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(This is offered in memory of a wonderful person and as an act of caring to his wife, my cousin. Ellen, I am so, so sad. Betty)

IN MEMORY OF GREG

My cool morning routine:
cup of creamy coffee
watch sunrise
walk dog
shower and dress
check email
delete, delete

until subject: “Sad News”
What? What?
Consciousness quickly focuses,
my eyes catch words:
“Greg…accident…lake ice cracked…
gone…”
What? What?
My eyes already tearing try again,
fill in spaces
“sad to inform you…”
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Doors to my own losses
release painful memories
in empathy,
knowing moments such as this
that instantly change lives,
knowing human grieving.

Ellen, Ellen, oh, no!
How is cousin Ellen!
Forty-four years his wife.
Who came to her door,
said the words to her,
sliced her heart into pieces?

HOLD HER! SOMEONE HOLD HER!

Wrap tender arms around her,
let her realize in her own way
the meaning
of this break in continuity
of her life.

None of us can rewind
the accident,
delete it from happening,
but neither can anyone
delete our memories
of a generous, kind man,
who walked into our lives
and by his very presence
reminded us
goodness exists.

I feel helpless to comfort Ellen,
but I try anyway here.

To everyone,
wherever you are on the planet,
whether you knew Greg or not,
whether you have known or will
the suffering of sudden loss
of one deeply loved,
moments that close
what we did not choose to end,
moments that leave us
disoriented and grieving.

Would you who read this
remind your own heart this day
we are one humanity
sharing at some level
all our losses?
Would you embrace a loved one
near you today
just a little longer
and simply remember for a moment
all those like Ellen
your heart also has room to hold?

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