Epitaph for One So Young
For Michelle, who was willing to hang on until her parents were willing to let her go.
Our tender phrases eased your grief
all cards and flowers in plain sight
when tearful day met empty night.
Then loneliness consumed once more,
and sorrow from all thoughts of her.
But please do not remain in pain;
your daughter did not die in vain.
Her voice grown weak, her frame so small,
yet lessons she did teach to all:
that love endures and life is prized -
though fading from her young blue eyes.
Now all those gathered on that day
will find new meaning when they pray,
for all those know this world has still
true friendship, love and strength of will.
And all those know within their hearts
the pain that’s felt when one departs,
and joy that’s felt when one is free
of earthly strife and misery.
Please let fond memories sustain,
for her sad death was not in vain.
Renewed are friendship, love and will
with those who miss her voice grown still.
Poet's Notes: I wrote an early version of this poem years ago for the parents of a little girl who died of brain cancer. Month after month she sadly and tragically wasted away. Everyone in our small church was affected. I was looking for something positive for the family to gain from their loss.