The Hairbag Poet-Goodbye Cliff

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.


In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

Poetry Friday round up is at My juicy little universe with a focus on climate change here.

Though my poem doesn’t focus on climate change, it does focus on how one person can make a difference and affect lives for the better.

This weeks post is a sad one for me.  A coworker of mine recently passed away.  This hit our team pretty hard. His name was Cliff. Cliff was a great guy! He was amazing at his job, and always willing to help anyone solve any problem. Cliff and I were both going back to school for our masters degree and Cliff was always a huge help to me whenever I needed any technical help with the computer, or designing a project. He never hesitated to help when I would ask.

Cliff was a father, a husband to be, and a veteran. He served his family, his country, and his community with such dignity. Cliff always seemed to have a smile on his face.  In his last and final moments Cliff had pulled over to help two vehicles that were on the side of the highway, and was struck and killed by a third vehicle. But in his spirit of service, even after his death, he continues to help others as his organs now breath life into a new generation. Words can’t express how much Cliff will be missed in our hospital family, but I tried a few anyway.

This week, I am dedicating this pantoum poem to you Cliff.

Thank you for your service!

Today I fly my flag half-staff.
I’ve lost you dear old friend,
but most of all I’ll miss your laugh,
My tears I can’t suspend.

I’ve lost you dear old friend
the time feels like it just stands still.
My tears I can’t suspend,
I don’t see how this is god’s will.

The time feels like it just stands still
I flourish in despair.
I don’t see how this is god’s will,
I bow my head in prayer.

I flourish in despair,
Today I fly my flag half-staff.
I bow my head in prayer,
but most of all I’ll miss your laugh.

God Bless you Cliff!

The Hairbag Poet


16 thoughts on “The Hairbag Poet-Goodbye Cliff

  1. An excellent tribute to your friend and coworker. The pantoum form is very effective. My condolences to you and all who loved him — such a loss.

  2. Often I wonder why. Why some live and some die. Sorry for this loss in your life, Jean. Only can say he enriched your life and you should be grateful for your time with him. Hopefully there’s a better place and he now lives there.

  3. What a lovely tribute you wrote to your dear friend. His story is one that is most unfortunate but how he is sharing his life is so wonderful. I think the format of your poem was the just right one.

    • Thank you so much. We are so proud that Cliff was an organ donor, and know many people will live another day because of his generous spirit!

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Cliff was a lovely person. Your feelings of hurt and loss are vivid in your poem. Hold fast to the memories you shared. His loss will always be sad, but those memories can bring some comfort.

  5. I am sorry for this loss of your friend and co-worker. Nearly the same accident took a wonderful state trooper this week in our snowstorm. It is a tragedy to have to say goodbye all too soon. Your poem is a loving one for your friend, “I flourish in despair.”

    • Thank you so much. I think I saw on the news about your state trooper and I thought about that connection. I’m so sorry for your community and his family.

  6. Condolences to you and all who knew Cliff. What an inspiration he was, both in life and in his untimely death.

  7. It’s nice to meet you, Jean, and I’m sorry we do it in a moment of deep sadness for you and your community. Thank you for sharing something of your connection to Cliff, his fine life. Seems like the pantoum form was made for grieving….

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