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Forgiveness- poetry

By Marion Waterston, January 31, 2005


I guess I'll never know

All I want to know

Or understand

What can't be understood

But I believe it's time to forgive


Time to forgive you for leaving me

So abruptly and so painfully

And time to forgive myself

For talks we didn't have

Laughs we didn't share

Songs we didn't sing

Foolishly I thought that time was on our side


Can it be that time now wishes to atone for this betrayal

For tears no longer flow like endless rivers

Anger seems a wasted emotion

And dreams those dreaded night-time visitors

Can come as friends


Once again I smile at the innocence of children

The unabashed warmth of lovers

The enthusiastic affection of dogs

And although I do not see you my precious love

You are with me


So I guess I'll never know

All I want to know

Or understand

What can't be understood

But here in this quiet moment

It's time and I'm ready

To forgive


Marion Waterston survived the loss of two members of her family to suicide- her husband, Richard, a psychiatrist, forty-seven years of age, and her son Mark, a college student, nineteen years of age. Following the death of her husband, she helped found a group for widowed people in Rockland County, New York and served as its first president for three years. After the death of her son, some sixteen years later, she joined a group specifically designed for those who had lost someone to suicide. Upon moving to Albuquerque in 1995, she joined "SOS" (Survivors of Suicide) and for the last few years has been president of that group. She states that she's been aware of certain differences in the way she grieved for her husband and then, her son. Some of these differences are expressed in her poetry.


06/11/2020 at 7:32 PM
This is a beautiful poem. I lost my husband to suicide last year and i have been so angry with him for leaving me. This poem hit my heart and I thank you for writing it.
05/28/2017 at 7:21 PM
Joyce Bjerk
I lost my youngest child, Danny, three years ago. I am only just beginning to have more positive dreams and memories - Like you I still cry every day and feel guilty for not saying and doing more to help him through his depression. I knew something was wrong but didn't know what to do and didn't realize he would take his own life. God bless all of you and I hope you can find some peace.
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