Thursday, December 19, 2013

A poem for the season

I had a conversation with a delightful and faith filled women about the passing of her husband about two years ago.  The missing of him is still fresh in her heart and mind and the grief still wells up like the tides moving in  on the shore.  It was a full moon last night and perhaps the gravitational pull of the moon stirred the waves in her heart, so we talk a little about death and the part of that seems so hard: the missing.

So I came across this poem and thought it captured a little bit of the experience of missing someone though it is entitled The Meeting.

The Meeting

After so long an absence
       At last we meet again:
Does the meeting give us pleasure,
       Or does it give us pain?

The tree of life has been shaken,
       And but few of us linger now,
Like the Prophet's two or three berries
       In the top of the uttermost bough.

We cordially greet each other
       In the old, familiar tone;
And we think, though we do not say it,
       How old and gray he is grown!

We speak of a Merry Christmas
       And many a Happy New Year
But each in his heart is thinking
       Of those that are not here.

We speak of friends and their fortunes,
       And of what they did and said,
Till the dead alone seem living,
       And the living alone seem dead.

And at last we hardly distinguish
       Between the ghosts and the guests;
And a mist and shadow of sadness
       Steals over our merriest jests.

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