Your light and love is missed by those who
I read an old card
sent many years ago
during a time of turmoil and confusion.
The soothing words written then
still caress my spirit
and bring me peace.
I remember who you used to be
the laughter we shared
and wonder what you have become.
Where are you now,
Where did you go,
When the body is left behind
and the spirit is released to fly?
Perhaps you are the morning bird
singing joyfully at sunrise,
or the butterfly that dances
so carelessly on the breeze
or the rainbow of colors
that brightens a stormy sky
or the fingers of afternoon mist
delicately reaching over the mountains
or the final few rays of the setting sun
lighting up the skies
edging the clouds with a magical glow.
I miss your being
but I feel your presence,
In whatever form you choose to take,
however you now choose to be.
Your spirit has become for me
a guardian angel on high
guiding, advising, and watching over me.
I remember you.
You are with me
and I am not afraid.
"In Memory of You," was written on a sunny winter day, penned in
response to the death of a dear family friend from bone cancer. Her death
combined with other recent significant losses-- a childhood friend to the
complications of multiple sclerosis at the age of 34, a 22 year old to
the long-tern effects of anorexia nervosa and a vibrant light of a patient
to lung cancer at the age of 38--to inspire the poem. These deaths were
my primary motivators, but there were many others over the years--patients
that I had lost during my days as an EMT or while in medical school and
This poem, Memory, was first used by my nurse as a sympathy card following her uncle's death. The poem also became the centerpiece of a flower arrangement at the funeral.
My secretary framed the poem with a favorite photo to memorialize her young niece, who had died of leukemia two years prior.
While I was a temporary replacement physician following the death of a young physician at age 43, I used the poem "Memory" to help his staff and his patients during the initial phases of the grieving process while tending to the medical needs of his patients.
A copy of Memory stands the desk of Margaret's (Maggi's husband, the family friend who inspired it.
The poem also has been shared with the mothers of the two patients that inspired it--Sandy and Celia.
My Mother passed on the poem to help the family of one of her former students after this young adult died of complications of Down's Syndrome.
I shared a copy with a family friend and help him find an acceptance phase following his daughter's death from cancer. He had been in denial up until her death. I received a beautiful note of "Thanks" from him for sending the poem; it did make a difference.
Most recently the poem was reprinted in a friend's Christmas insert, to send following the death of several family members during 1997. I received a phone call from her, telling me how many people had been touched by the poem and asking for permission to have it read at the unexpected death of another family member--a 17 year-old killed in a car accident.
The power of these words, written in inspired moments when I am having problems dealing with the understanding the losses of friends and patients, touches people in a way that I never would have imagined possible. It is shared here in the hopes that it will provide words of hope and inspiration for those who read it.