The “Hole” Family
My family has a hole in it.
My “whole” family has a hole.
There is no “whole” family.
There is just a family with a hole-
A large gaping hole.
No one can fill that hole.
No one can enter that void.
No one in my “whole” family.
My “whole” family goes on,
My “whole” family goes forward.
We struggle to remain whole.
But the hole remains.
Sometimes the hole pulls us closer together,
Sometimes the hole separates us.
Can our arms embracing each other diminish the hole?
When someone says, “Is your ‘whole’ family here” or
“Do you want to take a picture of your “whole” family?
I think to myself, “Can’t you see the hole”?
Written by Beverly Levin Copeland
Unlike a broken arm where one wears a cast, or cancer where one loses their hair, those in grief have no external physical evidence to indicate they are in pain. Like the poem states “Can’t you see the hole”?
I appreciate the old tradition of wearing black while you are in mourning to let others know to be patient and gentle towards you while you grieve. Since we no longer have that tradition it becomes important for those in grief to ask for grace from others when pushed to do things that you are not ready for.
Society expects those in grief to be “whole” in a few days or a few weeks. Those who have lost a loved one know that the “hole” in your heart takes a long time, months and maybe even years, to mend. An extreme amount of patience is required for yourselves, but also for others who can’t see the “hole” and expect you to act as if you were “whole”.