wings and things

“Thoughts on hearing loss”

on August 15, 2017

Awhile ago my mother had an epiphany about being deaf. She was at a social occasion and, as usual, finding it very difficult to keep up with the conversations around her. Meg never complains about this despite the fact that, at times, she must get extremely frustrated and even depressed about not being able to hear. Her hearing loss wasn’t gradual; it happened all of a sudden in 2003, just like that! Since then, it has become worse, even with the use of various hearing aides.

I love the following poem that she wrote because it shows the kind of resilience she has, and is a great example of acceptance. With three children, eleven grandchildren, with spouses and partners, four great grandchildren, and one on the way, family occasions are often loud, boisterous and Meg often misses out on any or all of the conversations around her dinner table, even if only a few of us are there. But the poem shows her ability to derive joy anyway:

The Owl
I perch nearby
Look down and see
A nest filled up with hatchlings.
Their beaks are open wide
A thousand feathers flying.
The patient mother drops a worm.
They squawk and flap.
Cacophony of joy.
She drops the next
And bedlam fills the air.
I watch.
I smile.
I share.
I am alone
I am there.




16 responses to ““Thoughts on hearing loss”

  1. Lois Watts says:

    Lovely poem Julie, she should have named it The Wise owl. xx

  2. susanpoozan says:

    How very thoughtful, I do sympathise. She is a wise woman, your mother, I can see where you get it from.

  3. My mum is 95 soon and still going strong and very social but deafness is isolating and she too misses many conversations going on around her, finds it difficult for long conversations on the phone and given up going to church as background noise too distracting and when many people talk particularly during public speaking will drop their voices low at the end of each sentence no matter how many times they’re told they manage to remember not to do it only once.Young shop assistants mumble and when asked to repeat they mumble the same thing without raising their voices any louder.Very frustrating.Mum doesn’t like to ask people repeatably to raise their voices even after she’s told them she’s deaf. Makes her feel ‘stupid’.

  4. jmgoyder says:

    Whoops I meant 11 grandchildren – have corrected now!

  5. ksbeth says:

    how beautiful and what a wonderful approach she has –

  6. Judy says:

    Your mom is a legend – a word you’ve said to me many times. I’m so glad she’s been there for you, supporting you through the turbulence in your life. She has always sounded invincible and it tugged at my heart strings to read her feelings related to hearing loss. Her attitude doesn’t surprise me. All her strength is in you!
    By the way, I watched your recent video with Ming and didn’t get a chance to comment on that. I was blown away by your sweet honesty and wise demeanor. You are a wonderful speaker, brimming with so much life experience to offer the world. So proud of you (and Ming – what a handsome doll he is!!)
    Much love to you, Julie.

  7. I am only 54 and need hearing aids when I got them I only wore them at night watching tv but now I need to wear them all the time I am awake, my mum is 77 and has no problem with her hearing at all

  8. Sarah macpherson says:

    Just watched TEDx and am inspired and excited. I always think of Anthony when I sit at flinders bay and watch the waves on the rocks.
    What you and Ming have done in this talk and will too in the new book I am sure offers a powerful healing and hope.
    Love sarah macpherson

    • jmgoyder says:

      Oh thanks so much Sarah! One of these days I will get down to Flinders Bay and drop in to see you. I hope you are all well and thanks for the encouragement xxx

  9. Vicki says:

    What a beautiful poem.
    Your Mother sounds one of the most kind, caring and compassionate people around. She is very special and you are very lucky to have her.

  10. Lovely, loving poem and so beautifully expressed!

  11. My dad had the same difficulty. He was a story teller and loved hearing all the stories of others. The isolation of not hearing in all the kid and grandkid noise was hard on him, but getting him alone for concentrated time helped a lot.

  12. misifusa says:

    What a beautiful poem! Truly beautiful! Thanks for sharing. xo

  13. tersiaburger says:

    My husband is VERY hard of hearing. It is very frustrating for me and the cause of many arguments. He will pick up the odd word and build his own sentence. He will stubbornly insist that I said what he heard….

    He avoids social gatherings.

    It is a very lonely road to travel. I love the poem! Thank you for sharing Jules.

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