Loss, Change & Grief
Another Poem on Loneliness
Journey of Hearts 
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The following poem comes from one of the Alliance Members, Karen Countermarsh Fahel. This poem was written by her brother Peter wrote just two months before he died from suicide, and was later read at his funeral.

© Peter Coutermarsh June 28, 1994
About the Poem - From Karen Countermarsh Fahel
One of the first things my mother decided in planning Peter's funeral was that a poem that he had written would be read out loud at the service.  My oldest sister, Sandi, was asked to do the reading.  She and I are both very good at public speaking and are not afraid of being in front of an audience.  My mother originally thought to ask me because Peter and I were the closest, but she didn't think I could do it.  I didn't think I could, either, because I was far too emotional.  The night before the funeral Sandi rehearsed in front of all of us, and did a wonderful job.

However, the next morning Sandi called me up to her room.  When I went up, she said to me, "I can't do it."  I asked her what she meant.  After all, she had done so beautifully the night before.  She told me that she was fine until she got to the last couple of lines, then she would just choke.  I asked her to show me, and sure enough, she could not read it.  She asked me if I had any suggestions.  I took the poem from her and said, "Try it this way."  I then read the poem to demonstrate.  I felt an incredible calm while I was reading it.  She looked at me and said, "Karen...YOU read it!"

I told her that I would be glad to, but felt bad because she also had a beautiful introduction that she was adding to the beginning, and I had none.  What was I going to do, I asked her.  Just go up and read it with no explanation?  We looked at each other and came up with the same thought at the same time.  We both smiled, went down to the kitchen and told my parents of our plan.

And that is how it happened that, after one of my brothers (who is a minister) did a reading, hand in hand like two little girls, Sandi and I (the oldest and the youngest) walked up to the podium together.  She gave her beautiful introduction, and I got to read Peter's words.  Knowing that Peter wrote the lovely words I was reading was a great comfort to me.

Last updated September 11, 1998
Loneliness is used with permission of the author's sister.
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