A poem written during my time as a paediatric palliative care social worker:
Have you ever?
Have you ever watched a child’s tears track their course of misery upon a smooth soft cheek?
Or looked into a sixteen-year old’s eyes who knows he’s going to die but is too afraid to speak?
Have you ever heard the anguished wail of the one-minute-ago recently bereaved?
Or seen the helpless agony of a parent as they hold their dead child’s body in a last embrace?
Have you ever entered ICU and seen the curtains drawn?
Or acted as a silent witness to the doctors bringing a little one back to life?
Have you ever felt the atmosphere of death – the silent, watchful suffering that barely draws a breath?
Or felt the unspoken dread simmering in a hospital ward of the very sick?
Have you ever wondered how we can move on and past the pain if most of it is hidden, unacknowledged, laced with shame?
Have you ever wondered how humanity can heal their broken, ravaged hearts?
Or about the toll of a constant barrage of desolation and despair upon the human soul?
Have you ever wondered about the effects of a massive accumulation of harrowing pain and grief?
How do we heal that?
Carol Cooper-Steyn is a social worker who has worked in the fields of child protection, child and adolescent sexual abuse and paediatric palliative care. She qualified as a craniosacral therapist in 2002 and is a certified non-medical hypnotherapist and an emotional freedom techniques (EFT) and matrix reimprinting practitioner. Her clients view her as an incredible ‘soul coach’.