Friday, April 15, 2011

His Legacy

They say he took his own life
Like she once tried to do
But where she was saved
By miracle or luck
(I’ll take the former)
He succumbed
To leave that everlasting question:


He passed on
Like we all must one day
Leaving too soon it seems, too young
Leaving children behind
Children old enough to have given him grandkids
But too young to have tried.
He passed on before that empty-nest-hope for grandkids could sneak in.
Yet she
Who once tried to take her own life—
She who got a second chance—
She lives and begins to feel that empty-nest-hope stir.
She lives and dreams and hopes and plans.
She works and suffers and fails and cries.
She calls her son at 1 a.m.
                                 With tears in her voice
                                                               Asking if he heard the news

He, who was close by after she met those bright unblinking eyes
                                           On top that unforgiving asphalt
He, who came on that horrible task to pick up her car
                                           Abandoned at the side of the highway
He, who came to talk to a baffled husband wondering
                                           What did he do wrong?—What signs did he miss?
He, who came to talk to a father with no way of explaining impossibilities
                                           To children confused and afraid
He, who offered to help in a situation most would flee from,
He, who waded into the incomprehensible mess of it all
And offered a warm hand,
Is gone.

His hand is cold and sapped of strength
He has left his family and this world behind
                                            But he is not dead.
For he was there for a man at the height of a freefall
A husband who had left all he understood behind
A father falling through thin air grasping for something that makes sense.
He was there for a family in the disarray of impossible chaos—
The impossible that somehow was
He reached out and was there.

And there he remains.
His legacy lives on
In the warmth of a father’s hands
In the tears of a mother’s eyes
In a son’s trust
In a daughter’s love
In the family he helped to heal
He lives on.

His death is still a heavy thing to bear
A weight too large to understand.
So shed your healing tears
And wail out your confusion—
The whys that heave out your chest—

But after the rawness passes
When the memories still remain
Remember he still lives in my family
And in all who he touched in their pain.


  1. I read this twice. It is a powerful piece.

    There's not much more I can say without it appearing trite.

    Beautiful words.

  2. ok you can't hit me more than that!

  3. So poetic..."Remember he still lives in my family.. And in all who he touched in their pain"


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