A Poem for Parents Who Are Grieving the Loss of a Child
by Bob Olson
When I was a young man, my 5-year-old cousin, Matthew, was hit by a car and died. I rushed to the hospital when I got the news of the accident.
After the doctor delivered the news that Matthew had passed, he asked if anyone in the waiting room wanted to see Matthew's body. For some unknown reason, I went in with my cousins, Matthew's parents. I don't know why I did it, or why my parents didn't stop me. Nonetheless, it's a visual that has never left my memory.
That evening, I was unable to sleep as I was worrying about Matthew's parents. I got up at two o'clock in the morning and wrote this poem for them.
Matthew's mother said it was her saving grace during the coming days and weeks. They asked me to read it at Matthew's services.
For all of you who have lost children, or anyone for that matter dealing with grief, I thought I'd share it with you.
With love and heartfelt sympathy for your loss,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In Memory of Matthew
by Bob Olson
Many happy times we shared,
Your smile will never leave me.
That smirk of love that showed you cared,
Was there whenever need be.
You brought to me five gifted years,
And now I long to hold you.
I think of you and drown in tears,
Because I know I told you…
"Please be careful, please go slow,
Do NOT run in the street."
But you so young, how could you know,
The danger you would meet.
They say don’t cry, be brave, be strong,
But they don’t know my sorrow.
Life seems unfair, so mean, so wrong,
How will I face tomorrow?
For you, my son, filled every day,
With sunshine, love and kindness.
Those memories now pave my way,
Through the shadows of my blindness.
You know that I am grateful,
God blessed my life with thee;
And now that you are ready,
You shall spend the rest with He.
I know it’s right that you so nice
Should rise through heaven’s gate,
And even if you had looked twice,
There’s no-escaping God’s planned fate.
I understand you’re with Him now,
And joy is yours forever.
He sent us you to teach us how
To take life lightly never.
And now I’ve learned,
And you shall see,
How all you taught
Will better me.
As you would want, life will go on,
But not without your spirit.
With you in mind, I’ll rise each dawn,
With a smile like you would wear it.
And one day too will I be blessed,
To rejoice with God as you do.
And on that day my prayers will rest,
To rejoin with you, my Matthew.
© Copyright 1985 Bob Olson