Monday, November 25, 2019

Never to End Again

I can still remember 
Comings through your door 
Little feet would run to me
And I’d sweep you off the floor

Riding on my shoulders
Or swinging from my arm
Your laughter was infectious 
Your smile kept me warm

As the years marched onward
Into a man you grew.
Always making others smile
And glad that they knew you.

It feels like an interruption
In a conversation just begun
I’m still waiting for what you will say
For we are far from done.

And I know there will come a time
When we continue to speak
And deaths long awkward pause
Ends with the next….

Next smile
Next wink
Next joke
Next nod
Next exasperated sigh
Next inappropriate comment
Next expectant breath
Next embrace
Next words

Never to end again.

--Roy Hayward

My nephew Denny Bates passed away, March 23, 2019. We had been having lunch almost weekly. I sat and discussed politics with him just days before he took his own life. The weeks that followed were strange as I struggled to understand in my heart that we would not be continuing our conversation.

I wrote this poem soon after he passed. But I haven't shared it until today. I kept waiting for a way to make it feel complete. How could I wrap up this thought? How could I give a sense of closure to the reader? But I think it is better this way. Suicide leaves the survivors feeling like things are unfinished. That is still the way I feel.

I've had just a bit of experience with loss and grief. This one was a bit more bitter from the way it happened. I know there was probably no way for me to have predicted what was about to happen. I don't believe that our last conversation was anything but normal.

We had plans. Plans that will never be completed.

Like this poem. 

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