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Just because the holidays are supposed to be so happy, so filled with family and close loved-ones, these days are particularly hard for those of us who feel alone. How sharply we feel the loss of our beloved ones who have left us. How important it is now to reach out and connect to everyone we can, in love and gratitude. How important it is now to embrace the gorgeous nature of the living world. And to embrace the beauty of our vibrant memories, as well, however much they may burn.

Here is a poem I wrote that some of my friends have found helpful:


Please, God, make it so

that I don’t give up hope

Even if I no longer know what to hope for

Please, God, make it so

that I do not give up courage

Because courage is what it takes to survive

Please make it so that I can accept the losses

even though I do not understand them

Please make it that I don’t feel so alone

even though I have been left behind

By the waters of the creek, I wait

as the freshets across the grass go

still, as clear as glass, I wait

as the green-black current slows

and river stones again catch the surface,

tossing fillips of white spray.

I can say I accept

the grace of a low-hanging limb

reflected in water, its first leaves falling

into a nodding, yellow drift, I can accept

the ant laboring in the piles of soil, the hawk

floating on air, fishing, and the fish, having labored

upstream, caught and flashing

momentary silver in the light of the sky. I can say

I accept the courage of the doe on the road

as she stands in the dark trying to parse

the light and the sound of what she

cannot comprehend. I can accept

that the human is a solitary beast, dumb and blind

as it blunders on, a visionary only

in retrospect, where love keeps its tryst

with time-past, and longing, that swart offspring,

conjures doubt even as I break,

speechless, toward the vast and flashing day

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