These poems reflect my journey of sorrow in the loss of Giana and hope in the cross of Christ. The sketch* on the
right reminds me of 'G' before the accident. She was intelligent, sensitive, and as the picture portrays, introspective.
She died in Christ and no longer experiences pain or sorrow - only fulness of joy. The photo on the left speaks for
itself, as does the center picture, the only one in color.

The poems are in order of date written, oldest to newest. As they are written, new poems will be added at the
bottom of the page.

*By Tilly Williams.


An Ode To Daddy's Girl
T. Bartolucci - July 4, 2016

With the loss of one so dear,
Mine eyes do bleed
So many a tear.
Oh such great grief!
That searches in vain for relief.

Is all the pain
Truly suffered in vain?

Sorrow upon sorrow;
As within the epicenter of an earthquake great.
Piercing like an arrow,
The shakings come violently,
Refusing to abate.

Will the tower that is my life,
Withstand the rolling thunder.
Will it totter and fall,
Will it be torn asunder?

The tower will suffer and groan, tis' true,
Bearing such heavy a load.
Many a crack in many a wall
Yet the foundation rests on the Lord;
And upon Him it refuses to fall.

The painful tremors others have felt beside.
Those who stand nearest,
To whom Giana was dearest
Shake and tremble along our side.
Those further away, who knew her least,
Have joined us in our cares.
They have shared our pain,
Have wiped away our tears
And with us they too have cried.

Is all the pain
Truly suffered in vain?

In time the great quake will still.
But until we are reunited with our precious girl,
The aftershocks and the tears
Will lurk within the shadows of life,
Till the One who quiets our fears,
Gathers His church together
The Bridegroom and wife.

Is all the pain
Truly suffered in vain?

The answer is nay;
For in another day,
The One who came to die,
Will wipe away the tears,
That fell through the years,
From each and every eye.

But only if you know Him true,
And by faith have been made anew.
Jesus Christ the One who died,
With Whom Giana was crucified.

The Father's wrath He bore,
That those who believe may reach
That sweet and Golden Shore
Where pain is felt no more.
Where Jesus we gain
Forever to love and adore.

To love is to feel great pain,
When the one we love has gone.
Giana we'll see again;
Gathered around the Throne
In praise and song.

Until that day, may you know
How much your daddy loves you.
Each tear that falls, like mourning dew,
Flows from a heart broken low,
By Him with Whom we live and do.

Is all the pain
Truly suffered in vain?

Not in all the world.
For this is true and will not change
You will always be my little girl.

~~~~~~

~~~~~~

The Solitude of Sorrow
T. Bartolucci - July 5, 2016

Why is it so
That a singular delight
Can be shared by others?

They experience the same feeling;
The same happiness.

But the sorrows and agonies I face,
Ring within the lonely hollows of my soul.

The grief, the tears, the fears
Imprisoned within the walls of that
Which is uniquely me;

Those walls resound with my appeal:
'Do you know what I feel?'

The echo fades and all is still,
For no one else is there.

~~~~~~

~~~~~~

The Hole Within
T. Bartolucci - July 12, 2016

There is a hole within my heart
A special place that was cut out.
This hole one cannot see:
A cavity - so empty!

Can a word be inscribed
On emptiness inside?
Or for that matter -
A single letter?

It must be so.
I cannot see it, yet I know
That written on the void inside of me,
Covered with tears is the lone letter G.

~~~~~~

~~~~~~

Too Much For Words
T. Bartolucci - July 18, 2016

There is a sorrow so exceedingly painful,
A grief so relentlessly savage,
That it dances beyond the reach of description.

Mere words incapable of expressing
That which is experienced
But cannot be explained.

"Agony, Angry, Anxious,
Broken, Depressed, Dismayed,
Empty, Inconceivable, Lonely, Numb,
Saddened, Shattered, Suffocated, Surreal."

All of these words?
None of these words?

An existential vacuum.
An eclipse of the soul.
An enigmatic fracture of reality.

A black hole within the space of my heart
That cannot be avoided,
Whisking me beyond the event horizon,
To another time and place,
Never to return.

Never
To
Return?

Has my hope been extinguished -
Smothered like a spent cigarette jammed into a cheap ashtray?

Indeed, my hope often smolders;
Doused under the unending stream of my tears.

Yet the promise stands:
"A bruised reed He will not break,
And a smoldering wick He will not snuff out . . ."
1

My hope. My plea. My prayer.

Beyond the stormy clouds of God's providence
Lies the tranquil beauty of His purpose -
Both encompassing and transcending my sorrow.

Agony will surrender to comfort;
Anger to peace;
Anxiety to serenity;
Brokenness to usefulness;
Depression to joy;
Dismay to confidence;
Emptiness to fullness;
Inconceivability to faith
Loneliness to love;
Lost to found;
Numb to impassioned;
Sad to happy;
Shattered to restored;
Suffocated to relieved;
Surreal to eternal.

Eternal.

