Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest post: Poetry from a father


I lie awake under the covers,

the dog snuggled at my feet,

The cat lounging on my chest,

both soundly asleep.

My wife lies beside me,

so innocent, so sweet.

She surely doesn’t deserve this,

no, not this stinging defeat.

I’m tired from the long work day,

but I can’t sleep just yet;

I’m waiting for you to get home,

my daughter, my sweet pet,

And pop your head in the door:

“Dad, I’m home,” you say.

“Get some rest,” I say,

“and be sure your clock is set.”

“I love you.” “I love you too, Dad,”

you say with a smile.

“She’s home, Hon,” I whisper softly,

“safely home for a while.”

My wife turns and squeezes my hand,

as she lets out a sigh,

We’ve survived another night,

survived another trial.

Sometimes it’s one in the morning,

sometimes it’s four.

Sometimes I get out of bed

and slowly pace the floor;

I listen for your car,

and the blaring radio.

I’ve been through this scenario

so many times before.

Sometimes when I’m sitting up,

patiently waiting for you,

You walk in and give me a hug

(for me, nothing else would do),

And ask “what’d you have for dinner, Dad?

Are there any leftovers?”

Then you settle in on the couch,

flipping channels on the tube.

Now I lie awake under the covers,

the dog snuggled at my feet,

the cat lounging on my chest,

both soundly asleep.

I still get up at one or four,

and pace the floor for hours.

But before I go back to sleep this night,

it isn’t you I’ll greet.

For loneliness, desperation, hopelessness and fear

will be my companions tonight.

We’ll meet my wife along the way,

and party into the night.

We’ll wake-up in the morning with

a hangover of sadness and grief,

And face the realization that

this might always be our plight.

Because you’re not coming home tonight,

not at one, not at four.

You left us here to grieve your loss,

nothing less, nothing more.

But this is not our home, nor yours,

and we’ll join you soon enough,

We’ll see you again in Heaven,

yes, on Angels’ wings you soar!

~ By Ernie Laughlin



  1. Heartbreaking! Every parent's nightmare....

  2. Ernie, thank you for sharing with us. Hugs to you and Brenda as you navigate this rocky path of bereavement . . .

  3. I wish I didn't understand this poem so well...but it now describes my life since the sudden death of my 23 year old son nine weeks ago.
    I've been searching online for blogs by bereaved parents as well as websites that might offer a glimpse of "comfort". I've put everything together on one site:

    I just added this blog and I continue to add more blogs as I find them. I never knew there were so many very sad families who have lost children.

    1. There are many of us. So sorry to hear about the death of your son. We do and can bring comfort through our written words.