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National Bereaved Parents Day 2021

A poem for Jess

After our 14 year old daughter Jess died from primary bone cancer on the 8th December 2010, my sister Julie Cowling wrote this beautiful poem to remember her. It was inspired by the long distance walks our family and friends have done in her memory (Jess loved to be outside), along with hints of the films she loved to watch when she was younger. The freedom and exhilaration of the young stallion in Disney’s `Spirit’, and the respect for nature and spirituality of `Pocahontas’. We read the poem, which we know off by heart, whenever we reach the highest point or most beautiful view on our walks. On more than one occasion, we have been amazed to find wild horses and once even some distant dolphins keeping us company. Julie’s friend Claire Pickford painted a series of pictures to illustrate the poem, which gradually build to form the complete image. A circle of life, where we `walk to the edge of the world’ for Jess and `whisper her name’.

Jess' mum, Shirley Gower


I walk to the edge of the world just to see you again
but you are not there and so I whisper your name.
It is nature that replies with a strong gust of wind.
Nature takes hold of your name and your journey begins.
It sends you through oceans
on the backs of whales and on dolphins’ fins.
Birds hold you in their beaks
and sprinkle you from their wings.
Horses they gallop,
spreading you with thundering hooves.
All with Spirit in their meaning
determined to prove …
that your name will be whispered all over the world
and wherever we now tread
you will be known and waiting somehow.
This nature, these animals, this journey
they will all meet
at the edge of the world only this time, complete.
But because of your smile your beauty and your strength
your journey has no ending and will start once again.
I walk to the edge of the world just to see you again
and you ARE there and so I whisper your name.

Copyright © Julie Cowling 2020

Comments: 2 (Add)

Karen ivey on 3 July 2021 at 21:49

This is such a beautiful poem for Jess❤️ & I adore the picture too. Huge hugs, Karen xxx

Helen Evans on 2 July 2021 at 13:16

Absolutely beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it.

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