“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins.

I read your obituary in the newspaper today,

Eleven days after your death.

A listing of facts—birth and death dates,

Immediate family members living, those preceding you in death.

The service, like your life, is in the past.

I can do nothing about it now,

No floral arrangement, no meal to the house, no opportunity to pay respects.

You deserved much better.

Your next of kin might say hurtful things and will be forgiven as have so many of the other utterances meant to wound.

Watch, oh so carefully, the orchestrated suffering.

Cancer ate the lungs of one, the heart of the other.

Madness, like a mushroom, thrives in darkness.

It stands upright on its stalk and screams—look at me—to all the other forest dwellers.

All the while, it begets more madness in its cap.

But it cannot touch you now.

The breach is wide, but it is done.

I imagine you with your deceased loved ones, including my mother.

When you see her, tell her I miss her terribly.

She would have been there for you, as would I,

As would so many had we but known.

I read your obituary in the newspaper today,

Eleven days after your death.

“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.” – John Lennon