Stop All The Clocks

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

This speaks to me in so many ways and phases of my life. I reallly loved, once. Really loved. He was something between breathing, the first ripe strawberry, and Egyptian cotton sheets to me. 15 years and my heart still leaps out of my chest when I hear his voice. He broke my heart the last time I saw him, and it still hurts. There are moments I can’t believe my memories, but I always remember the searing pain of that day. I heard this poem for the first time that day, and read it some time around the funeral of my best friend Vera in 2003. I still can’t read it all the way through without crying. They say time heals all wounds, but I still miss her and grieve her passing at some point each day, and the same holds true for him now and again.


I’ve lost another friend and her four children as well. The youngest I’d never met. She was only 2 months old. At 7, 10, 10, and 36, the other four weren’t much older than baby Vadie. Miss Lacie Burkman was 7 years old. Born the same time as my daughter, and having just lost her two front teeth as well. I watch my daughter sleep and my heart aches… I can’t imagine being able to go on without her.

I think of Dan, Bethany’s husband and am at a complete loss. Happily married, new baby that blends their families, heading home after spending their new baby’s first Christmas with family. Now he’s burying his wife, two of his 3 children, including both his first born daughter and his last and the two step-daughters he loved as well. His step son who survived as well as his step son that wasn’t in the car are moving to their father’s house. His surviving daughter lives with her mother. So this man, this wonderful man has gone from a house of children, to being alone. His daughter is already home with her mother. His step sons have already gone to California to live with their father. I am grief stricken for him. I’ve lost my friend, but he’s lost everything.

Please, if you can find it in your heart, say a small prayer, a blessing, send good thoughts, however you are comfortable. Also, please don’t drink and drive. The man that hit and killed all 5 of them is 24, and was three times the legal limit when tested.

One thought on “Grief.

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