All of those things that are indescribable in my pain
Will pale in comparison to those things
That will be indescribable in my pleasure.
2

For the Christian pilgrim traveling through the trials and tribulations of life,
Lies God's event horizon.
Where there is no black hole;
Only bright promises.
Where there is no emptiness;
Only the fullness of Christ.

A place where the "not-yet" and the "already" embrace.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,
And there was no longer any sea.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem,
Coming down out of heaven from God,
Prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her Husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people,
And He will dwell with them.
They will be His people, And God Himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
For the old order of things has passed away."
3

Amen. Come Lord Jesus!4

-----------------
1 See Matthew 12:15-21.
2 Romans 8:18.
3 Revelation 21:1-4.
4 Revelation 22:20.

~~~~~~

~~~~~~

An Unfinished Story
T. Bartolucci - August, 2016

December 24 in the early eve,
We went to find a Christmas tree.
A custom each year without a doubt -
Giana and I would pick one out.

It's hard to imagine we'd later bemoan,
Giana would never return to our home.
No tree to adorn, no presents to open.
Our lives world be changed, our hearts would be broken.

Knowing this not, we went on our way,
The darkness of night replacing the day.
The farm where each year we go in December -
Its exact location I could not remember.

'Mom is good with directions and all.
Quick, take my phone and give her a call.'
We were on the wrong road so I corrected our course,
But I turned south when I should have gone north.

What happened next I do not recall.
One moment I'm driving, the next not at all.
In the back of an ambulance is where I now am;
How I got there I don't understand.

Fading in and out of consciousness:
This can't be a dream; something's amiss.
So eerily surreal - the din;
The wail of a siren echoes within.

An accident, some calamity?
Nothing to recall, no memory.
A sudden thought: 'Did Giana survive?'
If she did not, with Christ she's alive.

Later I learned that the man to blame,
Heading north crossed into our lane.
In a drunken stupor, was he -
And in the country illegally.

An impact so severe, so fast -
A wonder we survived the crash.
Our vehicle in flames - the only light -
Of a ghastly scene in the darkness of night.

And there within the smoking mire
Of tangled metal and burning fire.
The two of us - as if asleep;
Bodies laying in a heap.

Surely we would have died
Had others not soon arrived.
Opening my door, they pulled me out.
'My daughter! My daughter!' they heard me shout.

'No, lie down; you're hurt real bad!'
I remember it not, but as a dad -
Back to the wreckage I flew,
Until those around me knew:

My sweet little girl was still trapped inside.
'The passenger door!' together they cried.
Once it was opened, one and all could see -
My daughter inside, it was not only me.

Seat belt unfastened out she came.
Out from amidst the smoke and flame.
Once told that Giana was finally free,
I lay down with a sigh of relief.

The injuries I suffered, they were severe.
But not at all worthy to compare
To our girl, so badly broken;
My wounds were but a token.

And there I was, in ICU -
The burn unit next, until February two.
I just do not know, it is an enigma to me -
Why it took me so long to see,
The full extent of Giana's injury.

Too many surgeries and x-rays to name.
Our poor little babe, never the same.
Bones and burns they can repair.
'Will her brain ever heal?' we asked in despair.

Two months later, to rehab we took her.
Our hearts filled with hope, in a bright future.
Somehow we felt, it just had to be;
God's providence evident, for all to see.

Our ashes to beauty, He would transform.
We He would rescue out of this storm.
In the end, what a beautiful story.
And to Him alone, would be all the glory.

Each night we would kneel at her bed,
To plead and pray to our great Head.
Meanwhile, friends all around the world,
Joined us in praying for our little girl.

But, looking back, now I can see
That it was my own naivety.
False hope fueled by signs - it seemed to make sense -
These things cannot be, mere coincidence.

Indeed God is sovereign, our prayers cannot change
What He has decreed - think it not strange.
For He loves us and always knows best.
In this do I trust, in this I must rest.

There's more to the story, so much more I could share.
But the thoughts torture and haunt; I cannot go there.
These memories are the hardest for me to withstand;
Agony intolerable - thus this poem must here end.

~~~~~~

~~~~~~

A Wick Extinguished?
Written during a time of deep doubt and anguish
T. Bartolucci - February, 2017

 

I'm not feeling sorry for myself when I say,
"No one really take cares."

 

There are those who feel it a duty
To help me.
But shall we be honest?
I'm merely a burden - an obligation;
Someone who ought to know better.
One who must simply
Appropriate my spiritual resources in Christ
And move foward.

 

Really?

 

Some may wonder if I am in Christ -
If I am but a hopeless vessel devoted to destruction.

 

Why should anyone try to help such a one -
After all, it is God's decree.
I am to become what I am.
I will be what I will be:
A vessel prepared beforehand,
For eternal destruction?

 

Can such a one be rescued
From peril foreknown before the worlds?

 

Is any man able to overthrow what God has ordained?

 

To attempt to do so is futile;
Like trying to frustrate the Counsel of Heaven itself.

 

It cannot be done.

 

Let such a cursed one meet his predetermined ends.
There is nothing that can be done
But fear and say:
"There but the grace of God go I"

~~~~~~

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