Juliet Mcdonald: For My Mother

Can writing help when we are upset? Juliet shares a moving poem and how it helped her come to terms with problematic relationship with her mother

Buzzard hovering in the sky

I have always found that writing things down when I am upset, grieving, etc. really helps me to come to terms with things, especially if I do not want to confront a person with my thoughts and emotions.

At one of our Rotherham Flourish meetings we were asked to write a poem about positive things we could say about ourselves. I found it difficult to start this, until I had the idea of doing it as a letter to my mother, whom I feel does not know me at all. I also feel there is a disconnection in our relationship that I simply can’t remedy. I left home 51 years ago!

Writing this poem turned from merely being an exercise, to being a way to help me express what I would really like to say to my mother, but never will. I feel a great sadness at times when I think about the lifelong lack of emotional connection between us. But then I think of the wonderful connection I have with my daughter and I wonder would this have happened if I had had a more fulfilling relationship with my mother.


I am a person you can be proud of.
I am a person you could love.

I am a person who was loyal to her friend,
And supported her to the very end.

I am a woman who loves her family.
They mean the whole world to me.

Do you know how courageous I am?
Did you forget that I broke my arms?

Do you know I gave a stranger a home?
One she could call her very own.

Are you proud of my intelligence?
Or are you still sitting on THAT fence?

I am a diligent and conscientious worker.
Much like you my hard -working mother.

I could knit you anything you’d like.
Or even crochet you a cover for your trike!

I am kind and thoughtful, loving too.
Creative and funny, yet serious through and through.

This is me. I do exist.
I wish you knew me and acknowledged this.

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