Finding My Voice through Poetry by Tanya Lord

My son, Noah, was 4 years old when he died from a series of medical errors following a tonsillectomy. What plagued me from the start was the feeling that I had no voice. I spoke but was not listened to. I asked questions that were never answered. I did not know how to navigate a complex healthcare system and I did not know how to partner in my son’s care.

After his death there was such anger around me. Family and friends were focused on blaming the providers that took care of Noah. The level of trust in healthcare was palpable in my family. 

For me the anger did not seem to fit with who my son was. I wanted no part of it. Instead I wanted to understand why medical errors happen. I wanted to restore the trust that had been broken.

I went back to school, changed careers to work in healthcare and finally understood that a broken system, not broken people, are at the root of most medical errors. I found my voice…in many ways. One of them was writing poetry, mostly about grief but this poem came to me about the loss of innocence and finding hope again right along side of healthcare.

Finding My Voice Through Poetry

I used to wear glasses

With a rose colored shade

Back then all the hardships

Little attention I paid


Life appeared so rosy

As we lived day to day

Our lives were so happy

Till death came to stay


My rose colored glasses

Clattered loudly to the floor

I looked down, didn't care

Didn't want them any more


Medical mistakes

Adverse events

The words kind of swirled

And didn't make much sense


An innocence was lost

On that fateful day

A trust tragically broken

As I sadly walked away


My heart was in tatters

My tears fell like rain

"What has happened?" I asked

Hoping for someone to explain


My answers came slowly

Through a dense fog of grief

I came to understand

and it strengthened my belief


That the hands that reach out

To help in a time of need

Are attached to human

Who deeply care for each deed


It isn't blame that is needed

To re-build our trust

It is compassion and love

That is truly a must


So let's pick up those glasses

From their forgotten places

Dust them off, mend the cracks

And return them to our faces


The rosiness from the glasses

Hasn't faded one little bit

The love that is shared

Makes them a perfect fit

~Tanya Lord ©2020