Saturday, October 15, 2011
How Many Times Can a Heart Break?
Keegan and his dad had known hard times. Both had a thin, worn look, shabby clothes. The dad's face was the worried face of a man whose life had been blind-sided.
Last spring, teenage Keegan was getting thinner, and more pale.The diagnosis of bone cancer stunned everyone. Keegan and his dad were determined to fight. But right after graduation in June, Keegan was told it was terminal. The community rallied to collect funds so Keegan's dad could stay home from work and be with his son.
Now it is fall, and on the news tonight, there was a recently taken video clip of a thin, unsmiling, pale and saddened Keegan, followed by a clip of his father, head in his hands, sobbing.
Keegan died at home yesterday morning, holding his father's hand.
How many times can a heart break,
and mend itself again?
What keeps us moving forward
through such overwhelming pain?
Somehow we wake each morning
and survive another day.
We don't know how or why,
or even want to live this way.
But our hearts are stronger
than our wills,
when we're walking Sorrow's street.
We walk because we must,
because a broken heart still beats.
And gradually, through the months and years,
we begin to laugh again,
though we thought we'd never stop the tears,
we'd never ease the pain.
Those we love and miss would want us to.
They don't want us to grieve
but we can't help our sorrow.
We couldn't bear for them to leave.
Between pain and its passing
lies a valley we walk through
known by all who love and all who lose,
known by me, by you.
Down the farthest mountain
and up its other side
is the trail of tears we mourners climb.
Our pain can't be denied.
Keep walking, weary traveler.
There is comfort at the end.
The Community of Souls will guard
your child, your mate, your friend.
The day will come that you'll cross, too,
the river of life and death.
You'll hear them singing as they come,
and take your final breath.
I have to believe the soul goes on,
that we don't just fade away.
Our suffering makes no sense
unless we'll meet again, one day.
Rest, Keegan, rest.
May your dad rest, too,
though his tears run hot and free.
May he feel your spirit very close
to keep him company.