Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

lost friend

It has been a while but I woke up this morning with words in my head that I wanted to pass onto friends who have lost someone they love.

Lost friend

How do you deal with a life cut so short?
How do you handle the shock and the hurt?
How do you find reason when there’s none to be found?
How do you steady yourself when you’ve lost your ground?

The truth is you do,
And the truth is you don’t.
The truth is you will,
And truth is you won’t.

Because how can your feelings ever end?
How can you ever lose loss when you’ve lost a friend?
How can you make all the pain go away?
When the pain reflects the love that will always stay.

And would you let that love be taken if someone offered?
Would you put the memories in a forgetting box if somebody proffered?
Would you have all the good times taken away?
If the hurt could be healed is that a price you would pay?

I’m sorry the only comfort I can offer is cold,
A reworking of cliches that I was once told:
That love turns to grief when someone is gone,
And that darkness descends over light that once shone.

But when someone you loved shone their light onto you,
And when the person you grieve for loved you back, too,
Then their loss becomes a shadow abruptly thrown,
A much darker shadow than even your own.

And some days you’ll be happy again,
Some days you might even be glad of the pain,
Because it’ll let you know that you still feel,
It’ll tell you you’re alive and that you’re still real.

And it can be hard to accept that you’re still here,
Without that someone you love and need so near,
And I wish I could conjure words to make this end,
The hurt that you’re feeling in losing a friend.

But the truth is my words probably can’t yet be taken,
Like medicine that won’t settle while your world is so shaken.
But if only my words could make you feel better,
Then I’d keep on writing and I’d write forever.

26 comments on “lost friend

  1. somekindofwonderful1
    July 17, 2015

    Beautiful words, you explain your feelings so well. Good to see your post. School’s out for summer, hope you have a good one 🙂

  2. lottiesc
    July 17, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing such profound and wonderful words Ben – they simply ring true, through and through. Big hugs of strength to you and I hope you don’t mind if I share these words with my friends and family?

  3. Carolin Messier
    July 17, 2015

    Thank you for this. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my fiancĂ©, William’s, death by suicide. The grief has been intense, this past month especially. So I write, it’s one of the things that helps, a little. I wrote and posted a poem today. And reading things from others who also understand the deep grief of losing a partner helps too. So thank you again for your words and sharing your own grief. I wish you peace and comfort in your evolving journey through grief.

    • J Russell
      July 18, 2015

      I don’t know you Carolin, but Ben’s poem meant something to me, as does your response here. I wish you well. I am further down the line than you, and Ben’s words ring very true.

  4. Sarah Martin
    July 17, 2015

    Oh Ben. Beautiful as ever, and so poignant. Thank you xx

  5. Ramblings of grief
    July 17, 2015

    Bloody hell Ben!

  6. Sarah
    July 17, 2015

    Perfectly done. So good! Thanks Ben. Xx

  7. Linda Rogers
    July 17, 2015

    This is so how I feel. Recently I lost my dog who was 14 a really old dog. Whilst I miss her for her own sake I felt I lost my husband again as my memories of my dog are so bound up with him. I am printing this and giving it to my social group who are all bereaved. This sums it up for me after 4 years of losing my best friend.

  8. Tricia
    July 18, 2015

    So well written, as usual Ben x

  9. Mabel Rudo Nyazika
    July 18, 2015

    Ben it is good to read a post by you again, assual well expressed thank you.Trust Jackson is doing well.

  10. handikwani02
    July 18, 2015

    Ben it is good to read a post from you again, as usual well expressed thank you. Trust Jackson is keeping well.

  11. smc68300
    July 18, 2015

    My husband died last Wednesday. Everything feels like a cliché

  12. smc68300
    July 18, 2015

    My husband died last Wednesday
    Everything feels like a cliché

  13. Caroline
    July 18, 2015

    Beautiful Ben. I hope you and Jackson manage to have a happy summer – hold the memories, but remember she will want you to have fun.

  14. victoriawhyte
    July 18, 2015

    Your words are very touching Ben – written by one who knows – thank you for sharing them with us xx

  15. Ashton Deroy
    July 20, 2015

    Grief can be a hard burden to bare. I wish you the best in your recovery of over the loss of your friend.

  16. smc68300
    July 22, 2015

    In a much older post, you mention advice from Care for the Family and to e-mail you for it. I cannot comment on that post. I’d take that advice if you still have it … smc68300@gmail.com. Thanks.

  17. Mark Hawkins
    August 3, 2015

    I’ve just finished your book Ben and didn’t think you could continue to write such beautiful words but I was wrong. I married my best friend (Victoria) in 2013, she died in 2014 and I’ve just had our 2nd wedding anniversary. I hope Jackson is growing up happy, my daughter Izzy is following that line.

  18. Fiona Hose
    September 3, 2015

    Ben I just wanted to let you know how beautiful your words are. That is our beautiful daughter Claire in the picture. We lost her 9 weeks ago yesterday and have started our year of firsts – first birthday, first Christmas and so on. The grief keeps roaring through me, taking away both my breath and the ability to feel anything other than complete desolation. Sometimes though, I feel I am beginning to find that some days are minutely less horrendous that others. It is a sea of grief being emptied a teaspoon at a time. Be safe

    • Life as a Widower
      September 3, 2015

      I’m so sorry, Fiona. It’s so incredibly devastating. She was such a lovely girl and her friends love her very much. Sending my love and thoughts.

      • Fiona Hose
        September 3, 2015

        Knowing that she was as loved by so many wonderful friends has been a real comfort – we were so touched when Kate showed us how everyone of their friends was updating their facebook profile picture with one showing them with Claire was such a heart-stopping moment. We know, as you must, we are not alone in our loss, just alone with our individual worlds of grief. I’m not sure if I am strong enough right now but I think I would like to do a post as a guest – love and hugs to you and your special little man xx

      • Life as a Widower
        September 3, 2015

        You’d be welcome to any time. It would be an honour whenever it’s right for you x

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