Bereaved Mom

On September 30 the art was revealed to our families who shared their stories of loss with our Give Grief a Voice team in 2023. At the event several parents shared their grief journey. Tiffany Pan courageously read aloud her poem, “Bereaved Mom.”  With her permission we share it with our Buzzy’s hive here.

“I had my son Miles in the fall of 2019. He came right before the world shutdown and became my daughter’s best friend in the short 17 months that he was here. When he died from Acute Myeloid Leukemia, I didn’t just lose my baby boy – I lost the version of myself that I knew and the expectations I had for our family’s future. Holding onto any semblance of hope that I wouldn’t always feel this heartbroken eluded me. When we became pregnant with Silas, I endured such intense depression that it just about made me want to give up trying to reintegrate myself back into “normal life” in 2021. This poem was written during a poetry workshop at the library I attended in the summer – I wrote it using the particular anaphora style where you repeat a word at the beginning of each line to create a sonic effect. I didn’t share my poem with a group of random strangers that night at the workshop but I held onto it until I was asked to speak at GGAV this past September. I was finally ready to share it with other bereaved parents at that point in my grief journey in hopes of finding healing for myself and perhaps for others who resonate with it. This is a piece of my grief and I invite you to sit in the heartache with me for a while.” 

“Bereaved Mom” 

Tiffany Pan

Bereaved mom is a sharp ache that never goes away – 
Bereaved mom is taking black and white photos with my son’s portrait – 
Bereaved mom is PTSD at 6am – 
Bereaved mom is having 17 months worth of pictures and videos –
Bereaved mom is never getting to watch my son grow up –
Bereaved mom is only seeing his name on a bench plaque and gravestone but never on a graduation program – 
Bereaved mom is listening to Phoebe Bridgers all throughout my pregnancy after loss and screaming in my closet –
Bereaved mom is always wondering what he would have been like today –
Bereaved mom is knowing that my vivid imagination is vital for my survival because it’s the only way I can comfort my grieving mind-
Bereaved mom is ghostly, dissociating because I crashed into another trigger – man, they’re seriously everywhere –
Bereaved mom is in flux, always wishing to fix things with my hands and finding the slightest satisfaction in completing tasks while knowing some things will never be fixed –
Bereaved mom is losing myself in show after show, forcing myself to watch movies about tragedy and trauma, hoping they will serve as a guide to survive this life in the after –
Bereaved mom is trying, trying again, and again, and again to reintegrate back into a normal that no longer fits –
Bereaved mom is wondering, wondering why I am so easily weary, so exhausted from living –
Bereaved mom is half-assing things, carpe-ing the fuck out of the diem – because nothing really matters? –
Bereaved mom is trying her best but still feeling like it will never really cut it because why should it when a piece of her flesh and blood is separated –
Bereaved mom is –
Bereaved mom –
Bereaved.