I sent you the link to the rare Mary Oliver
Interview in hopes her wild voice and
Silky words would inspire you to write.
I knew she’d wooed your mind when
You began texting me quote after quote
You’d copied down, this one your favorite -
I SAW WHAT LOVE MIGHT HAVE DONE
IF WE HAD LOVED IN TIME.
But you never sent the one I hoped
You’d hear and pause to consider -
WHEN THE MORTAL DIES
IT WILL BECOME SOMETHING ELSE -
For that is the line the poet spoke that
Made me think of you.
Now that you’re gone my grownup thoughts wrestle with
Exactly what that something else is that you’ve become.
While off to the side the faith I held as a child
Holds that You’re now a part of everything from
The warmth of the winter sun to
The unself-conscious laughter of children to
The fragrance of lilac blooms in June.
For in death you were swept up into him
And since he holds all things then it’s not a stretch
At all to say you’re now a part of the grand show.
Mary Oliver would say you’re EVIDENCE OF THE CONTINUANCE.
But Kara Tippetts would grin wide and say Oh, Mary,
After death there is something else.
There is everything else. There is Jesus.
P.S. – You’ll have to forgive us if we have days or weeks where
We are unlikeable in our grief. This is only because we liked you so very much.
Death may have lost its sting, but it still burns.
And we press on here in the strange beauty of sadness.