for Barbara, Marilyn and Nancy
When he died
grief pierced my side
like one marked by the stigmata of Christ.
Tears staining my pillow,
I prayed, “Let this cup pass from me,”
but no ministering angels came.
I cried in agony,
”My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”
No response from the heavens,
only the echo of other voices crying out
in their own desolation.
My would-be comforters tormented me,
trying to make sense of the senseless,
speaking commonalities to my singular grief.
Only a few,
those with wounds in their own sides,
knew enough to sit silently,
like Mary and John
at the foot of my cross.
Since he died
grief pierces my heart
at random and unforeseen moments.
I see his favorite cereal in the grocery store
and I think, “I should get that for him.”
I watch couples walking hand in hand,
their fullness multiplying my emptiness.
I hold our grandchild and whisper,
“Your death has tendered a debt within me:
My love now must suffice for the two of us.”
And so it goes:
each unguarded moment
may pierce anew with some sharp thrust,
the wound as fresh as grief new born.
With time the pangs have become less frequent.
Yet even then an ache remains;
the wound never fully heals.
For life, like some clumsy, doubting Thomas,
habitually pokes a finger into my side
as if to ask, “Are you alive?”
and now, I bear the stigma of Christ in my side:
a reminder of all that has been lost,
an unhealed wound, opening my heart to others,
a painful promise of resurrection yet to come.
© October 30, 2012, by Rev. Michael A. Weber
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