“When you lose someone, it stays with you –
always reminding you how it is to get hurt…”
Today marks 5 years (1,825 days) without Lee Weisbrod. How unfortunate that statement is for the world as a whole. As I grow older alongside my best friends (that I am blessed to have since I was in the fifth grade), I can’t help but notice the transformations we have made in our lives. I often find myself wondering where Lee would be – how his personality may have changed, where he’d be living (Miami, still?), where he’d be working, if he’d be happy…the list goes on and on.
Every year on the anniversary of Lee’s death, I write him a letter and leave it at the cemetery. The letter never addresses what is going on in my life at this very moment and it’s never a recap of the last year – there’s no need for that because while he may not be here physically…he’s still here. Oddly enough it’s usually whatever flows out of my mind and onto paper. I won’t share with you the letter; however, I will share with you the poem I accompanied with it because it is powerful.
by John O’Donohue
When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence depends.
Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.
There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.
It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.
Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From the gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.