November 13, 2021

How Can You Feel You Can Move On When a Big Change Has Started but Not Completed Yet?

Theo Panagopoulos

PoetryThe Place Between Was & Will Be, 2021

In the summer of 2020, after the whole world turned upside down, a bigger and more personal disruption happened within my family. My grandfather whose name I carry, started having signs of dementia. The world as I knew it as a child just started to fall apart. The change was a big shift for the extended family unit; the dynamics changed, some tried to help and some distanced themselves. However, nobody wanted to talk about it. After I returned to Scotland and away from my family for the first time after the pandemic started, the distance and silence about what was happening struck me personally. I felt stuck in the middle of something very big, without knowing what to do and how to handle it. All my family decided that they had to move on but I felt that this moment of anticipatory grief had to be spoken about. I found that the moment was the old summer house that was abandoned after my grandfather’s first signs of dementia. In that house I collected all my feelings and memories and conducted a ritual. The poem is my reflection on my process.