A Flower for a Friend

I don’t know what you’re going through.

But I know how it feels

to grieve without a funeral,

to ask “why?” to the ceiling,

to miss someone you’ve never met.

I have felt the injustice

of reckless insensitivity

of comments that pierce like knives

of children abused, unwanted, abandoned.

I know what it means to carry around an invisible grief on your back every day,

a grief that feels

like it should disable you,

like you should be in a wheelchair.

I’ve memorized all the faces of suffering–anger, fear, jealousy, despair.

People say, “It will get better.”

Which isn’t exactly true.

But you will learn to live with it, like someone who’s lost his right arm learns to live with just the left.

Dear friend, I don’t know what you’re going through.

I’ve never walked the path you’re on.

But I have walked the one beside it.


5 thoughts on “A Flower for a Friend

  1. And I’ve walked the one next to that. Thank you for reminding me that in this beautiful, broken world our being sense of being completly alone is both true, yet ever so untrue. And that the chords of loneliness which bind us and keep us from one another are being unravled.

    • You’re welcome, Debbie! You know, I actually wrote this for a friend of mine who miscarried. She mentioned how tired she was of hearing “I know what you’re going through,” and that was the inspiration for this poem. I’m glad that it spoke to your heart. My prayers are with you guys.

  2. What a beautiful and sensitive poem, Emily. I susbscribe your blog but somehow missed this one. You are precious to me and I regret not living nearby so I have lots of time to get to know you better.

    • Thank you, Carolyn! I wrote this poem a few years ago
      (I think). I certainly value your friendship and love, even across the distance.

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