Too Close to Heaven: A Poem by Christine Bode for Those Suffering With Their Mental Health

Circle of Angels in Dante’s Paradise by Gustave Dore

Do you or someone you know feel as if you’re getting too close to heaven? Do you feel that life is unbearable on this crazy blue planet and that you don’t know how much longer you can live here? I have felt that way too, I assure you.

Acutely aware that an innumerable amount of people has lost someone they love during this pandemic, from either the virus, because they couldn’t get the medical care they needed, or because they took their own life, I am thinking of you today and wanted to share a poem that I wrote years ago for a friend of mine who took his life. The poem was inspired by the song “Too Close to Heaven” by The Waterboys which you can hear in the stunningly beautiful and powerful video below, posted by deep46blue on YouTube.

If you know of someone who is struggling with their mental health right now, please reach out to The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for advice on how you can help them. Their toll-free number is 1-800-463-2338.

TOO CLOSE TO HEAVEN

by Christine Bode

You are the brother I never had
Seeing your pain made me so sad
Grateful for every moment we spent
Knowing everything that I said I meant

All the love
All the laughter
Every joy
Every game

You’re too close to heaven to worry about shame

I miss you more than you’ll ever know
Every road travelled has led us here
If I had my way I would go before
I’ll try my best not to need you near

All the raging
All the mud
Every river
Every flood

You’re too close to heaven to worry about blood

Will you ask God when you see him
If he will help me bear your loss
Tell him I am pissed off that
he didn’t pick some other sod

All the stress
All the fright
Every vow
Every tear

You’re too close to heaven to worry about fear

I’ll ask God when he’s listening
to take care of your soul
I’ll ask him for understanding
in this forbidding vicious world

All the past
All the future
Every hope
Every strife

You’re too close to heaven to worry about life

deep46blue

“The Matrix” a Poem by Christine Bode

Lonely Is The Man Without Love
Painting by Karl Kenda; owned and photographed by Larry Samson

The Matrix

by Christine Bode

Everett,
in the movie Paterson says, 
after pulling a fake gun on everyone in the bar, 
“Without love, what reason is there for anything?”
I don’t know, Everett… nothing, 
not a fucking thing that matters anyway.
Without love, every day is the same damn pandemic day.
Wake up, walk the dog, 
make coffee, 
drink coffee, read a book,
do housework, 
work at the computer, walk the dog, eat lunch, 
work at the computer some more…
Make dinner, eat it, 
walk the dog, 
maybe phone a friend, 
watch Netflix, 
go to bed.
Get up the next day and 
do it all over again…
in pain.
For what?
How many useless facts can I hold in my head? 
I forget more than I learn, 
every day, 
so little of it matters.
Without love, 
there’s no reason for anything.
Without love, 
every day’s a pandemic day.
Without love…
we don’t really exist.
It’s all just the matrix.

Thank you, Jim Jarmusch, for the inspiration.