By Rhonda Wilson
Asheboro, North Carolina
Can you see the change in me? It may not be so obvious to you.
I participate in family activities. I attend family reunions. I help plan
holiday meals. You tell me you’re glad to see that I don’t cry any more.
But I do cry. When everyone has gone—when it is safe—the tears fall. I
cry in privacy so my family won’t worry. I cry until I am exhausted and can
finally fall asleep.
I’m active in my church. I sing hymns. I listen to the sermon. You tell me
you admire my strength and my positive attitude.
But I’m not strong. I feel that I have lost control, and I panic when I think
about tomorrow…next week…next month…next year.
I go about the routines of my job. I complete my assigned tasks. I drink
coffee and smile. You tell me you’re glad to see I’m “over” the death of my
But I’m not “over it.” If I get over it, I will be the same as before my loved
one died. I will never be the same. At times I think I am beginning to heal,
but the pain of losing someone I loved so much has left a permanent scar on
I visit my neighbors. You tell me you’re glad to see I’m holding up so well.
But I’m not holding up so well. Sometimes I want to lock my door and hide
from the world.
I spend time with friends. I appear calm and collected. I smile when
appropriate. You may tell me it’s good to see me back to my “old self.”
But I will never be back to my “old self.” Death and grief have touched my
life, and I am forever changed.
All poems have been used with authors permission