Poem: Funeral for a Stranger

Funeral for a Stranger

You sit towards the back of the room.
A stranger to most.
The woman in the casket is unknown to you.
An unfamiliar face.
An unfamiliar life.

And yet you are here,
knowing, if not the woman herself,
those who love her,
knowing the pain of loss,
excruciating and raw, that sense of impossibility
of the living suddenly, sadly, now gone
to the next life, but not in yours, the hole
in life you cannot yet imagine filled.
The bittersweet memories,
the painful yearning for yesterdays,
and the tomorrows so far on the other side of heaven
you cannot yet imagine.

And so you come. In honor of the love of others.
In honor of, not the life, but the pain
of those left behind,
but only for now.

About this poem

I attended a funeral not long ago where the only person I knew was the sister of the deceased. A poem about loss. About shared emotions. About hope and pain all mixed together. About the funeral. About people who have lost others, in any way.


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