an ode to a child that’s gone

I was upset this morning about your room

Your room was left messy

There were clothes on the floor

Toys on your bed

Crumbs of your favorite cookie on your desk

You watched too much TV

And you forgot to brush your teeth



Please come home

Please eat the cookie


And I promise I will never mind the mess

And I promise you can leave your toys anywhere

Please watch TV


Please come home


I used to watch you when you were sleeping

Your curls framed your beautiful face

I used to listen to your breathing

My little soldier was resting

What were you dreaming of



Sometimes you had nightmares

You’d cry and I would carry you into our bed

Please come to our bed


I want to hear your breathing

I want to brush your curls

I want to wake up and feel your warmth

Please come home


I’m only left with nightmares

My new exclusive nightmares

I hope yours are gone

I hope you’re sleeping peacefully

As I can’t sleep anymore

And I

Can’t go into your room


About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in Death, Poem, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to an ode to a child that’s gone

  1. Maurice Labi says:

    I don’t know what’s best: to ache in silence with the hope the pain will subside or to be reminded of the tragedy again and again until it is no longer raw

  2. Carol says:

    I am so moved by what you have written. There are no words to express the horror, only the sorrow left behind.

  3. Dianne Gorsey says:

    Rachel, this is beautiful, poignant, profound and tragic. I hugged my grandchildren a bit tighter yesterday when they came over. Thankfully, they have no idea why. And, I didn’t clean the cookie crumbs from my backseat that were left there after our cookie run Wednesday. Thank you.

  4. Richard Carr says:

    Hauntingly beautiful. Thanks

  5. Cameron says:

    So beautiful and compelling. I can feel the crumbs, see the messy room and the overwhelming absence that makes the sleepless silence searing… time after time….

  6. Debbie says:

    Your words made me cry for the first time since this evil tragedy. Thank you for NOT using this souless murderer’s name; it should be forever erased!

    • rachel bar says:

      We all need a reason for crying Deb.

      I don’t think the murderer had no soul. I think his soul was severely wounded.

      • Barbara Sakuma says:

        I agree about the wounded soul. As a species we seem to perpetuate woundedness, but we can do better, and this type of event can serve as a reminder that we can take action to begin to heal our own wounds so we each can be a greater healing presence in this world and be conscious of not adding to the woundedness of others.

      • rachel bar says:

        Thanks for commenting Barbara, and I do agree about our responsibility to heal our own wounds first.

  7. Vasca says:

    Children so need to be loved; I cannot begin to imagine the pain of losing one. Very poignant post.

    • rachel bar says:

      Thanks Vasca, I too cannot imagine the horror that those parents need to face. I hope you’d read my response as I have tried to contact you through the email on your blog. I cannot post comments on your blog.

      • Vasca says:

        I have worked on my comment section but don’t have a clue as to the problem. I’m not a whiz at some things (just at others)…so I’m going to get a friend to help me ‘fix’ it. My wonderful husband wrote a guest post for me over the weekend. ‘Christmas w/o You’. It’s from his heart…he’s a jewel. It surprises me that I have quite a following…responses through e-mail. Thanks for reading it…encourages me!

      • rachel bar says:

        Did your husband receive the email I sent or did it go to spam?

  8. Barbara Cooper says:

    Just beautiful.

  9. ermigal says:

    Thank you, Rachel. May we honor the victims of this horror by making a safer country, somehow, someway.

  10. says:

    sadly beautiful
    you never cease to amaze me with your words,depth and empathy

  11. godschool says:

    That’s beautiful and poignant, and very moving.

  12. Dee says:


    These just keep getting better and better….beautiful.

  13. Very nice!!…It’s saddening when people die….It’s tragic when it our youth

  14. Martha Carr says:

    I couldn’t read this for a few days after the event of last week. Too heartbreaking (I was afraid). You really tapped into the essence of what I think we all are feeling – imagining the unthinkable. Two people I spoke to at a party this week who are very spiritual shared the hope/belief that all the children’s souls rose together and provided some comfort for one another. She found some comfort in the idea that they weren’t spiritually alone. I just weep. And think about the families bereft.

  15. Margot says:

    I put off reading this for a few days…just too overwhelmed with grief and busy with action. May I post it on Women Against Gun Violence facebook page? And also, we will have a national march on DC on January 29 — day of the State of the Union. May we read it there as well?

  16. Rachel, you nailed this one. God bless you.

    This looks like it’s going viral, on Facebook at least. I think you struck a nerve with any English-speaking person that values their humanity.

    • rachel bar says:

      Thank you Daniel. I didn’t realize “it’s going viral”. Can you send me a link? I’m on FB and posted a link to this post, but was unaware of it being posted anywhere else.

      Glad it touched you!

      • Rachel —

        Perhaps “viral” is overstating it (but if I get more than 20 shares of anything I do, I start thinking someone noticed!) I shared this myself from another user, who got it from the fan page of “Miss R•EVOLutionaries,” who appeared to have grabbed the text and added a photo of a little girl (I don’t know who the girl is, but your name is cited, at least). There were 47 shares from there as of this moment. It’s not clear where “Miss R•EVOLutionaries” found this. Hope the link comes through okay, haven’t tried posting one raw on WP dot com before.

        (If you’re on Facebook, I’d be happy to friend you over there, BTW.)

        — Daniel

  17. Jamie Lee says:

    I wanted to comment on this. Being Law Enforcement, I always could come up with words.
    Now I am at a loss. There are no words! There are NO words. I am sorry. I am so, so sorry for you………………Jamie Lee

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