Home » poetry » The Suddenness

The Suddenness

it doesn’t matter if it’s happened to you before

you never get used to it,

the suddenness of loss


you fall asleep next to someone you love

and wake up next to a stranger;

you say “see you next week”

but next week never comes


they’re just suddenly gone

and with such finality


it is what differentiates sad from tragic

it is what differentiates losing someone and having them

torn from you


the suddenness of loss


I barely knew you but you mattered much to me

there is so much I should have said

I should have thanked you more

all the cliches hold true


and no official titles

or degree of closeness to God protects us from it


God catches us, surely but

not from the suddenness it seems


not from the breathlessness and the shock

not from the not-knowing what to say


I know that God is in the friends that call

in the communities that come together

in one person holding another up


but the suddenness is something we each face alone

that first moment of absence and awareness


the suddenness of loss


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