It’s All About My SHEEHAN Poem

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It’s All About My SHEEHAN Poem

If you live long enough you learn what life has chosen to teach you . . . or you don’t

Everything I’ve written since 1980, has either consciously or un, been an effort to handle the truths life was teaching me about myself and my son and the impossibility of our relationship.

That impossibility existed because I didn’t have the emotional, psychological or spiritual strength to deal with his profound disabilities, and this gap in who I was and am as a person, allowed/forced me to deal with this “tragedy” this “challenge,” in ways both planned and unplanned.

The planned ways reached their zenith with my three related novels, written to help me grasp the deeper realities of my journey with Sheehan, starting with Stuck in Neutral.

Two more novels, Cruise Control (a companion piece to SIN) and Life Happens Next a sequel to the two earlier books, took the story further and likely as far as I’ll ever go with it.

But all my other novels dealt with additional hardships in life: mental illness, homophobia, suicide, catastrophic natural disaster, the illusions of fame and fortune. Living through the truths of Sheehan, both the person and the poem, led me to the path I’ve been on ever since.

Once you’ve faced the hardest, worst thing, every other hard thing is just one more thing.

All my poems since I stopped writing novels have tried to look honestly and deeply at what the First Golden Rule/Noble Truth of Buddhism tells us life is all about, heartbreak and difficulties and the ability to deal with them, face them down and keep growing.

Everything for me started with Sheehan and with my poem Sheehan.

I appreciate Medium for many reasons, but above all others because it has let me keep the Sheehan poem alive. Every time the poem is read and applauded (in the form, here, of our ever sought-after and appreciated “claps” and visits) I know that another soul, another heart, has been touched by the story. I think it’s pretty difficult to forget or dismiss this piece after you’ve experienced it.

So, if you are reading this and have read other postings of mine here on Medium or anywhere else, but you haven’t yet read Sheehan, I implore you to go to it and take the painful journey with me.

Writing Sheehan was the best I could manage in trying to love my son. And despite its inadequacy I stand by the good its done in the world.

Our goal as writers should always be, first and foremost and above all other goals, to make the world a bit less painful and difficult. I think in the end that’s what I’ve tried to do with the Sheehan poem. I think once you’ve read it, you’ll understand and agree.

Just Weighing Separator

Photo of Sheehan and I, before we knew what life had in store for us.

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