POEMS FROM A MOTHER: “Farewell letter” by David Whyte

Calla Lily

Farewell letter

She wrote me a letter

after her death

and I remember

a kind of happy light

falling on the envelope

as I sat by the rose tree

on her old bench

at the back door,

so surprised by its arrival

wondering what she would say,

looking up before I could open it

and laughing to myself

in silent expectation.

Dear son, it is time

for me to leave you.

I am afraid that the words

you are used to hearing

are no longer mine to give,

they are gone and mingled

back in the world

where it is no longer

in my power

to be their first

original author

not their last loving bearer.

You can hear


words of affection now

only from your own mouth

and only

when you speak them

to those

who stand


before you.

As for me I must forsake


and be bound gladly

to a new childhood.

You must understand

this apprenticeship

demands of me

an elemental innocence

from everything

I ever held in my hands. 

I know your generous soul

is well able to let me go

you will in the end

be happy to know

my God was true

and I find myself

after loving you all so long,

in the wide,

infinite mercy

of being mothered myself. 

P.S. All your intuitions are true.

~ David Whyte

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Tatterhood says:

    I find this beautiful and sad, because I have no way to relate with such words x


    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment Loosing a mother makes us go through so many different stages from that deep sense of loss… and at times we found ourselves “speaking” the words our mothers would use… I realize that not everyone goes through this experience in life. I truly appreciate your perspective. ❤


      1. Tatterhood says:

        It has taken three years, but I’ve finally been approved for grief counselling. Now I feel unsure about that… The poem was posted on the right day for me. I nearly rejected the offer, instead I’m going to go through with it. Sometimes the right words find the right person at the right time to help them make the right decision at the time x

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh wow! You have no idea how deeply your comment has touched me! If there was ever any purpose for my blog, you have just gave me the gift of knowing that it has inspired you to make that decision! That to me makes it all worth it! I totally agree with you, many times life gives us “lamp posts” along the way, that inspire us and guide us to our true purpose. The important thing is to pay attention to those synchronicities, and trust our hearts, and you did! So, you know that you have found your path, and I am delighted for you! Congratulations!!! I am so glad that in a very small way, this poem was the messenger for you! ❤ ❤ ❤


          1. Tatterhood says:

            You have no idea how grateful I am 💕

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh! I am so happy for you!!!! It melts my heart!!! ❤


  2. Anita Bowden says:

    So beautiful! ❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LindaP says:

    Beautiful words!

    Liked by 1 person

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