To the Departed

Generously contributed by Robert F. Burke

grand dad died
long before i came into Being.
yet, not even Death
can make silent the lessons of Life.
you've taught me
how one can leave an enduring Legacy
of empowerment, kindness, and an absence of judgement.

grandma carried within the gift of nurturing.
she taught me how to care for others;
how to be appreciative of all things.

billy, beth, and mandy
gave me the ability
to see past another’s disabilities
and cherish the small slivers of time
self-gifted to ourselves.

jendra displayed endless happiness
and showed me how to illuminate
a shadowed soul.

carol was a beacon of perseverance.
keep trying was her donation to me.

from grandpa i learned
how a lifetime of pain and regret
can twist the Heart.

if you only knew all i saw in you.
you showed me quiet strength
and how a Spirit can suffer in silence.

small talk was your gift to me.

lee was a pillar of sensitivity;
a ferocious defender of one’s self.
no nonsense.
thank you for showing me i am not a door mat.

in allen,
i found that self expression
is an act of Love.

you profoundly changed me
with the gifts of Knowing
unconditional, true romantic love
and the pain of having it taken away.

david opened my eyes
to the End of Life Truth.
it is a time of closure.
it is a place of profound awakenings.

my friend joe,
i thank you for showing me kindness
and that it is never too late
to follow your dreams.

had i never known you
would i have ever seen humility?

chuck and tony
both taught me humor.
a most valuable lesson, indeed.

chris was the older brother i never had.
thank you for taking me under your wing,
for showing me how to embrace the primal aspects of life,
for teaching me that fear is an illusion.

take time away from responsibility.
get lost in the pleasures of hobby.
these were jeff’s benefactions.

i discovered how to forgive because of you.
your greatest gift, however,
was that Death is not a bringer of dread.
it is a beautiful, pleasant, joyful re-awakening.
i could ask for nothing more.

fearlessly stand up for the defenseless,
even if it means losing your life.
you gave me that gift
dear brody.

roy taught me loyalty
and to do what is best for you
regardless of the pain
one’s decision brings to others.

your’s was a slow, humbling exit,
dearest sue.
still, in spite of that perceived harsh experience
i learned we can always maintain
grace, empathy, and compassion.

had it not been for you
i’d have never seen how important it is
to remember the best part of
what once was.

erik is the disincarnate friend
i never knew could be.
in your care i discovered
Death is merely a transformation.
please accept this acknowledgement
of the lessons you provide.
i am forever in your debt.

my existence has been a series
of blessings expressed in human form.
each life helped me rediscover
Who I Am.
each one of you enlightened my soul.

these humble words
convey my gratitude
to the departed,
to the catalysts
of my expansion.

© April 25, 2011