.
It’s all so perfectly circular, but there is no linear logic here.
You are not here. I am here. Without you.
Your spirit nudges me to find that peace that you wanted me to find.
That you also wanted to find for yourself.
If I had to bleed myself dry for you to have found that peace, I would’ve.
But you would’ve stopped me, because that’s who you are.
Who you were.
You know, I called your phone, but it was disconnected.
A mortal reminder that we are disconnected from one another, & that I am suspended in this miasma of despair.
I need a dreameater to help me get out of this.
Cut & Bleed
Little threads that covered you & wrapped you in a cocoon, trying to preserve you, to keep you here.
Poetic in the way they swaddled you on your first day, & now on your last.
Materials that were not in your body when you were born, when your life began, but became a part of your body when your life ended.
They were meant to tie you to this world.
What good can metal & plastic do?
They can be strong & tensile but how much metal & plastic ends up in our oceans & land which snuffs out life?
Why did I give so much of my trust to plastic & metal?
Grey was the floor I fell upon.
Black was the sky when I ran.
Warm was your skin when I came to you.
Cold you were when I left you that last time.
The End Came
You had taught us from an early age that it wasn’t something to be feared, & that it must be accepted.
What scared you was that it came too soon.
You weren’t ready.
I wasn’t ready.
We weren’t ready.
Acceptance comes with time, but there wasn’t enough time.
I accept that it happens, but I cannot yet accept that it happened to you.
In this year.
In that bed.
The relief I felt in knowing your pain had been vanquished & the guilt I felt knowing the payment required was your life, in full.
There is no in between.
A despicable situation if ever there was.
It Starts Again
The fire of life consumed you & left you in a pile of ashes.
This freedom now available to be in a million different places at once.
You’re a quantum particle.
You would make Hawking’s head explode & from his head I would flow.
Instead of a triumphant Athena erupting from Zeus’ head, it’s my salted grief that pours forth, carving desire lines in all directions to spell out that my only desire is to have you here.
You are not here.
The child you never will hold is coming, & this will break his mother’s heart.
You are not here.
But you are here.
Your mitochondria passed from you, to my sister, & on to her son.
You’ll be with us again.
When she has a daughter, you will be in her.
Then you will rise once more.
About The Author - Eleni Thanos
I’m Eleni Thanos, 29 from Sydney, Australia. I started out pursuing a science career, but somehow writing & communicating worked their way in to my life. I am studying a Master’s degree in Communication (Digital Media) & wish to pursue a career working with science, health & personal development communications.