Reflections on tough times
These are strange and tough times across the globe. We are all experiencing this outbreak in a way that is weirdly unified and divided at the same time; we see what’s happening on a global scale while isolating from the world in our own little bubbles.
What really causes pain in this situation is that people are dying alone, without their loved ones by their sides. I read that and I cried.
At first, when the outbreak reached New Zealand shores and started to spread, I was just processing what was happening and looking after my family and checking on friends. I worried about my vulnerable people while also realising we have it pretty good and have a lot to be grateful for.
Still I didn't feel like writing. But slowly, the concern I felt for the vulnerable people in my family, thoughts of the loved ones I could no longer hug, the plight of people separated by seas and physical distance, the strange experience of going outside but staying separate, began to form lines in my head and I picked up my pen.
The pulse of my heart grows stranger,
reverberating with anxiety and danger,
a new drum beat of fear and worry -
when did I last see you or say, I’m sorry.
Sorry this kept us from each other.
I love you – dear mother, sister, brother.
Father – when did we last embrace?
Will we ever meet again face to face?
Above us an expanse of sky
where aeroplanes no longer fly,
between us cities, paths and oceans
and waves of all these strong emotions.
How deep it cuts to be alone,
to breathe your last breath on your own,
to close your eyes to the light of day,
with only memories to guide your way.
If you ever end up by yourself and in trouble,
know I would have had you in my bubble,
if I had thought it would keep you safe from harm.
I hope love can be your cruel storm’s calm.
April 2020 by Marissa Oakley Browne