Day 30 of 31 Days in August, “I Can’t Do This”

Day 10 of 22, “I Can’t Do This”Day 30 of 31 Days in August,

The Final Hours Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project

Day 10 of 22

The upcoming month of September is National Suicide Awareness Month

     The significance of 22 is the average number of veterans who die by suicide each day.

      Please visit Honor Courage Commitment, inc’s page to learn about the mission and how they are bringing awareness by using the hashtag #22kill and their 22 push-up challenge.

***This Collection’s poems’s subject is suicide and can be triggering to read. Please practice CAUTION BEFORE READING***

“I Can’t Do This”

Curled in upon myself

Sobs rocked me

Tears spilled over

Running down my face

I can’t do this

I can’t do this

A text reminded me

A friend would pick me up

I needed to get dressed

I needed to get ready

I needed to stop crying

Sobs shaking me

I made coffee

I showered the tears away

I picked out a long black dress

I would never wear again

I must look pretty today

It was what he would have wanted

I can’t do this

I can’t do this

I can’t say good bye like this

The woman friend picked me up

She made mindless conversation

I sat quietly trying not to think

The scenes inside my head

Would not go away

Of helping to make a decision

Of open or closed casket

Of a body appearing to sit up

As if it had all been a big joke

The scream of his family member

Who turned and threw herself into my arms

The sobs which came out of her

Deep and full of endless grief

I can’t do this

I can’t do this

How can I say good bye

We drove to the other side of town

The huge church filled to overflowing

I hugged his children

Although mine had chosen not to come

I was made to sit with family

Although none had ever

Tendered friendliness

Before this day

This terrible day

Of his life’s completion

I can’t do this

I can’t do this

I want to go home

A church full of people

A church full of grieving people

A church with lines of those

Who had come to say good bye

So public was this

This time to say good bye

To be unable to say

What I wanted to say

Even during this day

To know something had been coming

To be powerless to make it stop

For he had long decided

What day, what time

Was to be his final hour

I can’t do this

I can’t do this

I can’t let you go

Not today

Maybe in the future

But not today

A dozen years later

You have been forgotten

Your life passed

Given notice

Your life passed

And now you are gone.



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