Friday, September 19, 2014

Dreaming Your Name

The name we gave you

we dreamed to see

on a diploma,

a wedding invitation--

maybe someday

in film credits,

photo bylines.

We could picture it

on a New York City doorbell

a far-flung postcard

a note of reconciliation

an ordinary e-mail.


on a stone.


in the favorites

still on my phone,


The names of those who die by suicide begin to disappear from conversation. They stop being mentioned or written during the years the lost ones should have been alive. It’s as if they cease to be real or to have ever lived. At a gathering of suicide loss survivors, we went around the room and spoke the name(s) of the person(s) we had lost. For a few moments, they were there with us, collectively hovering. We need to speak their names and be heard.

I need to see Noah’s name not on a stone among the dead, but on something good among the living. I still haven’t figured out what that might be.
Friends and relatives often speak their young adult children’s names and relate their latest adventure or accomplishment, or simply mention that they spoke with them. We can only dream what that would have been like with Noah.

Today marks a year and a half since Noah took his life and we began living the nightmare. I still cannot swallow the fact of his death. The bitterness sits like a stone in my throat. 

 *Note: All poetry on this blog is original unless attributed to others.


  1. "I need to see Noah’s name not on a stone among the dea[d], but on something good among the living. I still haven’t figured out what that might be."

    This resonates with me. My son (who died nearly 7 months ago) had a lot of cash in his room which he had never bothered putting in the bank. We've put it in a special account and are looking for inspiration for using it to honour him. But every suggestion we've been given is the equivalent of putting his name on a tomb stone. The fact is that he is dead and I just want him back.

    He is "alive" for me when I get together with the parents of his friends. We used to meet for lunch regularly and since his death, they have been marvelous in helping me survive. I feel included in the conversation because we have a lot of history in common and it is natural for us to talk about past events. I can speak about him in the past just as they speak about their children in the past. It is comforting to know he has a place in our shared memories. I don't mind them talking about what their kids are doing now possibly because I am still numb about my son's death.

    Mourning Mom, I am sending you a big virtual hug. I hear your pain and I am thinking of you and your son, Noah

  2. Thanks for that hug, mum2seja, and for sharing. I am very sorry for your loss. I admire your ability to enjoy talking with friends about their kids like you used to do, even in the midst of your shock. I love the idea of our lost children "having a place in our shared memories" with family and friends; how wonderful that your friends still speak of your son. It's probably good you are waiting to decide what to do with the fund in memory of your son; I'm sure an idea will come to you with time. Take care --
    In shared sorrow --