THE BLOG
10/29/2014 01:31 pm ET Updated Dec 29, 2014

The Ghost in My Room

This summer my community lost a single parent to suicide. Mental illness played a role. Nobody knew what to say. A brilliant and beautiful daughter was left behind. I wanted to speak at the memorial service for the little girl and her family. I drove around for hours looking for the remote park where the service was being held. Clouded with grief and frustration, I never found it. Comfort wasn't anything I could offer. Words had been left unsaid.

We parents now had to face talking with our children about death. Our kids have already suffered loss due to divorce. But this is just... so much bigger. I wanted to share this with anyone struggling with how to talk to a child about the death of a loved one. I hope it helps.

The Ghost in My Room

The ghost in my room
answers how do you do
while she sits at the foot of my bed.

Quite well, my dear.
But please don't fear.
I'm just as much living as dead.

Who are you then, ma'am?
I don't understand.
I'm really not scared or afraid.

I'll tell you a tale
and then wish you well.
I have other visits to pay.

It's time you should know,
my dear, as you grow
your soul may be covered in scars.

It's really okay.
It happens this way.
My home is up there in the stars!

I'm afraid I have news
that will give you the blues.
I'm here for your mommy tonight.

She's coming with me
and someday you'll see
that everything's always alright.

She'll leave through her eyes
and soar through the skies.
Her body will lie where you pray.

Her daddy is there.
There's love everywhere.
You'll see her again someday.

I don't understand.
This can't be the plan.
There's still so much left to be said...

When you go back to sleep,
this promise I keep
you'll dream of the life that she's led

Wait no not yet!
Some things I don't get.
Please stay with me a bit more.

Will Jesus be there
With his long flowing hair?
Pearly gates and a big golden door?

It's so hard to say.
He's always away.
That poor man has so much to do.

Buddha's turned gray,
as Confucius will say.
But Allah will be there too.

The lessons you'll see,
just between you and me,
aren't always a matter of fact.

It's not what you believe
at the time when you leave.
What matters is how you act.

Who are you again?
How! What? Where? Why and when?
Wait just a minute! Will I ever have fun?

Your guardian angel.
I once was a nun.
The warmth that surrounds you
When you play in the sun.

Your mommy's mother is who I was last.
These lessons I learned at the time when I passed.
And yes, my darling, you will have fun!
Just please remember, we all are one.

Rest now my love.
It's not as bad as it seems.
We'll visit you often
at night in your dreams.

For Maya, Hope, Jen & Liz