Little boy of nine, grieving for your father,
I know what faces you, but only my love reaches back through the years;
I cannot tell you what you must discover for yourself.
He is dead, he is dead. It is a mystery that lasts for ever.
He never returns, and ‘never’ is the harshest word.
His warmth is gone, his voice is gone, his love is gone.
You will pray to God for his return,
and God is kind, and listens, but does not act.
Alone, you will search for the missing father you love
in the furthest darkness of the void, and find only emptiness.
You will wonder if he has secretly been taken away to be cured,
and keep looking out for him on every street corner,
in case he reappears, but he fades through the years.
Your sadness too will fade, but not die;
tears will continue to come upon you suddenly,
and their energy will rush through you, a flash flood of grief.
In the end, neither looked for, nor resisted,
your capacity for sadness will just be part of who you are.
I am sorry to say this, but there will be little succour from others.
You will grow wise in the ways people shut off from death,
and you will become skilful at protecting them from their own discomfort;
but from those few who can look you in the eye,
and feel the depths of pain with you, and not flinch away,
you will learn the greatest love.
Alone, you will take a vow of life-long misery, from loyalty to the dead,
not knowing that he would want you to live life to the joyous full,
out of his love for you, and your love for him.
You will eventually unbury the vow and dissolve it,
but there will be lost joy.
Little boy of nine, there is much for you to find out of pain and grief,
and this life has given you an early start.
Only you can go inside and discover this reality that is yours.
It’s a lot to ask, but it seems to be required.
I send you my love reaching back through the years,
I send you my love reaching back through the years.