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I saw this poem for the first time tonight and felt compelled to share. I remember feeling torn, much in the way Susan Macaulay describes, two years ago. The internal struggle and conversations with God. Bargaining. Begging. Questioning. Not wanting her to suffer any longer, yet not wanting to let her go. Because at least when she was here, I could hold her hand, see her face, hear her voice, and just simply be with her. Susan found just the right words – this is beautiful and heartbreaking.

a daughter’s prayer to god

by Susan Macaulay

dear god

please take

my mother

now and



i can’t bear to see her

suffer anymore

nor can I bear

to see her go


mothers and daughters

are sometimes

swallowed up

by life god


we push

and pull

and try

to find

our way

to détente


but sometimes god

dis-ease finds

us first and

renders us



it steals the

things we

hold dear:







what happened

to dignity god?


is it stuffed in your

back pocket

like a forgotten note

with a grocery list

or phone number


on it?


go away god

if you can’t

keep track

of the notes

in your pockets


no! wait god!

come back!

i didn’t mean it

i made a mistake


take her now god

all these bits and pieces

and fragments of your daughter

who was once my mother


pluck her quick

from her drug-induced trance


breathe her back to life

on the other side


let her sing and dance

with the angels

instead of




free her spirit fast god

from the tangled mind

and weakening body

that imprison her


then again, bide your time


a sedated slumber

is better than a

final resting place

where I can’t

see her face

or hold

her hand

as she



how can her life

end as mine began

with dirty diapers

tentative steps



and trying to find

unknown words?


don’t take her now god

i will miss her

too much when

she goes


leave her

hand in mine


we can shuffle

a little further

on hell’s road

to heaven


we can play a duet

or two


i can read her stories

touch her hair

watch over her

as she did me

when I was

her baby

and she

was not



let her stay

with me

a while longer

before you

take her home

where she longs to go


and when you take her god

don’t take everything


leave a piece

of her within reach

to accompany me

as I have



take her now god

but don’t take

her ever

i will





Copyright Susan Macaulay

Susan Macaulay is the creator and curator of My Alzheimer’s Story. Her mother Patti was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2008 (Source http://myalzheimersstory.com/2014/05/14/a-daughters-prayer-to-god/)