~ Special Poetry Tributes
Many of the poems I have written and included
on Journey of Hearts™ been inspired
by patients or friends lost. These poems have been shared on the site to
help other people in healing and processing their grief. Many of these
poems have been used by others as part of their own healing processes following
the death or loss of a loved one.
of You is for Sheri, Celia, Sandy and Maggi without their deaths,
in short, rapid succession, I never would have had the inspiration for
the site, or experienced the losses necessary, to understand the grief.
was written during one of the more disheartened phases of my residency
days. This poem has been shared with friends and patients deal with
with depression, or after the death of a loved one, that they might find
their own Angel and way out of the darkness. It has helped friends through
the transition phase after being relocated, in a new unfamiliar environment
and provides them hope to deal with the emptiness and isolation that result.
came to me as an answer to two questions. The first was, "How can I provide
some solace and soothing words to a family friend who had lost his wife
earlier in the year to cancer, and was now facing his first Christmas without
her?" The second was, How do I help a patient, and the wife of a patient
deal with his impending death this Christmas?" The answer to my questions
came in the form of this poem "The Messenger."
Most recently The Messenger was published in several
resources, Tears-To-Hope newsletter published by the
Amelia Center and the website, New York FD/PD Widows & Family
Support, www.nyfdwidows.net, along with several personal website following
the September 11 tragedy as a resource that people found to be helpful
in their healing process.
was written as a tribute to those who have lost a child, an infant,
a new born, a stillborn, at any age, and to Shannon Kay. She made a brief
appearance, in 1996 but her memory lives on in the family and friend who
lost her. She is another of the inspirations for the creation of this website,
the resources on stillborns and loss of an infant, and the Inspiration
behind the Walk to Remember. This poem was used on a dedication page for
the 2000-2001 Manley Elementary School Yearbook in memory of a first grader
in our school who was killed in a car accident.
for You was written in as my
response to the death of my last remining Grandparent in December 1998.
My coping, as always, was turning to poetry. We had lost her five years
before to the affects of Alzheimer's. I don't know if you are ever really
ready for death when it comes, despite the intellectualizing, and all of
the preparation. For the first time I managed to get down on paper, a lot
of my feelings about death and having supervised many deaths as a physician.
This poem was shared at a session teaching medical students about death
Place came to me after a request by a visitor to the site to find
a poem that would be appropriate for remembering a birthday of a young
woman killed by a drunk driver. The story reminded me of another Kristin
killed in the 1970's when a plane crashed into the at the building while
celebrating a birthday party at the young age of 3. This was one of the
first tragic deaths that I can remember from my youth. To both of them
and their families, we hope they have found their better place. This poem
has been used by others in their memorial services and tributes.
Healing was written during a time when I was struggling to figuring
out what I could do for a particular patient once the medical treatments
had failed. This poem was the answer to my question "What is the physician’s
role with the terminal diagnosis when there are no treatment options?"
At the time I was struggling to find my role in caring for a 38-year-old
patient with terminal cancer. With her courage in living with her
disease she taught me the importance of knowing when to let go of treatments.
I also learned that one of the greatest gifts we can give our patients
is the ability to just "be there," "walk" with them, and provide them support
courage and strength on their final path. This poem was included in an
article on "Caring
For The Person, Not Just The Patient In End-of-Life Care" presented
at a teaching session for medical students.
seems that all you need is the right quote, poem or inspirational message
at the right moment to help provide perspective, insight and aid in surviving
a loss or crisis.
In dealing with the grief
response following a loss, it can be helpful to read the words from others
who have been there and survived.
Kirsti A. Dyer,
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
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