For Donnell L. Kralman
January 27, 1937 – December 27, 2014
A bedside vigil begins.
Loved ones gather
as hearts begin to break,
spirits slowly strengthen.
Spirit enters and sacred space is found.
As pain furrows your brow,
trenches are gouged into my soul.
As fear streaks through your eyes,
crevices tear into my heart.
Caresses are given.
Words of love spoken.
Kisses bestowed upon that furrowed brow.
And Death comes.
Death, with its sweet release;
its gift of eternal peace.
Death, which sweeps through with a vengeance,
leaving devastation in its wake.
I have been carved out.
The ache within me too deep to define,
the tears too close at hand.
I am too strong for this,
And yet, I grieve.
Death has been greedy,
stripping away years,
My mind swirls.
Oh, God, if only…
And yet, Death has come.
The final good-bye has been spoken.
Opportunities have ceased.
The vigil has ended.
Memories, both jagged and tender,
are sifted and sorted,
and stored safely away.
Some never to be seen again;
others to be carefully pulled out and treasured once more.
but Spirit heals.
God who brings healing for our wounded souls,
God who brings hope into the midst of our darkness,
God who brings life even in times of death,
we turn to you. Always, we turn to you.
Walk with us through this valley of the shadow of death.
Walk with us until we reach the light.
For the dawn will come.
[I write this tonight, as I prepare for my dad’s memorial service, which will take place tomorrow afternoon. My heart is a wee bit heavy. My head swirling with a myriad of thoughts. This is the result.]