I Should Be Hercules by Now

I’m not looking for more sympathy, but after spending the last few days with an aching heart, I couldn’t hold this one in. I do appreciate the condolences from everyone, but just so you know, I’m okay and this poem is not indicative of my frame of mind. The painful loss of my old dog is beginning to ease, and the wonderful memories of her are starting to take the place of the pain of losing her. I hope you enjoy this poem.

I Should Be Hercules by Now


They say, into each of our lives

A little rain must fall

I can relate to this

But sometimes it feels like I’m drowning


Others are fond of saying

No pain, no gain

This one seems to have its limits

Sometimes, it just hurts


Another saying, meant to encourage

Is if it doesn’t kill you

It makes you stronger

If true, I should be Hercules by now… or dead


When I was young, and I’d get hurt

The old man would laugh and tell me

It’ll feel real good when it quits hurtin’

… I’m hoping that one is true


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn


I’ll be sharing this on dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night #72 later this afternoon.


  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Good one, Charlie!

  2. great positive attitude today! Love the poem and the Hercules…he’s kinda cute:)

  3. pain so much a part of life… truly a pleasure to embrace the joys while they last

  4. ha at times i hope it true as well…I should be Hercules by now… or dead…i def feel like that at times myself….nice tongue in said cheek…smiles.

  5. Oh gosh Charles… having lost one dog that was like my baby, I just know they are another member of the family.. we need time to grieve their loss as much as we grieve someone we love. They become so much a part of our family, not just a pet. It hurts a lot, but yes, it will ease and the happy memories will soon arrive. The main comfort is, we would never wish them to suffer in the same way we don’t want our humans we love to suffer.
    Awww Hugs you.

    • Thank you. That was our feelings too. We cdidn’t want her to suffer, and in the end, her world was a dark and frightening place. Still, so hard to see her go.

  6. Mary said

    I have no sayings for you, Charles. I know how much it hurts. I empathize. There is no way out of the pain except through it. Mourning cannot be hastened. It is what it is; and mourning the loss of a pet can be / often is as difficult as mourning the loss of a person……

    • The loss of little Dockers actually hurts worse than any loss I’ve suffered. Mostly, I think, because I was with her every day, and watched her slowly slip away.
      Thanks, Mary.

  7. ayala said

    A good one, Charles . I enjoyed this. 🙂

  8. you are right about that, with so much to deal with pain of any kind would never be a problem.

  9. rmp said

    every once in a while those saying whisper in my ear…they frustrate me a bit but I say the anyway; I think it’s the hope of “lessening” that makes them powerful. Of course it’s a lot easier when it’s me whispering them than the incessant insights of every other person you talk to.

    • True. People mean well, but it’s somehow better when we think it through on our own.

  10. Me, too, Charles. I like this…it’s an apt lament. Sometimes I think things hurt, and they keep hurting. One carries on..one goes on…one still hurts..one doesn’t cry, one tries not to cry. I think of that as “brave”. I don’t know what else to think.

    • Thanks, Gay. The thing is, we have to go on, and I actually believe these sayings. When you’re in the midst of the hurting though, they don’t seem quite as powerful.

  11. Very sorry for your loss Charles and hope the hurt eases soon.

  12. Having lost our own dear little terrier (we had him for 12 years) we know how you feel and sympathise. Kindest regards.

  13. Raivenne said

    I think recent Facebook post of mine applies nicely here: Why is it called “bittersweet”? Because one day you’ll find you’ve stopped crying as the sweet takes over the bitter. This is why it’s said as the last part of the word. For while you may never completely forget the bitter and perhaps you shouldn’t forget, as you heal, what will linger on longest afterward is the sweet.

  14. some nice nuances there i really liked charles, all from the perspective of age with experience!

    esp liked the if it don’t kill you one, i’ve often thought the same, ie, well…i should be dead by now 😉

    know well the grief of a loss of a dearly loved pet, best wishes 😉

    • Felipe, you bring to mind another of my favorite old sayings: “I wish I’d known then what I know now.” That age v experience thing

      • yeah, when i hear people say something like that they would never want to be young again, or some such age, i would, if i could know what i know now 😉

  15. Yeah, all those little sayings to try to shut down our suffering are ridiculous. The one I detest the most is: “Everything happens for a purpose.” What utter horse shit!

    Why can’t we just share each others sorrow — and stop there.

    Well done poem, mate!

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