He had a friend when he was growing up…he’ll never forget her name

or the disease that ravaged her body…the disease she never overcame.


Her name was Lynn.  

She had long blond hair, loved flowers and playing in the mud

until the doctors found leukemia poisoning her blood.


When she became too sick to play and was confined within her room

She‘d point outside her window and marvel at the butterflies in bloom.


“I just love butterflies!” She would say as she pointed at the sky.

“When you think about it butterflies are the only flowers that can fly.”


So he would bring her potted flowers…making sure they were in bloom.

and he would catch her butterflies that would flutter around her room.


And when she could no longer get out of bed her smile would ease their gloom

as she watched all of her butterflies fluttering all around her room.


Memories of her flutter back to him every now and then

when he’s alone inside his room,

when he’s walking in the mud

or when he sees butterflies in bloom.


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It’s funny how someone can light up your life as they brighten your morning too.

It’s even funnier when it’s someone you never met…someone you never knew.


I never new this little old man…never knew his name

but I’d pass him every morning as our routines were the same.


As I reached his streetlight on my walk in the ebbing of the night

I would see him at his window Illuminated by his kitchen light.


In time a kind of friendship formed between us in the dwindling of the nights.

A nod turned into a smile and then a wave when we saw each other in the lights.


This was the extent of our friendship…It’s how our pieces fit

until the day, under his streetlight, I noticed his kitchen was unlit.


It remained unlit…and it was a week later when I finally tried

to check and see how he was doing…only to find out he had died.


I think about him when I pass his house

that he was my friend I have no doubt

but I never knew how much of a friend

or how much I’d miss him

until his light went out.



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We lost a friend of ours today…and immediately…different people we became.

for none of us…no matter how we try…will ever be the same.


Our lives will never go back to the way they were

the way they used to be.

When I was young and we lost someone…

this is how my father explained it all to me:


He said every person is like a puzzle…a puzzle that’s incomplete

because we’re constantly adding pieces from everyone we meet.


We are happy when we find a piece that fits…

knowing…of all the pieces in our reservoir

that piece has found a place in the creation of who we are.


It saddens us when we realize

because of all the miles, together, we have crossed

that one piece to our puzzle is gone 

and how forever…it is lost. 


And there will forever be a mix of sadness and of happiness

that comes with reminiscing…

every time we gaze upon our puzzle

and see the piece that we are missing.


And we’ll remember the exact time

different people we became…

And how in the moment that piece went missing

we will never be the same.



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He knew his friend was hurting.

He could see it in his eyes…

for sadness and confusion is difficult to disguise.


He didn’t know what to do to ease his grief.

He didn’t know what to say…

Some pain, he knows, must be endured…

some pain will never go away.


What can you say to someone you love…

when someone they love has died?

So he said nothing…

not one word…

he just sat there by his side.


All he had to offer was his friendship,

knowing this journey would be rough

but by the hint of a smile in his friend’s eyes…


he knew his friendship was enough.

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Somebody died today…it’s part of life’s ebb and flow

but what makes this day so different is…this somebody was somebody I know.


She had a full life, my somebody…filled with many highs and some lows…

but Death is unsympathetic…when it comes our time to go.


Yet how lucky we are has humans… 

for although in death…of her presence we’re deprived

the myriad of memories we created…in a way keeps her alive…


And that’s where our sadness originates…

That’s why we feel so bereft…

not from all those memories we created together 

but that those memories are all I have left.


We know Death has taken her from us…but in Death there is a plus

for Death has left her memories behind…Death can’t take those away from us.


When we want to, when we have the urge…we can visit her a while

Just by closing our eyes and remembering…

her voice, 

her eyes…

her smile…


And for a moment in our silence…as more and more memories arrive

it’s as if she never left us…as if she’s still alive


And when our eyes reopen

we smile remembering all the memories we’ve sewn

and we feel blessed 

she was a somebody we were lucky enough to have known. 


Which gives us all hope for the time when Death comes too our door

as part of life’s ebb and flow

That we, too, will have been lucky enough


to be somebody…somebody knows.

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There is no cure for the sorrow we feel

(It’s one reason that we cry)

no antidote for the pain

when someone we know dies.


We immediately wonder why her…why now…

how we would have loved just one more day

one more moment…

one more memory

when someone we know passes away…


Our mind flashes back to certain moments…

wonderful memories we linger on

as the joy we feel for having known her

mixes with the sadness that she’s gone.


Our memory happily jumps back and forth.

We give thanks she was ever sent to us

and we hope and pray she understood

everything she ever meant to us.


We couldn’t have created a better friend

If we had planted seeds ourselves then grown her

and we know our lives will never be the same

and we are better people…having known her.


So we are content to grieve a moment…

knowing in our hearts she wouldn’t mind…

knowing the sadness we feel today

will acquiesce to the joy she left behind…


Yes, today we’ll allow sorrow to envelop us

we’ll linger in our tears a while

knowing in the future

every time we think of her

with every memory…


we’ll smile.

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Like a bird you flew into our lives…soared in on wings so strong.

When you spread those wings you protected us.

When you sang…you comforted us with song.


Once you chose to enter our lives…as you glided ‘cross the sky

we learned from you of gracefulness…you taught us how to fly…


You’ve shown us without trying…as over us you’ve flown…

that every creature on this planet has a beauty all its own.


Like a bird you flew into our lives…and as we watched you soar

we realized our lives are better now than they have ever been before.


Perhaps that is one of the beauties of life:

The more we age…the more we grow

we realize our life’s enhanced…by everyone we know…


How everyone is beautiful…

How everyone is free…

How everyone is here for a reason

Everyone…like you…and me…


Like a bird you flew into out lives

and to you we were immediately drawn…

but life is unpredictable

and one day you were gone.


Gone in an instant…a flash…a moment

gone in the blinking of an eye

gone before any of us were ready…

which makes it hard to say goodbye…


But we will be forever glad we knew you

forever glad for your kindness and your smile

forever glad you flew into our lives


at least…for a little while.

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