Where are you?


there is nothing so devastating

as when a son or daughter leave you

without a word…

…no call

…no note…



the emptiness remains forever

the mind cannot quiet itself

questions continually rise

left on the precipice of doubt

no consolation exists

the pain cuts razor deep into the heart…

we are a parent

we are meant to love and protect our child

we are meant to  help them face life

each child is a part of us

not one of them is less

the one we tried to share the best of ourselves with

the one we gave our last ounce of energy to

the one we would wait for to come home at night

the one who would call us to come and help

and we would go and  bring the child home

the one we would sit through countless hours of  recitals with..

now this child has tiptoed into stages unfamiliar…

this one…where is this child?

our hope for beauty for this child

has been sidestepped…

this child disappears into the night

part of us is lost

we worry…we cannot sleep

our child is flung to the high seas

tossed from one wave to another

and we cannot reach them…

we cannot bring them to safety

we sit adrift our memories and thoughts

we blame ourselves

what happened? where did I go wrong?

streams of should have, would have, could have

flood our brain

they are the love crystals of our being

we want them to be safe

we want to help them


hold them close


we can’t…

our heart is near breaking

our thoughts hasten to the one who is                                                                                                               

"Grasping"...Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann, Edmonton, ALberta, Canada, 2014.

“Grasping”…Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann, Edmonton, ALberta, Canada, 2014.


and the tears fall

like raindrops in a monsoon

soaked into the Earth

and the Earth is drenched with sorrow


the child hears us not

we were told we had to let them go…

they were gifts not possessions

let them go…

but our hearts are with them


our prayers never cease





24 thoughts on “Where are you?

  1. Nancy Williams says:

    We did what we were supposed to do. Imbed them with the knowledge of how to survive and set them as free as a bird. One day to return, hopefully showing maturity of natures and God’s way. Hugs.


  2. This reaches my heart and tears at it – the loss, the uncertainty and the question ‘where did i go wrong?’ when you probably didn’t go wrong at all but can’t help asking and wondering. This is real and oh so poignant. Kudos!


  3. Yoshiko says:

    Indeed children are gifts that one day will leave their nests when they get married


  4. Mary Jane Farrell says:

    Increased prayers coming your way. Trust yourself.


  5. writersideup says:

    Johann, this is heartwrenching 😦 Prayers for you and your child…


  6. fotograver says:

    Wound that never heals.try to think positve.


  7. Oh this touches my very core . . . thank you for writing. I am about to let go of my son for a minimum of 18 months while he attends school far away from me and he is busy cutting all ties with me in order to process it all. Thank you is all I can say, and yes prayers never cease. Blessings.


  8. clarabetty says:

    So your blog has not been deleted, Something to be happy about. I am sorry to hear of your” loss” of one of your children-it can be as hard,-I’ve gone thru this with a grandchild on drugs, but there is always hope that they will come back, call, text, e-mail, or face book. Thanks for sharing something so personal. My prayers are with you as always.


  9. Maryellen Churnick says:

    WOW. As I sit here, tears spilling down my face, I wonder when you crawled inside my soul and pulled out all those thoughts of mine. If pain is a mark by which really good writing, then you scored an A+.


  10. Jane this is heart wrenching. Hugs my friend. 🙂


    • Thank you for visiting, Celestine! I sent you an email–do not know if you received it. Lara is coming home for a month, as the school year begins again in October in Togo–she will return at the end of September for another year! Her Dad is not doing too well health-wise, so she had an opportunity to fly home. I am anticipating her arrival! Yay! Hope you and your family are well! I think about you and send prayers everyday that the Eboli will NOT touch you and that someone will find a cure.


  11. It’s a living nightmare…I hope you wake up soon an find a happy ending.


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