Death in the Garden
When one has lived long and fully,
had time to bloom and create seed
for future life,
when one has had time to age,
to slow, to whither and dim,
the expected visits from God's Hand of Death
is welcomed as part of the natural cycle.
We are missed. We are mourned.
We are let go and blended
with rich memories.
But when one is taken unexpectedly,
at the fullness of bloom,
or even before the blossoming begins,
the expectant promise made empty
is wretchedly felt by those who stare
at the empty space.
The color, the scent, the texture
are gone too soon, irretrievably gone.
The shock shakes the foundation of faith,
and grief walks with despair.
For there are no answers from the Gardener
who has cut the flower so soon.
Only when we have walked for a while
holding the Hand of Death,
leaving the door open
for anguish to come and go,
only when we have kept our hearts open
to the acknowledgment of a purpose
greater than our individual lives,
when we have cried out our sorrow and
let the tears mingle with the grief of all
who mourn through time,
then may we see the void filled with a gift
that would not otherwise
have been received.
The loss is not lessened;
but somehow, in time,
room is made for more,
for something new,
perhaps unexpected and inexplicable.
It may be that only God knows
that it is in memoriam.