Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sonnet: I Thank You

Sonnet: I Thank You
BY Henry Timrod 

I thank you, kind and best beloved friend,
With the same thanks one murmurs to a sister,
When, for some gentle favor, he hath kissed her,
Less for the gifts than for the love you send,
Less for the flowers, than what the flowers convey;
If I, indeed, divine their meaning truly,
And not unto myself ascribe, unduly,
Things which you neither meant nor wished to say,
Oh! tell me, is the hope then all misplaced?
And am I flattered by my own affection?
But in your beauteous gift, methought I traced
Something above a short-lived predilection,
And which, for that I know no dearer name,
I designate as love, without love’s flame.

These last two weeks have been some of the most heart wrenching of my life. I finally stopped crying constantly, but I've now moved on the random panic attacks. Someone will mention something that reminds me of my friends and my emotions come crashing down on me. While I can often hide my panics, I feel completely on the verge of tears. I don't know what will trigger them, but someone will mention something that is innocuous, but it brings back strong memories of my friend. I know that this too will get better. I've never experienced such grief when I have been so alone.

However, with your comments and emails showing your love, support and friendship, I don't feel as lonely. All of you have been a lifesaver these past two weeks. You've shown what beloved friends you really are. Your gestures have meant so much to me, because I know it's the love you send and the meaning that it conveys. This poem conveys much of my thank for all you've done, but it can't come close to how thankful I really am. While I'm not out of the deep dark hole of despair, you have helped me to begin pulling myself up again.

Thank you all for also being patient with me and offering your kind words. I answered some of your emails yesterday but I haven't answered any of the comments many of you left on my posts these past two weeks. Some of them are written so beautifully that I don't want to mare them with responses that would never fully be able to convey the gratitude that I feel.  I hope that the above poem will at least begin to let you know how thankful I am.


Michael Dodd said...

When my maternal grandmother died, and we were very close, I was already a priest. Because of that, I was allowed to stay in the room after the hospital staff had chased everyone else out. All I could do, of course, was stand in a corner, out of the way of the team working unsuccessfully to revive her, and tell her in my heart that I loved her, that we all loved her. And goodbye. I remained calm throughout the experience and the days following, including the funeral.

About fifteen years later, I was recounting that experience in a homily I was giving at Mass in the monastery chapel on the Feast of All Souls, and right in the middle of telling it, with no warning at all, I broke down in tears.

People understood.

Keep living, keep loving.

To quote Dame Julian of Norwich: All will be well, all will be well and all manner of thing will be well.

dl.miley said...

I have learned in life that all that needs to be said is thank you and I feel you have done that. I wish that I had the friends you have through your blog and in life. You are a wonderful man, Joe. A person willing to share his personal life with the world. I have enjoyed reading your story for several year now and hope you continue for many more. You are blessed.

Susan said...

Two comments from lovely friends, Joe. I would like to add one more: I have read your blog since early in 2014, but got to know you so much better this year. Your intelligence, kindness, heartfelt openness on so many subjects is a true inspiration to us all. I consider myself fortunate to have made your acquaintance here and elsewhere. Thank you for the beautiful poem and for being you. (((Hugs))) <3

JiEL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JiEL said...

I couldn't say better than «Susan»...

Friends are there to enlighten our lives so, dear Joe, let you love by all of us.
As well as you enrich our own lives by your wonderful posts.

Your friend in Montreal.

silvereagle said...

No need to say thank you. But you are welcome.

Amanda said...

I'm glad you're here Joe. You're blessed and loved. ((Hugs))

Nikki said...

Grief doesn't have a timetable, so be gentle with yourself.