Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2306936-Journeying-Onward
by fyn
Rated: E · Poetry · Death · #2306936
It is what we have to do.
Journeying Onward

The world goes on, regardless
of how I or you or anyone else feels, thinks, or believes.
My father's death, my mother's, my brother's
didn't change the universe of all--
just mine.
Because I was the only one left.
The last in my 'growing up' family alive.

Lonely feeling. Empty. Nothing but the hole
their dying left behind. But, eventually,
I learned, realized, and accepted that
that meant there was an immense space
that I could choose to fill--
with new people, new friends to become family
even though it would be new, different, even strange at first.

It hurts my stomach when I read
or hear someone say they'll never celebrate
a holiday because someone or another died
during that month. My mom or dad or brother
would seriously thump me upside the head
if I ever thought like that. I will seriously haunt
my kids if they ever feel that way.

My husband would be disappointed in me
if I stopped any sort of celebration if
he died. Different. Of course. Sad, well, yes.
But none of us is the center of the universe
and it will go on with or without us. And there is
still joy to be found--even if we need to look a little harder
to find it. And it is okay to find it.

I appreciate the joy still, find new people
to enjoy it with even as we reminisce
about those who've journeyed onward.
Life is to be lived, after all. Crawling away
to hide in the back of the closet, curled up
under a blanket just makes the loneliness worse
and serves no purpose. At all.

Celebrate what was. Keep those fingerprints
on the mirror. That jacket we cozy up in
when the world turns blue. Use that favored coffee mug,
but don't panic if one day it breaks. Page through
the albums and appreciate what once was. What we
were given. What we shared. What and who we loved.
It is, after all, what living is all about.

More, others do get it. We aren't an island--
and we are not meant to live in a vacuum.
More, those left behind still have so much
to give, have so much life to live. No one
who loves us would wish that 'giving up'
on us or for us. And we, we should not
do it to them. That is just plain wrong.

I love my folks. I love my brother.
Present tense. I talk to them of plans,
ask for advice. Somehow they answer. Even
when it takes some doing for it to get through.
Those connections do not die just because
they did. Connections live on in memory
and in things I've yet to do. Things any of us do.

Death hurts. The missing is tangible. Their
shadows hover in that place just out of reach,
out of touch. And there is nothing we can do--except
take the next steps forward, as they would want us to.
And I firmly believe that-- even though it feels like
we didn't have enough time with them, that we still
need them. We do. Always will. But we need ourselves more.

Our journeys now are on separate paths. And we each
have our journeys to take. Together in love and thought, but
having to pick our own way. Sometimes stumbling.
Sometimes falling flat. But then, as we did in the past,
we have to stand and move and keep going.
For them, and for ourselves. And we can. And we do.
Because we never know what is around the next bend.

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