The problem with being pregnant and bereaved

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Loss, by Wendy Cope

The day that he left was terrible -
That evening she went through hell.
His absence wasn't a problem
But the corkscrew had gone as well.

It's not entirely on point. It was she who left, not he. Her absence most certainly is a problem. She even left the corkscrew behind, not that it's any use to me (maybe they only have screwtops in heaven?).

But oh, what I wouldn't give for a large glass of wine right now.

If you didn't laugh, etc.

This poem previously seen here on the subject of a different loss, that of the recipe book my mum made for me. Not just painful because of the recipes but because she also wrote down all of her favourite poems and I bloody well lost them and do you know how hard it is to pick a bloody poem for a bloody funeral??

Illustration by Caitlin McGauley

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  1. Oh lady. I can't even imagine.

  2. I've been thinking of you and your lovely mum lots over the last few days.

    My mum has got her funeral completely planned, down to the last detail, so whenever the time comes we won't have to spend days agonising over the perfect poem, hymn, song, flower, or anything else. I think this might be a mixed blessing - we won't have the stress of trying to pick bloody poems but what are we going to do with ourselves in those awful in-between days?! I guess that's where the wine comes in.

  3. Anonymous here (sorry, another pregnant blogger not yet revealling) but I hear you. Removal of said crutch is very hard. Like Kate above my mother has her funeral planned to a T, hateful to talk about, but needed in a way. I hope remembering her is helping you cope. I'm metaphorically joining you in a glass of wine in her honour x

  4. ...I don't know whether you have come across it, but I liked Mary Elizabeth Frye's poem that begins, "Do not stand at my grave and weep". I read a version of this at my grandfather's funeral last year and felt it was very fitting in many ways, it may fit you. thoughts continue to be with you. As your mom said in regard to her cancer, it is not something you have to be 'brave' about, only something you have to go carry with you. In many ways much like being pregnant. I wish you find strength by whatever means necessary. Knitting, mayhap?

  5. Oh Kirsty. My heart is aching for you. I saw your last post on Sunday morning on the train but my phone failed to let me comment. I'm so sorry for your loss and I can't begin to imagine how you are feeling. I hope you find comfort in the poetic options and know that whatever you choose will be perfect because you will have chosen it.

  6. I'm so sorry you are going through this. My dad died after a brief and ultimately unsuccessful dalliance with cancer just before I had my daughter and it was such a bitch. Grief, no alcohol and pregnancy hormones are an evil combination. You and your family are in this random woman's thoughts

  7. This might be of some use although not a patch on a glass of wine

  8. You know- as long as one glass of wine doesn't turn into three or four I believe that you are totally allowed. Up to you of course, but science says it's okay. Otherwise I hear that chocolate is the next best thing & it just so happens that I have some for you. xxx

  9. Girl, I was just thinking that I wish you could help yourself to a big ol' glass of wine. Take care of yourself. xo Evie

  10. You'll know when you find the right poem. I had to organise my Dad's funeral not so long ago and had no idea at all what he wanted (burial? cremation? music? readings?). I remember well blindly googling for funeral readings and for ages finding nothing that was 'him' until I stumbled across one that was. That fitted. I hope you'll find one that fits for your Mum and the funeral goes as well as it can.
    And its obviously a personal choice but as Lauren says the science says a glass of wine is just fine ( - especially if it makes you feel better.

  11. I am quite sure that under the circumstances the little one will understand. That's even a professional opinion. xx

  12. I'm with the other ladies - a glass of wine is totally fine in my books in this situation. To go off on a strange tangent, if you feel like reading something about pregnancy that isn't all the stupid books, I recommend Expecting Better by Emily Oster. She's an economist and writes fact with research behind it, whilst also telling her personal story. I thought it was a great read. Here's an excerpt:

    And on poetry, I don't have any stand out suggestions and my heart goes out to you for the missing poems... if it's worth anything, my favourite is Robert Frost.

    1. Oh duh someone already recommended that book. Well, there you go!

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