The aunt of a dear friend passed away. Although I never had the privilege of meeting her, I had been hearing about titi Zaida for the last few years. She was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a fact that caused much sadness for her family. Zaida’s devoted husband, Ruben, lovingly cared for her as she slowly and surely parted from him emotionally.
In the final six months of her life three of her nieces, Wila, Becky and Ana, began providing her personal care. Their loving care gave Ruben needed respite and allowed him more opportunity to just be with his beloved wife.
The three nieces felt blessed and honored to care for their aunt and, of course, their relationship with her deepened. They were with her at the moment of death.
In her grief, niece Ana, wrote a poem to honor titi Zaida. With much emotion in her heart and voice she read the poem during the funeral Mass. With permission, Zaida’s poem by Ana Puig, translated from the original Spanish, is shared with you here:
In Morpheus’ arms you dozed
Your eyes sleepy and cloudy
Said farewell to life bit by bit
And we, keeping watch upon your breaths,
Tired and sad, remembered.
“Reinita” deep in the country, little morning star
Inspiration of my dreams, model of my education
You were bridge, path, refuge, water, nourishment, and dwelling
Bearer of colors, brush strokes of hope
Enterprising artist soul, kind, tender, wise.
How do you say goodbye to a woman like Zaida?
You left us bit by bit, in sighs and daydreams
The vacant space you left, only your light can fill
That little moonbeam your smile spilled
In the vigil of love this past week
Sleep mocked me by night and at the dawn
In the shadows and the silence, as you ebbed away
The footprints of your memory danced in my remembrance
We give thanks to God for having known you
With your generosity you conquered our souls
The memory of your love shelters us and hugs us from the heavens you now walk.
What else can I tell you my blood hasn’t already?
That I love you that I miss you that my heart breaks?
That I hope to see you again when my hour comes
That my God blesses you; that your soul rest in peace.
Both Ana and I hope this poem brings you comfort as you grieve for your loved one. We also hope it inspires you to express your feelings of grief and loss in a poem.
You are not a poet you say? You are not a writer you say?
I say, you are a human being with a broken heart and right now you have strong feelings.
Begin by putting pen or pencil to paper and writing a few words that describe your feelings of loss. Then write a few words describing your loved one’s life (or their death). Write down some of your favorite words next. Then you might want to organize all these words into a paragraph or letter to your loved one (or another person in your life).
You might next be inspired to write a story describing an event in life with your loved one.
Perhaps now you take a line or two from here and there in your writings and place each on a line of its own.
You have written a poem! How do you feel? You have connected with your creativity and I am so proud of you!
FROM YOUR HEART
Do not worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, style or your assessment of the quality of your writings and your poem. You have written from your heart expressing feelings and sorrow (professional writers tell us writing from the heart is the most important part).
Sharing your poem with others isn’t necessary and wasn’t the point of my encouragement for you to compose it.
Sincerely sending you Peace, Love, Creativity & Beauty,