Stop all the clocks: saying goodbye to Jahi McMath

Leslie10200There are some stories that we can’t seem to shake out of our minds. They consume us more than any other. For my friend Leslie Wimes, founder of Woman on the Move, it has been the story of Jahi McMath. She’s followed every tragic word, sharing it on our BlogTalk Radio program, her Twitter, and today on her blog –Jahi McMath, Let her go As usual, she captures the difficult decision facing mothers and fathers in this gut-wrenching position.

“Hope is a very powerful thing. Faith is a very powerful thing. Acceptance is also a very powerful thing. The family of Jahi has hope. The family has faith. The family does not accept, however, that their loved one is no longer in the shell that we call a body here on earth,” says Wimes.

How does a parent ever let their child go? What happens when, as a parent, you have to choose the moment to to turn off all that sustains them. The profound feeling of darkness and emptiness must be overwhelming.

I’ve often wondered what inspired this W.H. Auden poem below. It is one that I have pulled out several time during great loss in my own life.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Read Jahi McMath, Let her go. Please keep Jahi and her family in your prayers.