Saturday, September 5, 2020

Poems Can Help Us Say Goodbye

 
1944 - 2020
Loved by So Many




Dear Students and Friends - I have not been in this space for a couple of weeks because my loving father, George Ludwig, died on August 21, 2020. Instead of tending this space, I have been missing my dad very much and also taking care of his house and business.

Too, I have taken a position as a fourth grade teacher, and I could not be happier about this. It has been a sad time and a time of new beginnings, and I am grateful that my dad knew about my job. He was so happy for and proud of me, and I cannot wait to meet my students this week. It has been 22 years since I was a classroom teacher, and at this time of loss, I am happy to have a beautiful new beginning too. Thank you to everyone at Parkdale Elementary and everyone in the East Aurora Union Free School District for welcoming me so warmly.

Each person experiences ups and downs on life's rollercoaster, and I am grateful to have spent so much of my own life-ride with my father. Some of you may know the feeling of almost not believing that someone is gone, and at such a time, reading and writing poems can help us hold our feelings up to the light. Even when the world feels scary, words are here for us. Words and poems can help us grieve, can help us say goodbye.

I wrote this poem in the second person, choosing to write in the you voice instead of the I voice, even though this poem is actually about me and my own dad. It just felt right this way. Remember, when you write your own poems, you may choose the point of view. It need not always be your own.

Carol is hosting this week's Poetry Friday party over at Beyond LiteracyLink with the roundup and her Embracable Summer Gallery of poems and images.We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

17 comments:

  1. "And now he is everywhere" and will be with you always. So lovely. Hugs to you, dear Amy.

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  2. It's not easy to write about losing a special person, Amy, but you've written one that your father would love as I imagine he adored all that you wrote. Sending you good wishes during this hard time for you and the family and for this new adventure teaching.

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  3. Beautiful. And true. I still get messages from both of my parents, but especially my mom. Love and hugs AND happiness and joy as you begin again next week!

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  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, Amy. Your beloved dad looks like a gentle, joyful soul. And to be starting a new school year while you are grieving...so much on your plate, so many emotions! Keeping you in my heart. xo

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  5. I love the second person POV in your poem about your father. It's lovely. I have a brother who passed who I think about a lot and he seems present in the world, as your dad is in your poem. Congratulations on your job and stay safe.

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  6. Sorry to hear about your loss. What a beautiful poem; "he is everywhere" speaks so well to the eternal presence of loved ones in our hearts and lives. And congrats on your new teaching job. Wishing you all the best as you tackle the unforeseen challenges that will arise during this uncertain time.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your father, Amy, and hope that writing your poem brought some solace. May your days be filled with shiny pennies and bright surprises. Wishing you the comfort of these and warm, shared memories. Also, best wishes as you start the school year. Your students are lucky indeed!

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  8. I'm so sorry about your dad. I find comfort in your poem and hope that you also find solace in writing it. Best wishes to your new beginnings this year with your fourth grade class.

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  9. Amy, this is so incredibly special. Giving young people (and older ones) a way to say goodbye is a very, very important kind of healing. This poem is a keeper. Thank you for writing it in such a way that all my students can understand and enjoy and feel it.

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  10. I was so sorry to hear of your loss, Amy. It is so hard to say good-bye. May all of your special memories bring you comfort. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  11. "You loved him so.
    You still do."
    Hugs, Amy, and thanks for this beautiful poem. It's never easy to say goodbye to our fathers. That goodbye for me came forty years ago, but I still feel his love. Congrats on heading back into the classroom. What a lucky school and class! I'm just a little sad they'll have to wait for some of your famous hugs!

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  12. Amy, your poem about your Dad is so endearing. While it is sad, it is also hopeful because your Dad is with you. Perhaps, you will see him in your dreams as I often see my Mother. It is a sweet surprise. I wish you the best of luck for a successful school year. Your students will love having their teacher, a famous children's poet guiding them on their learning journey. May your future be bright. (I can agree with Linda Mitchell that your poem is thoughtful and student-centered because you are sharing grief with them in a touching way.)

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  13. Your love for your father emanates from deep within this poem, flies out on those butterfly wings and touches us all-lovely Amy. I wrote a handful of poems for my father shortly after her passed–it'll be four years ago this October–and I continue to write more. Thanks for sharing your poem. Wishing you well as you begin your new teaching endeavor–be safe, xo

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  14. Amy, I love that you share your life so deeply with others through your poetry. I've had lines for a children's poem about death flitting through my own brain lately, and it was such a surprise to encounter yours. I'm so sorry for the loss of your father--especially in these times when we are already so tender. And...congratulations on your new teaching position! I had no idea. I love that you will be in the classroom, sharing your gifts. But I'm also sad that you won't be writing full-time...Your school is so lucky to have you!

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  15. Dear Amy. I am sorry to hear about your sadness and missingness. May you find many happy reminders of beautiful memories, most especially on the toughest days.

    All the very best with the new classroom adventures awaiting you.

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  16. Amy,
    Somewhere I saw that your father had died and left a comment. This poem is so you, so true, so important. As I read today (the 13th) that you are teaching again I was practically gleeful. Happy for the children in your class and the teachers in your school to have your presence and gifts among them. But a tad sad, too, that you may not be doing visits and conferences in the near future, but alas, they are all virtual anyhow.....You know I am a huge fan and I send you hugs and condolences. What a father you must have had. I don't know how you fit it all in and I envy your ability to be in the flow and compose with such confidence and seeming ease so much of the time. ( Though I know from your "Notebooks" blog that you are definitely intentional and thoughtful. When I was much younger I could compose quickly. Now not so much. But still I write and still it is poetry that holds me. I want to be in 4th grade. Do they allow non-traditional 9 year olds at heart? Janet F.

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  17. Dear Amy,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Your poetry and this site has meant so much to me and my students. Take the time you need. We will all be here when and if you decide to return. Sweet memories.

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