Child Loss - The Spare Room
Reality vs. Imaginary
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
I am very pleased to be able to
share some of these poems from Sharon Swinney. They come from her website,
Mary's Home Page, one of our Alliance of Healing Heart Members. Sharon
is another person who turned to writing poetry as a way of dealing with
the grief after losing her daughter. Her words in "The Spare Room" describe
the heartache, and the shattered dreams. In "Reality vs. Imaginary," the
poem written sometime later captures the healing process.
The 'Spare' Room
"Reality vs. Imaginary" is the follow
up poem to "The Spare Room." It was written in a way of getting one's dreams
to come out, face the light of day and the reality. Sharon writes:
There's a room in our house,
where the door is kept closed.
What lies behind it, nobody knows.
Perhaps I will tell you, if you
have the time.
It has all sorts of things, you
never know what you'll find.
There's a couple of prams, a
cradle and a cot,
A rocking chair, a wardrobe and
clothes, it's got the lot.
But if you open the door carefully,
with ne'er a sound,
You may see my dreams, shattered
on the ground.
For my hopes and dreams are there,
more than a few,
Never to be realized, never to
If you wait awhile, 'till the
sun goes down,
You might hear them whispering
and moving around.
Sometimes you may hear a cry,
But it's not real, it's just
They try to escape, in the cool
They slip under the door, they
know I still care.
But it hurts so much when my
dreams reach me,
The tears flow freely, why must
I know when the sun starts to
My dreams run back to the room
They cannot cope with the harsh
light of day,
Only in darkness can they come
Reality is painful, it hurts
to the core,
But as the light starts to fade,
I look to the door.
My dreams lay there, my shattered
I hear them talking, soon they
©1994 Sharon Swinney
I had to pass that room each
time I went into my bedroom. I was so very hard to do.
I knew that I had to face the
room and everything it held for me, or I would never accept that part of
my grief. I finally managed to go into Mary's room again. It was
difficult, but I was glad I did. I was able to leave the door open after
Reality vs Imaginary
That room is still there,
The one I call 'Spare'.
I feel it reaching out and calling
It is haunting me, and it's using
I have to go in. I have to go
I have to face my memories, and
dreams, in that room.
I'm scared to go in, it'll hurt
My shattered dream, how deep
I open the door and I go
The air is hot and stuffy, the
My heart is heavy, I cannot breathe,
I remember her cry, I try to
But I can't go, I must stay and
face my pain,
Or all of this will be in vain.
I sit down and look around,
I put my Scotch (Dutch courage),
on the ground.
I see her little night light,
the memories flood in,
Of the tube feeds and medicines.
Now my tears begin.
Those cold August nights, with
the heater on high,
She was only in here a week,
but how the time flies.
I feel a smile on my face,
for the memories are sweet,
The haunting feeling is dulled.
Will I try for defeat?
I see the highchair, where she
will never sit,
But also the rocking chair and
how she loved it.
The pain is softened, as my memories
My dreams mingle with them, I
know I'll succeed.
I'm glad I went into that
room which is 'Spare'.
The memories fill me with warmth,
although my dreams are still there.
I remember the cuddles, the love
and the kisses,
Her strange little cry. Oh God,
how I miss it.
Tonight I will sleep with the
door open wide,
For my memories and dreams, are
no longer to hide.
©1995 Sharon Swinney
About the Author:
Sharon Swinney turned to poetry
as a way to deal with her grief after her daughter died. Mary was only
7 ½ weeks old when she died from a Congential Heart Defect. Sharon
describes this even as "The hardest thing that our family has ever had
to deal with."
If only one person gets
comfort from these poems,
Something to show them they
are not alone.
Maybe even something to
help them dull the pain,
Then I'll know, my precious
Did not die in vain.
Sharon found the poetry very
helpful and was encouraged by others to put her poems together in a book.
She was helped by the SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Support, incl.
miscarriage) organization in Australia to get the book published. She has
discovered with her book that, "Mary seems to have been able to reach out
and touch more people since her death, than she could in her life. I think
she would have been pleased."
Sharon's motivation for creating
the book, and for sharing her poems can be summarized in the following
the Heart by Sharon Swinney
A portion of the purchase price
of each book goes to SANDS Qld. to support the work of this self-help support
group comprised of parents who have experienced the death of a baby through
miscarriage, stillbirth, or shortly after birth. SANDS provides immediate
and ongoing support to bereaved parents, families and friends.
A collection of poems written
from a mother's heart, following the death of her young daughter Mary.
For more of Sharon's poems visit her website for Mary at:
SANDS is handling the sales of
this book. The book costs $14AU which includes postage. They have credit
card facilities for Master Card, Visa and Bank card.
If you are interested you can
Last updated September 29, 1998
The Spare Room is © 1994 and Reality vs.
Imaginary © 1995 by Sharon Swinney and use with permission.
The graphic for From my Hearts is also used with
permission. Room graphics are © 1998 Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS.
All material, unless otherwise specified, is copyrighted
1997-8 by Journey of Hearts A Healing Place in CyberSpace. We invite you
to share the information on this site with others who may benefit, but
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