Blissful Sadness

A Silhouette of Sadness

A Silhouette of Sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New mothering
brought me joy.
Blissful willingness
I gave of myself.
Nothing perturbed
or was too much
to tend to this babe
that I had birthed.
She was my first,
perfect and sweet,
a child of peace,
her soul so deep.
A bond grew tight
with her at my breast,
exchanging love,
trust, and light.
But you never called,
you didn’t reach out,
you kept yourself(ish)
hidden from our life.
Your granddaughter
was here…not so
far away, but you
made no attempt
to join with us.
I should have
been prepared,
because this is
who you are…
but it would have
been nice to have
felt your presence.

Stuart McPherson describes “The Beautiful Sadness” over at dVerse Poetics.  Share an occasion or event that was beautiful but has elements of sadness within it.

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  1. oh …heavy…i imagine when the kids move away, i might be feeling much the same sadness…esp if they dont come around…


    • Oh, this is about my mother not showing much interest in my becoming a mother…not my daughter pulling away. It was the bittersweet feeling of such strong love for my child…but not having my mother present to share it with.


  2. poemsofhateandhope

     /  August 11, 2012

    afraid to say that i relate to this one. Really like the contrast between the joy of having children…yet the pain and loneliness that can be felt even within ones own family. I think what i like best about this is its pure honesty….your just telling it as it is…and for me…that is the best kind of poetry- because there is no hiding from it…you met the brief and then some!


    • Well, it seems I may have not been clear in my expression as to who had pulled away. I was missing my mother’s presence after giving birth…she’s pretty aloof… But I’m glad this met the challenge of the day…and happy that you liked the honesty…thanks!


  3. This is so sad ~ Nicely portrayed of family fractured by challenges ~


  4. Oh so sad. I can only imagine how it must hurt.


  5. Sad when we HOPE that things will change, that someone who has always been a certain way will be different just this once. I hear your disppointment and your sadness….and I hope someday this changes!


    • That’s where we go wrong…in hoping. We set ourselves up for pain. Hope (there’s that word again) you did not misunderstand my words as some apparently have…I should have been more clear somehow. Thanks, Mary.


  6. I can only imagine how this must feel as a mother myself. To care so much, only to have them eventually pull away entirely would be hard. I would venture to say that sometimes the one pulling away doesn’t fully realize the extent of pain inflicted. Hoping for an eventual return, sooner than later.


    • I was meaning to say (but apparently didn’t do so well) how my mother was absent for her granddaughter…she was aloof and never reached out to us very often. It was kind of sad in contrast to my joy at being a new mother. But I would agree with you and think that perhaps the one pulling away doesn’t realize the extent of hurt feelings. Thanks, Lori.


  7. this is sad…


  8. “A bond grew tight
    with her at my breast,
    exchanging love,
    trust, and light.”
    MaMa! Did you bond with me too? Why not? It is in the presence of the next generation that we begin to share the stories of the one before, isn’t it? (My mom didn’t tell me much about marriage until I was married–too late, actually.) Here it is all understatement:
    “but it would have
    been nice to have
    felt your presence.”

    This is the purest example of Beauty/sorrow that I have read all day!


    • Well, sure why not, Susan? My parents were not a good example of marriage…a lot of pain there. I can only imagine what it must feel like to have a close relationship with your mother…or father for that matter. It was what it was. And thanks for the great compliment too…I appreciate that!


  9. I got the poem. It’s not always the fault of the author. Or anyone’s fault. There are complex issues sometimes not so easy to get. So, don’t be so quick to decide that you didn’t do a good job here!

    Quite something complex emotions in this one. A wish that is strongly felt. She is who she is but nonetheless, one wishes for a grandchild, perhaps a change? I think my granddad (my dad’s father) was like that… he wasn’t much in my life, just some kind of cold distance. later my dad tried to connect with him but I don’t know…he’s just like that. Anyway, on the poem, I felt the heartache, particularly when you are so proud of your beautiful child, and you wish your mother would… care.


    • Your sensitive reply brought a bit of a tear to my eye…that was very sweet. Yes, emotions can be complex because you can love as well as…well, I don’t like to use the word hate..but yes, sometimes hate your parents. It’s hard sometimes to sort through all the feelings. In my family, I can see the lineage of problems that have been passed on from generation to generation. In my generation and with my two daughters, I see self-awareness and change happening. So…there is progress!

      Thank you for sharing some of your experience too…I appreciate that.


  10. Having to look after the baby is a great responsibility. It would have taken all the quality time needed. The grannie has other things to take her mind into certainly!



    • Yes, having a baby takes a lot of your attention…I thrived in that role as mother. Yeah, I guess grannie had other ideas… Thanks, Hank.


  11. I love Tinks so very much and she returns that love tenfold. Life for her, without he grandma, her granny and her nana would be much the worse. I am so sad that your own mother never got to share in the beauty of her grandchild. I fell into this immediately and knew exactly of what you spoke. My partner would rather die than have no contact with Tinks.
    The joy of children should never be wasted, it only lasts a very short time, but I can only try to imagine how you must have felt when your mother failed to share your joy.


