“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” Norman Cousins
Two weeks ago the unthinkable happened … the young daughter of some friends of ours passed away after battling cancer for a year. I thought I was prepared for the funeral, after all, I’ve been to my fair share of them – I wasn’t. Though funerals were literally something I grew up with, I’ve only been to one other child’s funeral, and they were equally, agonizingly, heartbreaking – both for seven-year-old girls.
I don’t have words really, to describe how it feels to see their parents … it is surreally painful because instantly I’m forced to imagine myself in their place – and I am lost. So although I have no right to even pretend to know how it really feels, this poem is what came out of my emotions. All my love, all my prayers, casting hope to anyone who understands this pain. All my love to anyone who lost anyone whose lost life matters to them as much as their own. I so desperately wish this void was not a burden you must carry. We were not intended for separation. God knows … this is not the end.
Out Once More
Out once more.
I think that it’s “returning to normal” that I find the most offensive.
Things like …
filled with, “How are you?” and other equally unpleasant
In those moments I feel every too-quick heartbeat
and it seems supernaturally unfair that involuntary responses
are not, in fact, involuntary –
because I literally need to remind myself to breathe …
Sometimes I can’t stand the sun’s arrogance – that it has the audacity to rise when I,
no longer can.
And it hurts in places I can only describe as
And I cry with a voice I don’t recognize as my own,
because “we” no longer are …
and I can’t remember how to find who I was
Returning to a “normal” place in this life is somewhere I can’t find.
And so it seems I’m chasing a new normal –
something I’m seeking but am not sure I’ll be able to recognize
being in the state-of-being that I am,
or am not.
But even now,
I can’t bring myself to hate the world,
because she loved it …
and I can’t hate my life,
because she was a part of it –
and as I live on
in some way
so does she.
It’s not in the way that I hoped for,
but she believed in hope,
and so must I.
Out once more.