Some time ago, I became friends online with Michael Horvich, and this poem not only moved me to tears, it helped me see the role of the family care partner differently, as if somehow it had softened my edges. I have been reading his poems again today, after learning the news of his partner Gregory’s imminent death.
After discovering a couple of hours ago that Gregory has pneumonia and is not expected to live much longer, I cried for some time, and although we have never met personally, I feel deeply connected to them both, and I am quite sure, not only because I share dementia with them.
I’ve also been re reading the poetry book Michael sent to me some time ago in honour of them both as they face this together, one perhaps more aware than the other, although that is not for certain. Perhaps it is because we are both poets, or have found blogging one way to help heal our grief and pain, or perhaps it is just that way with some people. I ‘know’ Michael and Gregory are a couple who love each other deeply, and that the hole in Michael’s heart when Gregory dies will be huge, and it will take some time for the pain of the loss will be replaced with the memories of love. I have been there, I do know grief intimately. I also ‘know’ I love them, even though I have never met then in person. Farewell Gregory for when your time comes… and much love and respect to you and Michael.
With Michael’s permission, I am re publishing it here exactly as it was produced in his book, Sit with me a While Longer: The Collected Works of Michael A. Horvich, 2011-2013, p 47.
“Sit with me a while longer”, by Michael A Horvich (2013)
On chairs along the way,
We sat together for a while,
And together contemplated life.
On chairs we found there,
We sat for a while,
And together anticipated life.
All we really had was time.
All we really had was today.
All we really had was each other.
We sat a while.
You shared your words with me
I shared mine with you.
We sat together a while
We shared our love a while
We shared our life a while.
Before long the chairs
Will sit idle, alone, lonely
And the stories will cease to exist.
Michael’s blog is a beautiful tribute to the man he loves, and it honours his partner Gregory beautifully, and their life together. michael a. horvich cares about alzheimer’s disease. On the home page, it says; This BLOG is dedicated to Gregory, not a victim of Alzheimer’s but a hero. It is meant to share our Journey with family and friends and to let those traveling their own path know that they are not alone in loving and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. Please feel free to share the link with anyone and everyone who you think might benefit.