I’m not the most empathetic of souls; in fact, I’m more the type of person who will say exactly the wrong thing at funerals. I wrote this sonnet as a reflection on my own lack of reaction when the grandmother of one of my oldest friends died. It’s a lesson I still need to learn.
For the record, I’m posting this in part as a tribute to the families of those who died serving in America. Happy Memorial Day.
Originally written April 15, 2005
Help me recall the seriousness of loss—
The severed heart, the wrenching, gnawing hole
In mortal flesh, the tearing of the soul;
Morphined emotions—numbing, dulling frost.
We build these forts to keep ourselves within
But memories are pictures on the walls—
Too scared to live within our gilded halls—
Too scared to leave and let the pain begin.
Reteach me pain. Too long now have I dwelt,
Unsympathetic, cold, trapped in my heart.
My soul’s locked in this box. Break it apart.
Within this rain, my frozen soul will melt.
Though deeply pained, one dear soul never slept.
And though he knew the outcome, Jesus wept.