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Thank You Rabbi- poetry

By Marion Waterston, December 25, 2004

 

You came that Shiva night

And shared with me

The precious gift of laughter.

Nothing anyone had said could rouse me

From the shadows of my emptiness

The lonely rain that enclosed my imprisonment.

 

Death is so final, my son.

You traded life with all its undelivered promises

For no life at all, the way your father did.

Somehow his song was sweeter than my own

And helped your soul to rest.

 

So there I sat, surrounded by people

But very much alone.

They cared I know

But didn't feel what I felt.

How could they?

 

In your wisdom, Rabbi, you understood.

Silence could not disguise

A screaming soul, the loss of dreams

And knowing me, you began discussing

The complexities of buying a training bra

For your young daughter.

 

Thank you Rabbi

For helping me to appreciate

The balance in life.

 

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.

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