Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
~ W. H. Auden
Until I had a child I didn’t know love. Until I had a child, I didn’t know my ability to love. Until I had a child I didn’t know frustration or pain or sorrow. Until I had a child, I didn’t know joy, wonder or bliss. Until you bury a child, you haven’t known grief. Today, this morning, my sons sleep at the father’s house. Today they are not with me but they are still on this planet. No matter my sorrow and longing for my sons when they are away from me, they still breathe. They are still alive. I shall chastise myself, remind myself, of the blessing of even the very worst and disappointing days with my children and I will hold my tongue and still my anger and encourage my gratitude because today, both of my sons are still breathing, today I do not bury one.
Friends of our family, the older brother of one of my son’s life long friends, died last week and this evening is his wake and tomorrow is his funeral. It is unfathomable to me. My heart ACHES and I feel the grief of these parents. I feel their horror and shock and the black maw of emptiness where their child should be. I am overwhelmed by the smell of my children. I laid in the beds this morning and cried, realizing that it would be the small things that wreck me and would keep wrecking me.
My only solace is that I believe in heaven and I believe this child proceeds his parents to heaven and how amazing and wonderful a gift to have raised a child whose soul God entrusted you with and to know you shrouded them in all the Grace of God and that they will join the Heavens. In that is my only peace or would be my only peace. But this morning, I hear the words of W.H. Auden……Stop the clocks…….