A story of grief by a man and a boy

half man

Half the patience,

Half the fuse,

Half the parent,

Half enthused.


Half a man,

Half a boy,

Half the home,

Half the joy.


Half the time,

Twice the toil.

Twice the effort,

Half the spoil.


Half the father,

Half the son,

Half the future,

Half the fun.


Half the memory,

Half the drive.

Half dead,

Half alive.


Glass half empty,

Glass half full,

Sometimes vibrant,

Mostly dull.


Wholly wanting to feel whole again.

Wholly living with a hole within.

16 comments on “half man

  1. Habie Schwarz
    March 24, 2013

    Wholly understood. Fully loved, by the present and the absent. Fully articulate, for which, our thanks. Nothing anyone writes will help. But we’re here. And D is all around. Much love to you xxxx

  2. Dan Naylor
    March 24, 2013

    I concur.

  3. Donna
    March 24, 2013

    Brilliantly written. Sure this is how my brother in law feels. We lost my sister 9months ago, to a short 4 month battle with cancer, leaving him a single father to 1yr old twins. We still live in a blur of what we know is reality but feels so wrong to be true. I admire your strength and your blog will help so many. x

  4. Simon Hancox
    March 24, 2013

    Agreed Ben x

  5. Kayme
    March 24, 2013

    I lost my husband very unexpectedly 9 months ago and am left to try to raise our 5-year-old and 3-year-old on my own. I am so taken aback by how accurate your poem describes this new life. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes.

  6. Keely mitchell
    March 25, 2013

    Very accurate!!

  7. macrothings
    March 25, 2013

    Your other half was special, but, so are you…

  8. Laura Horvath
    March 25, 2013

    After three years without my husband, scary how true your words ring… I am a writer myself, but have been completely unable to put my feelings into words. I have written poems for my young children, but haven’t been able to get to where you are to express my own feelings. I think I’ll just borrow yours. God Bless you.

  9. Gill
    March 25, 2013

    read and acknowledged. x

  10. Laura Horvath
    March 25, 2013

    OK, here goes…

    Half a Woman
    Half a family,
    Half a home,
    Half a future,
    On my own.

    Little Girl,
    No shoulders to ride,
    Tiny man,
    No Daddy by his side.

    Half the kisses,
    Half the hugs,
    Half the laughs,
    My heart still tugs,

    Twice the sorries,
    Twice the soons,
    Twice the pressure,
    I’m marooned.

    On the shrunken island,
    Once our holiday,
    Still a beach,
    But in a different way.

    Though we move on,
    Inch by inch,
    I’m so damn tired,
    Give me a pinch.

    Mommy, get a grip,
    There’s so much to do,
    Here’s the alarm,
    Bills, breakfast and laundry too!

    Birthday parties,
    Days at the park,
    Ballet Slippers,
    Home by dark,

    Learning to read,
    Sounding it out,
    Learning to live,
    Without a doubt.

    • Laura Horvath
      March 25, 2013

      Hi again…upon reflection, think the last line should just be…without. Thanks for letting me get it out. Tears rolling as I was writing. Wow, even after all this time. I love your blog.

  11. Laura Horvath
    March 25, 2013

    Hi Ben: At the risk of completely depressing you, wanted to share this with you as well…since it is probably your fault that I was writing this instead of completing my work today:


    stuck in the mud
    asleep at my desk
    staring at nothing
    i need a rest

    empty thoughts
    crowd my brain
    keep me from thinking
    or acting too sane

    a foot in the past
    i’m standing still
    you don’t notice
    i need a pill

    part of the scenery
    2 in the bush
    standing still
    i need a push

    what bird is it
    that sings in the night
    i forget in the morning
    once it is light

    maybe like me
    that bird is alone
    calling for someone
    searching for home

    or maybe like me
    he’s stuck in a dream
    day time, night time
    no difference to me

    i used to be real
    alive and free
    but now I’m asleep
    remember me

    the doorbell is ringing
    a friend’s looked me up
    so tired of pretending
    i need to wake up

    I guess I should be careful what I ask for. Not very cheery, yet made me feel better. Thanks again for providing a safe place for me to feel. Laura

  12. Miguel
    April 14, 2013

    I do not have your talents… I needed to plagiarize somebody else’s (Mary Elizabeth Frye) work…

    I do stand at your grave and weep,
    You are not here and I do not sleep.
    You were the thousand winds that blow,
    myriad diamond glints on snow,
    Your were the sun on ripened grain,
    fertile drops of gentle autumn rain.
    When I lay awake in the dawn’s hush
    You are the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    You are the fading starlight at night.
    I do stand at your grave and cry,
    You are not here and I did not die.

  13. Pingback: Hole hearted | alice... what's the matter?

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