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A Journey in Listening

by Eve HoganMay 07, 2013

In honor of Mother’s Day and my own mother, who passed away of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS, eight years ago, I thought I would share the poem I wrote the morning she died.


A Journey In Listening


We were dependent on your loving words,

Your wise advice,

Your compassionate understanding.

We told you everything.

You told us everything.

We were best friends.

We spoke nearly every day,

Dependent on the ability to talk about our lives,

And to hear about yours.

Since we were often apart, our voices connected us.

You told us that we were loved; we were beautiful,

Wise, creative, wonderful.

Your voice reassured us.

Your voice warned us.

Your voice taught us.

Your voice loved us.



Then your voice left us,

And we let go.

Instead we became dependent on your written word.

You wrote us notes, thanking us, guiding us.

You said “I LOVE YOU!” in big, bold letters.



Then, your writing left us,

And we let go.

Instead we became dependent on the typed word.

You told us how to care for you, what you needed,

and what you were feeling.

You told us that you loved us.



Then the typing left us,

And we let go.

Instead we became dependent on your thumbs.

Your thumbs told us “Yes” and “No.”

Your thumbs said, “Two Thumbs Up!” and continued to encourage us,

Even though you couldn't eat, or walk, or move, or talk.

They guided us like hitchhikers through the course of caring for you.



Then your thumbs left us,

And we let go.



Instead we became dependent on your eyes.

You looked at us and let us know you were still there.

You looked at us and told us silently with your eyes

That you loved us,

That you appreciated us,

That you knew we loved you too.

Your spirit, your presence, your essence, your love,

All beamed from your eyes,

With no words written or said, no gestures.

Just the light of your eyes spoke to us,

Of life, of love, of compassion, of acceptance.



Then your eyes left us.

You stared past us and through us,

Into some other world beyond us.

We struggled with letting go.

We became dependent on your breath, your heartbeat.

We placed our hands on your chest so you could feel us,

And we could feel you;

Physical touch.



Now that has left us, too.

No more voice;

No more notes;

No more thumbs;

No more eyes;

No more heartbeat;

No more breath;

No more touch;



And yet, you remain;

You have not left us.

We hear you.

We feel you.

We know you.

We love you.



You and God speak the same language,

And we are listening.

Eve Eschner Hogan, March 20, 2005, Vernal Equinox


Eve Hogan

Eve Eschner Hogan is a relationship specialist, and author of several books including The EROS Equation: A SOUL-ution for Relationships. In Real Love with Eve, she shares skills, principles, and tools for creating healthy, harmonious relationships—with friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and the world at large. Her uncommon approach to common sense will help you sail away from ego battles and into the calmer waters of real love. Learn more about Eve's Heart Path retreats at She is the author of Way of the Winding Path: A Map for the Labyrinth of Life.

This entry is tagged with:
Eve HoganMother's DayGrieving MomPoem

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