A poem for the death of a friend
by Terry A. Shuman
(Medina, Ohio U.S.A.)
I know not why my beating heart
Extends my life another day,
While many loving friends depart,
And those remaining, bleed dismay.
The logic of reality
Reminds that life on Earth must end;
Yet, my heart’s logic cannot see
A life well-lived….without a friend.
The memories that dwell within
The hearts and minds of every man
Reflect those places he has been,
As well as when all bonds began.
Small wonder when I hear the news
That one more friend has passed away,
I very quickly sense a Muse
Has come inside my being that day.
Although conflicted, I conclude
That, with each priceless friend that leaves,
The image of myself previewed,
Diminishes….as my soul grieves.
So, at the setting of the sun,
Whatever faults have plagued my mind;
'Twas not the wars I may have won,
But truly “friendships” that defined.
Blessed are the friends we made
When innocence, like faded jeans,
Was rite of passage from our teens,
And part of every role we played.
How quickly did those years fly by,
Creating vacuums, voids, and pain;
Lost friends who were not seen again,
Yet, firmly etched behind each eye.
Those years, in wave-like tides at dawn,
Receding well beyond our reefs
At times, distorting our beliefs,
Because of what once was….now gone.
Blessed are the loving souls
Who found in us a beam of light
Worth sharing on the darkest night,
As we each searched for friendly shoals.
And blessed are the silent dead:
The very souls we loved so much.
The souls we can no longer touch.
The souls from which our souls were fed.
It has been a considerable length of time since I last submitted a comment or poem, but my life changes daily and I find myself moved to share these changes with you.
First of all, my son with ALS (for over five years now) is still surviving, ambulatory, eating well, and enjoying the thrill of watching his children grow older.
Is this a miracle?
We believe it to be.
The poem "Beyond These Walls" was the prayer that I wrote for him over five years ago, and we still pray it weekly if not even more frequently.
On the other hand, at age 70, so many of my own long time close friends have passed away during this five year period of time.
You wondered here whether you could find a close relationship between friendships and spirituality.
My, oh my, I cannot find anything any closer. "What a friend we have in Jesus," and other similar songs and beliefs have taught us that in life, it is God, family, and friends (in that order) which provide purpose, happiness, and satisfaction in being on this Earth.
Losing friends (at least for the length of time that we still breathe) can be extremely painful and depressing. It is our faith and our memories of these friends and family members that provides the promise of reunion- based rapture and reward.
I believe that you, yourself, have formed thousands of deep friendships since initiating this website, and that it is through these friendships that our spirits are all connected even more intimately.
May God continue to allow these friendships to grow in depth and service to one another.
Accordingly, I have submitted a couple of friendship poems that were both cathartic for me as well as spiritually connected to those who were and still are so important to me in this life.
Thanks for your continuing efforts, and for serving as my closest long distant friend ever.
With Love, Faith, and Best Wishes,
Terry A. Shuman, Medina, Ohio NOTE FROM KATHERINE T OWEN
How lovely to receive more of your poetic words filled with the LIFE that not only endures but deepens through all the joys and pains of this earthly existence.
Oh, yes, put God first, I so agree.
ACIM speaks of how we weep each time an idol falls.
The demanding lesson of both the Bible and ACIM is that we make idols out of our relationships (our self image), almost everything.
Happiness is found when we put God first, simply because God is the ultimate reality – the only thing that is changeless, the connection that cannot be lost. The extent to which we invest in our relationship with God is the extent to which we build our house on rock, not sand. The winds of life may blow, we may lose a friend, or others, but through it all something stays strong. It is not our own strength on which we rely.
This is not to say that we do not acknowledge and celebrate our human affections and the reality of spiritual friendship.
Last night I watched the film Les Miserables. I was struck by the beautiful quote:
“To love another is to see the face of God”.
I share in the joy of the miracle of your son with ALS continuing his earthly journey.
I have another website now www.healingCFSME.com. You may be interested to know that an author has posted about her book on living with her Mum with ALS
With the Love we are and share and celebrate,
Katherine tags: poem for the death of a friend, funeral poem for a friend, friendship, loss, death, poetry, spiritual friendship