As my father’s yahrtzeit (the anniversary of his death) approaches I have been thinking a lot about the way that people struggle to provide comfort when someone dies – especially someone who dies unexpectedly or “before their time.”


the candle flickers
and then goes out
the tapered wax
only partly consumed
unused potential
left unborn
to this world
unseen moments
never to play
in life’s parade

he was not called to a
higher cause
not born on angels’ wings
to heaven to walk with
or to hellfire and damnation
as restitution for sin
it was not, “his time”
set in motion as part of a
master plan

he simply died
tragic and

don’t rob his
dignity by making
meaning where there is
no sense
don’t insult
his widow by forcing
cool acceptance of
sacrifice for the greater good

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