Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

April 17, 2015

Keep on Living

Filed under: Poems — dave9169 @ 9:36 pm

The lady at the pool talks about her neighbor:
he died yesterday,
just came back from the funeral,
it’s so sad.

But it’s life and you have to keep on living, she says.

Conversations like this are more frequent these days.
Sometimes it’s a Facebook post
in memory of someone you don’t know,
but your friend or a friend of a friend knows.
You read the string of condolences:
so sad,
rest in peace,
too young.

But it’s life and you have to keep on living.

The girl you talked to on the phone for hours in high school,
when teenagers still talked on the phone,
gone at 40 to cancer.
The sadness creeps into your soul
and you can’t stop thinking about it for days.

But it’s life and you have to keep on living.

Your parents lose two long time friends in one year.
Friends of yours too.
Life of the party guys who provided toasts at your wedding.
Immigrants who went north just like your parents
to start families and live out their dreams.
This one hits you harder.

But it’s life and you have to keep on living.

This perhaps is the toughest part of the age you’re in:
young enough to feel alive,
but old enough to be in touch with death
more intimately than you would like.
Neighbors, strangers, friends and family
who are no longer here,
natural or due to disease,
it doesn’t matter.
You miss them.
You think of your own parents.
You can’t go there.
why do we have to lose anyone?

But it’s life and you have to keep on living.

So my advice to you is this:
don’t linger too long on this topic.
Reach out to the ones you love instead
and let them know they mean the world to you.
If you are too shy or uncomfortable being direct,
listen, smile, hug and repeat.
Show up or acknowledge the events
that mean something to the special people in your life.
Laugh with them, eat with them, comfort them.
Stay connected, be present,
allow others to console or compliment you.
Yes, one day you will be the neighbor
being referred to by the lady at the pool,
or the subject of a sad post the friend
of a friend is scrolling through on Facebook.

But you are not there yet so keep on living.
When you do, you help everyone you touch live too.

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