Here's to the Dead

Red rose

 

Here's to the dead *
Honoring those
who have gone before
To my mother
who taught me commitment
and dedication
and unconditional love
and support

Here's to the dead
To my son
who taught me strength
and endless compassion
as he walked the line
between the light
and the dark

Here's to the dead
To my little brother
who taught me tolerance
and to have a higher purpose in life

Here's to the dead
To my grandmother
who taught me tenacity
and strength of character

Here's to the dead
To the mother-in-law
I never knew
who raised a son
to love and respect
and support others
my split-apart

Here's to the dead
To my father
who taught me to find my value
in my own sense of self
and love
in a single line

Here's to the dead
To my grandfather
who gave me a creative mind
and demonstrated patience
in finding answers
in the liminal spaces

Here's to the dead
Here's to family
those people we are connected to
who teach us lessons on living
whether present or absent
for better or for worse
The rest is up to us.

* Thank you to my cousin Gary who shared this salutation at my mother's memorial, something he brought back from his travels in Ireland.

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