    • That’s exactly what I got from my two daughters…love returned tenfold…it was the best love I ever had raising those two children. Tinks is a very fortunate…and well-loved little girl…the better for all concerned as she becomes a well-balanced and secure adult. Yay, for you and all her loving family members. It’s sad too because my mother doesn’t even know what she missed…I don’t think it’s on her radar. Thank you, Tino, for a very kind and thoughtful response..and understanding what I was trying to share here.


  12. A lived-with heartbreak, sadly felt by so many …


  13. This is really moving!


  14. This IS so sad, Gayle…sort of the opposite of my poem where the child didn’t show up. Sometimes families can be so disappointing and we can’t do a thing about it. I feel sad for you and for your mother who chose to lose out on such love.


    • Yes, an opposite situation in my story, Victoria. Your poem showed another very sad scenario. You’re so right…there can be a lot of disappointment that we are powerless to change. Since my father passed away several years ago, I’ve spoken more to my mother than I ever had in all the years before. She relies on me now more than ever as she’s in her late 80s…it’s so ironic…I never felt much that I could rely on her. What a trip life is!


  15. Sometimes, the things we want aren’t necessarily the things we get. I can empathize with this so very much, Gayle. It touched a part of my heart that had put a scar in that spot. Motherhood is difficult. Having somone there to give moral support can make a huge difference. I winged it as I had winged growing up. A well written account of an impactful write.
    Izzy xoxo


    • You’re so right, Izzy. But sometimes the things we get are exactly what we need to become who we’re meant to be. I can imagine that this touched that still tender place in your heart. Motherhood is difficult and it’s interesting how it took me becoming a mother to see just how much I had missed out on with my mother. I was very young too when I had children and still had a lot to learn about relationships. Still learning, I guess… Thanks, Izzy xoxo


  16. Sad and painful, but beautifully expressed.


  17. i cannot understand grandparents who don’t treasure time with their grandchildren. beautifully written, Gayle.


  18. At first I, too, mistook who was pulling away. But that’s because I’m viewing this through my own filter ~ I adore my twin grandsons but can’t seem to connect with their mother, my own precious girl. Re~reading the poem, I understand and agree that you’ve captured the bitter~sweet emotion, bound by complex family ties. How sad that your mother denied you both this wonderful bonding opportunity ~ but it’s heartwarming that, maybe because of this, you have an excellent relationship with your own daughters. Thank you, Gayle, for sharing this so honestly 🙂


    • Oh, of course…people do have their own perspectives don’t they. That certainly would determine how they see something shared. Yeah, my mother is not so much the warm and fuzzy type…she can be pretty insensitive sometimes. There’s a whole other scenario with my oldest daughter that ensued after I divorced her Dad…it was not very easy but now things are back on a much more even keel with her. Now, I’m awaiting the birth of my first granddaughter and the opportunity to lavish love on a new little being. Thanks so much for sharing your own experience, Jacqueline…I do value that. And, you’re welcome. 🙂


  19. this is so touchingly sad, Gayle..thanks for sharing this piece.


  20. The poem poignantly shows how fulfillment can be tinged with disappointment, because joy longs to be shared. It is so tender and regretful, so truthful and acceptant and yet longing remains. No matter that its meaning may be misinterpreted … the effectiveness of the poem is not lessened, Gayle. It is beautiful.


    • What a kind and sweet comment, Diane…thank you for that. Yes, that disappointment did seem to sometimes hover in the background.


  21. I was not close to my mother in a way I wanted to be but when the kids came along, she was always happy to see them and was none too pleased when I moved from CA to WA. I often think now could we have been closer if I had stayed but my life was not meant for that journey it would seem and now she is gone I simply treasure that the closeness came later when she was too ill for us to share it. I understand parents that are not emotionally present now that I am older but there was a time it seemed all too harsh. Nicely written.


    • I think it’s not uncommon for mothers and daughters to have conflicts. Or so it would seem in my experience. My mother seemed happy to see my girls too but never made any real effort to go out of her way to spend time with them. Interestingly, it was my father who would call and take them on outings and do things with them…the same father that was so absent and aloof in my own childhood… Life never fails to amaze me! Thank you, Renee.


  22. I went through this with my mom too, though eventually things got better and she came to really treasure him more than anyone or anything. I don’t know what that reserve is about. Strange. You’ve done a nice job with this, Gayle. And look at you. You are yourself as a grandmother: caring, tender, involved. So wonderful.


    • I don’t know what that is about either. Perhaps a fear of opening up and being vulnerable…I’m not sure. She doesn’t have a real connection with my two daughters…or with anyone for that matter.

      Yes, now I’m experiencing that wonderful relationship…I picked up and moved my life to be with her. Best thing I’ve done in a long time, Jamie.



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