I traveled here to tell you of a friend. Her life ended, so suddenly.
But when I arrived, I found she was not gone.
In the walks around her home.
In the faces as I roamed.
Her voice fills my heart and head.
How then can you write an obituary about one who’s not gone.
When they remain, and you hear their voice again and again.
I knew her in her youth.
When her contagious laughter brought us together.
Can you tell of a person’s passing without the pain?
Without the reasons the Lord for her came?
I feel you can. As you walk with her through this land.
In and around the halls of her haunts.
Listening to others claiming her memories and thoughts.
Why then do I cry as these words spill from my heart.
Is she not in the very letters I here etch?
Standing beside me pointing out my errors.
Sharing with her thoughts on words of her passing.
I dreamed my editors had assigned me this task.
Honored I rushed to fulfill the story of her past.
When I arrived, she was here.
Laughing with old friend.
Carrying on with her church ladies and then.
She turned to me quizzically to see.
See what had here brought me.
Every time I reached to strike notes of her on paper.
My pen failed, the paper refused the mark.
Regardless what I grabbed, her memories failed to appear.
What good is a journalist, without pen and paper.
Yet none I seemed to bring for her story to capture.
She passed me several times to enjoin with others on this time line.
Pushing me away, calling my need for her story calloused and cruel.
Then others who shared her stories grew near.
Urging her to tell more of the things she held dear.
Here am I to listen and learn.
To share with others of a lover spurned.
To spin the yarn of a heroine in distress.
But she is having none of my mess.
Seeing me struggle to write, she points to me with a sigh.
Here to tell her story and passing, yet something has grown.
Some hope for me that her spirit is lasting.
In love with a thought, in love with this woman.
Here I came, assigned her memories to sell.
Sell to all who can read, and those that will listen.
Her love of this life, and those she is missing.
About the grounds, in these halls her voice each hears call.
It is not a haunting, but a hoping, for we in love with her did fall.
Not just me as her story I tried to capture.
But each person who listens and reads of here hereafter.
She gave of herself, to friends and most strangers.
Shared in her hopes and life’s little dangers.
Suddenly she we here among us to grow.
Just as quickly she from us did go.
So why do I see her when I write of her days.
Is it, it must be, I loved her like these.
As the children, she taught, and the infirmed she hope brought.
Is not an obituary a resume of life?
Then should this not be empty of her strife.
She struggles, she failed, at the world she did rail.
But for a brief-moment, in our memories, she never failed.
Farewell good friend, we are in love with you still.
W.A. Manning ©2017