Please note this is a raw and heart felt poem I wrote as I held space for my client. It was also a way to process the grief I felt. I share it now as a reminder of the many layers of trauma.
I learned recently that a client of mine died unexpectedly. Her death was more peaceful and gentle than her life. Her final hours were not so peaceful. At the end, she died doing something she was familiar with, that had been a coping tool for too many years. She died because she was trying to quiet the sadness and demons that were living in her.
On this day of your funeral, i am crying quietly to myself. I’m so sad that i never got one more visit with your vibrant and curious mind. I loved our loud sessions, and your hope for better.
She died because she had internalized the abuse and shame that had been poking at her for too long.
On this day of your funeral, I’m so angry at the economic context that criminalizes drug use at the same time as not having more support for trauma survivors.
She died because she was sexually abused as a child and her childhood was taken from her.
On this day of your funeral, i am present thinking of all the sexual abuse survivors i have known, worked with, supported, and been a part of their healing journey.
She died because people feel uncomfortable with mental health and ‘those people.’
On this day of your funeral, i am holding space for you and all that you had to endure. To say that you lived a life of trauma and suffering is an understatement. You deserved a better life.
She died because she had fallen through the cracks like so many women, who live in poverty, with mental health diagnoses and addiction.
On this day of your funeral, i am so proud of your resilience – you had overcome so much and were working on a better life for yourself. I know that your final days were not the main part of you, but rather parts of you that were too wounded still.
She died because her body was carrying around so much baggage and pain from being sexually assaulted and physically abused for all those years.
On this day of your funeral, i am honoured that you shared your life with me and trusted me with parts of you that were so vulnerable, ugly, unspoken, and raw.
She died because the world doesn’t give a fuck about how trauma impacts us, but instead values success and independence and white picket fences.
On this day of your funeral, i’m so sad that you were alone when you died. That you felt alone and hopeless. There are so many people who loved you for who you are
She died in pain – her heart was broken and her body was exhausted.
On this day of your funeral, I am curious what you’re wearing as I know your style was a big part of your reclaiming of your body.
She died dying to reclaim her body and find pleasure again – her sexualized sense of self was still a work in progress.
On this day of your funeral, i’m sorry that i wasn’t there more to bear witness to the parts of you that struggled to come out.
She died because she wasn’t seen and we let her down.
On this day of your funeral, may your next adventure be the one of your dreams.
I’m sorry doesn’t quite cover it. Powerful words.