On Monday, I conducted the funeral service of Lynda Anne Pyette. I had never met Linda while she was living. She passed away late last week and the family needed a Pastor to conduct the service and it was my privilege to do so. It turned out to be more of a privilege than I had anticipated.
Linda Pyette was not well known. She was not famous. She was not rich or well accomplished, as this pathetic culture of ours counts accomplishments. But she had four children who loved her and who miss her and wish that they had known her better and that her life had not been so filled with the pain that filled it. She was a private person and I have little doubt that her privacy was born out of the pain of loneliness, stress, depression, and other things too scary to mention. The pain of longing for someone to care. I know this because a poem she wrote where she states those very things, was read at the funeral. As soon as I heard it I told the family that I wanted a copy to post here. Linda deserves to be heard. She deserves to have some friends who share her anxieties and heartaches. She deserves to have someone read her poetry and say “that is really good stuff”. I don’t know if she had any of that. It does not appear that she thought she did. And even though it is too late to tell her now, I want others to at least know she had a talent that was created by the hardships of life that is worth passing on to others. I am posting this because I want Linda to be heard more now that she is gone than when she was alive.
And I would like Christians to know that people who can write the same heart breaking poetry that you find here are all around them. But they are not obvious. They are hidden. They are hidden behind apartment buildings that lock their entrances because there are more people who want to get in to hurt people than there are to help people. They are hidden behind smiles and polite responses that say “fine thank-you” because they really do not believe that anyone cares to know how they are anyway. They are hidden behind make-up and long sleeves and hair brushed over faces to hide bruises. They are hidden behind alcohol and drugs and eating disorders. They are hidden behind fear and anger and resentment. They are hidden behind large salaries and expensive cars and lavish houses. They are hidden in the shadows of churches and drowned out sometimes by the singing of the faithful.
I love the church. I have given my life to the health and welfare of the church and I do not regret it. It is a great privilege to work for that which Jesus loves and gave His life for. The church is here to offer people like Linda Pyette real friendship and care and two ears that listen. It is here to honour Jesus by loving people. It is here to offer great hope to those with none, eternal joy to those with only passing glimpses of it. It is here to show that the love of Jesus surpasses everything and is for them. It is here to say to Linda, “Write some more. The world needs to hear this.”
I hope this poem moves you in some way, and I would like to ask you a favour. First of all, try to get into the heart and mind of the person who wrote such moving stuff. Second, know that the kind of pain that penned this, is all around you. And third, pass the poem on. I think Linda would have liked to have known that what she wrote was used to help someone else who knows “the ache”. The more who read it, the more likely it will be that it will help someone else.
Thank you Linda. I am sorry I never knew you. I’m glad I know you a little bit now.
And Linda, know this – your work was not wasted. It has helped me and I have no doubt it will help others.
Linda didn’t give the poem a title, so I will.
the awful, nauseatingly sick ache
so long between structures to have the memory of
what it was like
the precise moment
the precise people
so long you have to wait
the ache only worsens
it’s the wrong choice
the ache worsens still
you feel you will go mad
you search in the structure
you have craved for
so cumbersome it is
but a must to fulfill your need
the touch, yet still it is not there
You cry, scream
it was cold, dark
you are filled with frustration
wanting to feel the sun on you one more time
wanting to walk on the earth one more time
wanting most of all what has been denied
To be rid of the ache
the horrible ache deep within your mind
still a child
begging for help to grow
to be rid of the ache
the need to be released from the prison
you were placed in so long ago
the need of the gentle touch and nurturing
every infant must have to grow
it was denied you
you need it
every fibre in you knows
content to know
at least one human being
knew how to give
what others still not know
the soft touch
the gentle caress
the encircling of arms
so full of strength
it was cold
so long between structures
you are alive but for a brief moment
I beg of you
do not deny me