I learned this week that I had added to a grieving friend’s burden — not through intentional malice, but worse, unintentional absence.
I had simply “moved on” with my life and forgot to look over my shoulder to see if my friend was keeping up.
I was crestfallen. Embarrassed. Guilty.
This poem is my small apology to a friend who deserves so much more.
No, of course, I don’t know your pain
How could I, standing on my side
Of this divide — invisible, yet as solid
As your concrete and steel sorrow
Certainly, I can never
Understand much less
Explain the dark clouds
Raining grief on your spirit
I admit, because I am human
That I moved on, moved ahead
To claim otherwise is to lie
But I never meant to move away
In hindsight, I see that my failing
However unintended, was
Another knife shredding the thin
Sheet of solace that time had bought
The truth is, I cannot know
What I have not known
Your heart is not my heart
Yet my heart is always open to yours
Sadly now, we see each other
Across an unfamiliar distance
You, grieving your loss; me, lost in your grief
Still, it is just a line between us, not a wall
Honestly, I pray never to be on your side
Yet I am always here on mine
Reach over any time
I will forever reach back