From The Outside Looking In
Looking Out From The Inside

By Gary Fish


A spouse, partner or child is lost to death,

The one left behind tries to understand.

Time “they” say will heal,

Get back to work,

Go out and find a companion.

Advice, advice,

Concern, concern.

Who are “they”?

“They” are friends.

“They” mean well.

“They” are the ones,

From the outside looking in,

“We” are the ones

Looking out from the inside.

Like a child in the womb,

“We” are growing,

“We” are finding ourselves again.

Until your death,

“We” were one of “them”.

Full of good intentions,

Yet so ignorant.

Ignorant because we have never tried to understand.

Understand what death is,

What death does to the one left behind?

We don’t talk about death,

We are afraid to ask the simple question.

How are you really feeling?

We tend to believe we know

What the ones left behind are feeling.

We believe we know what is best for them.

But the one who is alone,

Knows that to feel the way we feel,

“They” will have to experience it themselves.

Experience the death of a spouse, partner or child.

It is then “they” will truly understand

That from the outside looking in,

Is nothing like those who are

Looking out from the inside.

It is then “they” will understand,

That we can learn from a death

If only we are willing to try.

Just look, listen and observe.

As the ones looking out from the inside

Can tell us so much.

Let “us” grieve “our” way,

Not the way you think we should.


“We” will get through it,

Accept it on “our” terms.

We grieve longer than you realize,

I think we actually grieve forever.

That’s okay.

It’s easier for us to put on a facade.

We too maybe take the easy way out,

As we don’t want you to worry.

Now who is the more compassionate?

The ones looking in from the outside,

Or the ones looking out from the inside.

What came first?

The chicken or the egg.

It doesn’t matter.

Who the hell is right?

Just give us space,

Don’t try to think for us.

Just be there if needed.


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